Empowering Teachers? An Exploratory Study of Personnel Practices in Virtual Charter Schools in the United States


  • Dennis Beck University of Arkansas
  • Robert Maranto University of Arkansas




virtual, charter, virtual school, school administration, personnel management


Virtual charter schools have the potential to transform teacher personnel management. However, there is currently little evidence that they are doing so. This study examined how 89 teachers at two virtual charter schools perceived school personnel practices and leadership. Survey analysis indicated that teachers perceived personnel practices as resembling those of their previous ‘brick and mortar’ public schools. The results also showed that these teachers had a more positive view of school leaders and the school climate than they had at their previous schools. Implications are discussed in light of teacher education and personnel management literature. Additional research is recommended, as is development of the preparation of school administrators to include online, flexible, and distance learning, and related innovative leadership practices.

Author Biographies

Dennis Beck, University of Arkansas

Dennis is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Arkansas, United States. His research focuses on the impact of online technologies on vulnerable populations. In this vein, he has studied special education parent and student satisfaction with cyber schooling, as well as the impact of homework on student achievement and student and parent satisfaction in cyber schools. He has published in several venues, including Computers & Education, American Journal of Distance Education, Educational Administration Quarterly, and the Journal of Educational Research.

Robert Maranto, University of Arkansas

Robert is the 21st Century Chair in Leadership at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, United States, and editor of the Journal of School Choice. He serves on the board of Achievement House Cyber Charter School. With others, he has published more than 70 refereed publications and 11 scholarly books which have sold dozens of copies, including President Obama and Education Reform.