New national report raises questions about virtual charter K12 Inc.

The National Education Policy Center, a nonprofit research organization, released a lengthy report this week that raises more questions about the performance of virtual charter schools operated by K12 Inc.

The 65-page report acknowledges that while computer-assisted learning has tremendous potential, students enrolled in K12 Inc. schools are falling further behind in reading and math scores than students in brick-and-mortar schools, according to the study.

Some of NEPC’s key findings include:

• Math scores for K12 Inc.’s students are 14 to 36 percent lower than scores for other students in the states in which the company operates schools.

• Only 27.7 percent of K12 Inc.’s schools reported meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards in 2010-11, compared to 52% for brick-and-mortar schools in the nation as a whole.

• Student attrition is exceptionally high in K12 Inc. and other virtual schools. Many families appear to approach the virtual schools as a temporary service: Data in K12 Inc.’s own school performance report indicate that 31% of parents intend to keep their students enrolled for a year or less, and more than half intend to keep their students enrolled for two years or less.

The NEPC report goes on to recommend that state policymakers “slow or put a moratorium on the growth of full-time virtual schools” until they better understand the reasons for the disparities in outcomes:

‘In the area of full-time virtual education, states should place their first priority on understanding why the performance of virtual schools suffers and how it can be improved before undertaking any measures or programs to expand this new model of schooling.’

In response to the report, K12 Inc. says NEPC used selective data and failed to take into account student academic growth.

Earlier this month, K12 had its plans derailed to open a virtual charter school in North Carolina this fall. The Wall Street company had hopes to recruit 2,750 students in its first year and take in $18 million in federal, state and local education dollars.

You can read the NEPC full report, “Understanding and Improving Virtual Schools,” here.  For K12’s response, click here.  And to read more about K12 Inc. in North Carolina, read Sarah Ovaska’s most recent story here.


  1. david esmay

    July 20, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Academic performance is not a big issue for Fletcher Hartsell and Paul Stam. Stock performance, on the other hand, is a big issue.

  2. […] No Comments The Winston-Salem Journal has a story this morning about the new national report (reported here last week by Sarah Ovaska) that slams the student outcomes produced by K12 Inc., the for-profit corporation that is lobbying […]

  3. […] Inc. — the big for-profit cyber-schools company. The editorial comes as a follow-up to a recent study by the National Education Policy Center which found that K12 has a generally abysmal record in educating kids: “Online learning does […]

Check Also

Nearly half of North Carolina’s children living in poverty (video)

Today’s Monday number’s column (on the main Policy ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

One-stop early voting for North Carolina’s May 8 primary election is a little over a month away, but [...]

A lone Southern yellow pine tree has stood in the middle of Marvin Winstead’s Nash County field for [...]

Tallulah Cloos, 18, sometimes ponders ideal hiding spots if an active shooter were ever to terrorize [...]

Public hearing scheduled for next week This week the North Carolina Historical Commission’s Confeder [...]

Penny-wise, pound-foolish. So declared a disappointed English lord in response to his heir’s poor fi [...]

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gave another embarrassing and cringe-inducing media interview t [...]

The post Home to Roost appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Matthew was struggling to keep up with his second grade classmates in reading, was sleeping in class [...]