Search results for: "k12"

A North Carolina Appeals Court turned down K12, the publicly traded corporation that operates virtual charters.

It wanted to open a virtual charter in the state, but the State Board of Education did not act on its request, so it was denied.

K12 sued, and for now, has lost.

When the Legislature goes back into session, we will see whether the rejection sticks.

K12 has a history of astute lobbying and strategic political contributions.

K12 gets very poor marks from researchers and poor results, but that never stands in the way of its expansion.

Besides, the expansion of online charters is a priority for ALEC.

Thank goodness for reporters like Jessica Califati of the Star-Ledger in New Jersey!

In this report, she shows how the for-profit K12 corporation has a sweet deal running the Newark Prep Charter School. With only 150 students, the school is paying K12 nearly $500,000 in taxpayer dollars for its services.

The deal is very favorable to K12. If the school wants to cancel the contract, it must give 18 months notice. If K12 wants to cancel, it need give only 60 days notice.

A teacher who left the school complained that she was assigned to “help” 60 students, which was too many.

K12 made profits of $30 million last year. It’s CEO, from McKinsey and Gpldman Sachs, was paid. $5 million, based not on academic results but enrollment.

K12 is under investigation for inflating enrollments to collect higher reimbursements from the state:

“A preliminary report by the Florida Education Department’s inspector general found the company asked employees to teach subjects not covered by their certification and inflated its enrollment. An online charter school in Colorado recently severed its relationship with the company after state auditors found K12 Inc. overcharged the state for students whose enrollment could not be verified.”

The Colorado Virtual Academy, one of K12 Inc.’s biggest schools, has severed its association with the publicly traded corporation. They may continue to use its curriculum but not its management services, starting in 2014.

“The Colorado school has been criticized for its low graduation rates (22 percent in 2011-12, according to state education statistics) and a discovery by state auditors that the school had overcharged $800,000 for 120 students who never attended, weren’t Colorado residents or whose enrollments couldn’t be verified, according to an in-depth 2011 New York Times article.”

But K12 isn’t finished in Colorado. Another online school won approval, and it will engage the corporation.

Soon after the elections, the mega-corporation K12 convened a conference call with investors to boast about the opening of new markets for virtual charters in Georgia and Washington State.

K12 is the company founded by the Milken brothers to sell online schooling for-profit.

It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its CEO, Ron Packard, has a background at McKinsey and Goldman Sachs. Last year, he was paid $5 million.

The academic results of its schools are poor. The National Education Policy Center reviewed K12 and found that its students fare poorly in relation to test scores and graduation rates. The NCAA won’t accept credits from one of its online schools. The New York Times wrote a blistering critique of K12.

But K12, like some other charter operators, makes campaign contributions (as it did in Georgia), and the politicians care more about those contributions than about the children of their state.

I forgot the critical link, now inserted.

A lawsuit in Virginia, where the K12 for-profit virtual schools corporation is based, has brought out some dirty linen.

Among the allegations are that K12 relies upon churn to produce high revenues and that some teachers have a class size of 400 students.

Follow the links and read the document. It’s fascinating and alarming.

This is the scam that Jeb Bush and Bob Wise are promoting as 21st century learning. They call it personalization and customization. Their “Ten Elements” for digital learning urges states to deregulate these for-profit schools completely, to allow them free rein to recruit students and use uncertified teachers. They even say that these corporations should not be required to have an office in the state where they open a virtual school.

This is education reform.

Follow the money.

This investment service says the trend is downward, and it’s a good time to go short on K12. High student churn, poor results, increasing government scrutiny do not augur well for the future of for-profit virtual schooling.

Stephen Dyer raises the question about whether Ohio will follow in Florida’s path and open an investigation of the K12 for-profit school. In Ohio, K12 has classes of 51 students to a single teacher even though it is paid to have a ratio of 20:1.

That is way profitable for K12, though not for the students.

Dyer’s article includes a link to a story about the sharp drop in K12′s stock price that occurred after news of the Florida investigation broke. That story points out that K12 is under investigation in Georgia as well as Florida.

You do have to wonder at what point Secretary of Education Arne Duncan might speak out against the poor quality of online for-profit charter schools and other for-profit entrepreneurs that raid school budgets and produce terrible results. Will he?

K12, the giant cyber corporation that sells for-profit schooling, is in trouble in Seminole County, Florida, because the state insists that teachers must be certified. But having certified teachers is more expensive than having uncertified teachers, which cuts into K12′s profit margins.

The Florida Department of Education has opened an investigation into K12.

So, you can see, this is a big problem for regulators, who have this quaint attachment to the idea that teachers should meet a standard of some sort, but also for K12, whose profit margins are at risk.

You will note in the first article that K12 has another problem: The NCAA refuses to accept the credits of K12′s online program Aventa Learning, because of low standards. So student athletes hoping to get a quick and easy degree by point-and-click will have to enroll elsewhere, perhaps in a real school.

Former Governor Jeb Bush has been selling online schooling all over the country, as a win-win (cut costs, make money), and he wields influence in Florida. The investigation should be interesting.




David Reber is a teacher in Kansas who happens to be a terrific writer.

His articles are always insightful.

This one is about the relentless advertising campaign in Kansas of the online giant K12.

As the privatization movement gathers steam, as equity investors launch their latest scheme to extract profits from the public schools, we will be bombarded by even more appeals to go digital. Of course, we are all going digital. But there is no good reason to home school children who don’t need to be home schooled. Virtual academies get terrible results for children. This has been documented by the National Education Policy Center and in exposes in the NY Times and the Washington Post.

Home schooling by computer may be right for some, but it is not right for most students. Don’t buy their con job.

K12 has found a new market. I wonder if the state reimbursement is higher to deliver online instruction to homebound children with special needs:


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