A reader sent the following comments about the online for-profit schooling industry (by the way, that line about “current performance is no prediction of future performance” comes right from the prospectus of investment funds):
Interesting story about the K12 schools performance in Tennessee: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/aug/31/andy-berke-criticizes-dismal-scores-of-for/?politics
What’s truly stunning is that, according to the article, the K12 schools performed in the bottom 11% of all TN schools tested using the state’s value-added assessment. As I recall, value-added assessments have been championed by the same reformers who also push for on-lines schools.
K12′s response has been familiar–move the goal posts and change the game. They claim that current performance is no prediction of future performance–why don’t we who support public education get to use that line?–and their own testing using the private Scranton Performance Series shows they are meeting or beating the Scranton norm group in all categories. In other words, in their own private world they’re doing just fine. So, why don’t the public schools in TN get to use these tests too?
And they’re making improvements to improve future outcomes.
So, let me get this straight–K12 in TN can’t hack the very performance tests the reformers have shoved down the throats of the public schools. In response, they get to claim that current performance is no indication of future performance. But public schools are roundly condemned on the basis of their current performance. K12 then gets to tout its own private testing results that show–surprise!–K12 is doing just fine, compared to norm among the customers of the private testing service. But the public schools have to be tested using national and international standardized tests that are not private. Finally, despite claiming they’re doing just fine in their own little universe, they are working to improve. Of course, the public schools–that are doing better than K12–are beyond help.