Princeton University Library Catalog

The Potential of K-12 Blended Learning: Preliminary Evidence from California Schools

Du, Laura [Browse]
Senior thesis
Dobbie, Will [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year:
89 pages
Summary note:
In the last two years, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded over $520 million in Race to the Top-District competition funds to schools implementing blended learning models. In the same period, the number of K-12 blended schools has increased over 50 percent, signaling a substantial interest in blended learning across the federal and local levels. However, there exists very little empirical research examining the impact of blended learning schools on student achievement. This study begins to fill the gap in blended learning efficacy literature by examining student achievement in 35 blended learning schools in California, drawing from demographic and California Standards Test (CST) data from the 2007-13 period. I find that blended learning is associated with a 0.86 standard deviation increase in math achievement and a 0.52 standard deviation increase in ELA achievement. These gains represent the difference between a mid-range CST scale score in the “Below Basic” level and a score reaching the “Basic” level, or the difference between “Basic” and “Proficient.” I conclude that K-12 blended learning schools have the potential to increase student achievement and therefore merit further research and exploration.