Search results for: "k12"

Lindsay Wagner of NC Policy Watch reports that the virtual charter corporation K12 is hoping to open an online school in North Carolina.


K12 was founded by Michael and Lloyd Milken and  has turned out to be a highly profitable corporation that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


It academic results are unimpressive, to say the least. Its students have a high dropout rate, low graduation rates, and low test scores. A study by the Walton-funded group at Stanford found that virtual charter schools in Pennsylvania, including K12, get worse results than either public schools or brick-and-mortar charter schools. A study by the National Education Policy Center criticized K12’s poor academic results and high administration costs; students at K12 actually fall behind real public schools. Stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post showed K12 to be one of the worst of all possible choices.


K12 makes a lot of money for investors. The schools it creates are not good schools, as judged by results.


Why would North Carolina want to siphon money away from its community public schools to pay off investors in a for-profit corporation?


Must be campaign contributions.  Or ideology. Or stupidity.

This prize-winning story by investigative reporter Colin Woodard follows the money trail in Maine, as Governor Paul LePage seeks to make a name for himself in the world of digital learning. It was originally published two years ago, but remains relevant. Woodard dug through more than 1,000 documents that he obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and his story won the George Polk award.

Donna Garner is a retired teacher in Texas. She is conservative, politically and pedagogically. She is furious that the State Education Department is expanding the virtual charter school K12. Her commentary below shows what a hoax K12 is. Imagine getting credit for two years of Spanish in only eight weeks, and credit for one year of Environmental Science in only two days! Meanwhile, K12 gets full state tuition for enrolling these students. The corporation will use some of its profits to pay handsome executive salaries (its most recent CEO was paid $5 million a year), and it will use taxpayer dollars to advertise heavily for new students and to pay lobbyists to win entry into new markets or assure funding equal to that of real schools. This is about as close as one can get to a Ponzi scheme in education.

Donna Garner’ s post reminds us that the operative principle here is profit, not ideology.


[After I wrote and published the following article about the Texas Virtual Schools Network (5.18.14 - “Texas Virtual Academy: Another Failed Education Experiment” -- ), a frustrated parent posted her comments on Facebook telling about her son’s experiences in TXVSN in their local school district.

Please read these comments from the bottom of the page upwards. I have removed the identifiers to protect this parent and her son. – Donna Garner]

8:00pm May 18
From S. Oh, and the grades were 90’s or better

Comment History

From S.
7:59pm May 18
Donna, I questioned the curriculum dept, the virtual academy facilitators, teachers, school board and superintendent. I was made out to be the bad guy for questioning the program. How can a kid get a YEAR of Environmental Science in 2 days and 2 YEARS of Spanish in 8 weeks? My son will tell you he knows nothing about Spanish yet he got 2 credits for it.

Donna Garner

7:43pm May 18
I can’t tell you how furious S.’s message makes me. I taught Spanish I and Spanish II for many years. When I think how hard my students had to work day in and day out for a full year to get that course credit, and then S.’s son finished those courses in a matter of weeks, I want to say bad words. How any school district could approve of such a plan by the Texas Virtual Academy [TXVSN] shows how truly lacking in concern for academic excellence many of our school administrators really are.

From R.
6:17pm May 18
So who decided to have the virtual business academy at XXXX High School?

From S.
5:56pm May 18
My son took several classes through the virtual academy [TXVSN]. He finished Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 in just weeks and Environmental Science in 2 days. I brought up this issue and NO ONE in the district seemed concerned but me.

Donna Garner

K12, the online charter corporation founded by the Milken brothers, has received a series of terrible evaluations. The NCAA recently denied a score of K12 “schools” credit because of the poor quality of instruction. A CREDO study in Pennsylvania concluded that virtual charters performed wose than public schools or brick-and-mortar charter schools.

Major stories in the Néw York Times and the Washington Post have reported that K12 virtual charters have high attrition rates, low test scores, and low graduation rates.

But K12 is good at two things: recruitment and lobbying.

In this article, Jason Stanford reports that Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams just lifted the enrollment cap on K12. Williams was previously head of the Railroad Commission, which theoretically “regulates” the energy industry.

According to Stanford, Williams is a friend of K12’s lobbyist. He, along with other key state officials, attended her lavish birthday party in Wine Country. The GOP candidate for governor has pledged to increase funding for K12.

In Texas, it seems the #1 criterion for education funding is not need, but lobbying. Kids come last.

The NCAA announced that it will no longer accept credits awarded by 24 virtual charter schools, all of which are operated by Michael Milken’s corporation K12.


This is huge.


All of these virtual schools are highly profitable. The K12 corporation, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, receives full tuition for each student; the district loses the tuition, and the student gets a computer and textbooks. K12 is known to have a high dropout rate and low graduation rates.


This is the first time that a major accrediting body has rejected the education offered by K12 and declared that its credits were unacceptable.


Here is the announcement:



NCAA No Longer Accepting Coursework from 24 High Schools

Today the NCAA announced that 24 schools which use a company called K12 Inc. to provide their curriculum were no longer approved. All of the schools are nontraditional high schools, and their courses were found to not comply with the NCAA’s nontraditional course requirements. The schools are:


California Virtual Academy – San Joaquin
California Virtual Academy – San Diego
California Virtual Academy – Los Angeles
California Virtual Academy – Sutter
California Virtual Academy – Jamestown
California Virtual Academy – Kern
California Virtual Academy – San Mateo
California Virtual Academy – Kings
California Virtual Academy – Sonoma
San Francisco Flex Academy (CA)
Silicon Valley Flex Academy (Morgan Hill, CA)
California Virtual Academy – LA High
California Virtual Academy – Santa Ysabel
Colorado Virtual Academy Cova (North Glenn, CO)
Georgia Cyber Academy (Atlanta, GA)
Nevada Virtual Academy (Las Vegas, NV)
Ohio Virtual Academy (Maumee, OH)
Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy (Nicoma Park, OK)
Agora Cyber Charter School (Wayne, PA)
South Carolina Virtual Charter (Columbia, SC)
Washington Virtual Academy – Monroe (Tacoma, WA)
Insight School of Colorado (Westminster, CO)
Insight School of Washington (Tacoma, WA)
IQ Academy Washington (Vancouver, WA)

As a result, the NCAA will stop accepting coursework from these schools starting with the 2014–15 school year. Coursework completed from Spring 2013 through Spring 2014 will undergo additional evaluation on a case-by-case basis when a prospect tries to use it for initial eligibility purposes. Coursework completed in Fall 2012 or earlier may be used without additional evaluation.

In addition to the 24 schools above, other schools affiliated with K12 Inc. remain under Extended Evaluation. This means the NCAA will continue to review coursework coming from those schools to see whether it meets the NCAA’s core course and nontraditional course requirements. Prospects with coursework from those schools must submit additional documentation no matter when the coursework was completed.

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.


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