Oregon’s Puzzling Response to a Successful School
Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA), an online charter school, received an “Outstanding” rating from the Oregon Department of Education for its students’ test scores. That’s the highest rating that the Department of Education gives schools. ORCA is, by the state’s evaluation, one of the best public schools in Oregon.
In any other state, I would expect new students to enroll in a great charter school like ORCA. But this is Oregon — not a welcoming place for charters in general, or for online schools in particular. Additional students can’t enroll in ORCA, because a law that became effective this past summer capped ORCA’s enrollment at 2,574 students.
The ostensible purpose for the enrollment freeze was to give legislators time to study online schooling. I say, study it all you want — but, in the meantime, let new students enroll and do some studying of their own.