*Scroll to the bottom for a response from K12, Inc.
The National College Athletics Association (NCAA) has announced it will no longer accept coursework in its initial eligibility certification process from 24 virtual schools that are affiliated with K12, Inc., a Wall Street-traded company that runs online schools across the nation.
According to the college recruiting website athleticscholarships.net, all of the 24 schools that the NCAA has denounced are nontraditional high schools and their courses were found not to comply with the NCAA’s nontraditional course requirements. Other schools not included in that group of 24 but are also affiliated with K12 Inc. remain under “Extended Evaluation,” meaning that the NCAA will review coursework from those schools and accept credits on a case-by-case basis.
K12, Inc., a Virginia-based for-profit company that runs online schools in 32 states and attributes nearly 85 percent of its income to public dollars, has been trying to make its way into North Carolina to open a virtual charter school.
K12’s bid to open up shop in NC has been unsuccessful so far. N.C. Learns, a non-profit managed by K12, appealed its unsuccessful attempt to open up a virtual charter school to the state’s highest court earlier this year. K12. also put forth an application under a different non-profit, N.C. Virtual Academy, to open a virtual charter school in the fall of 2015 (that application did not make it past the first round of reviews, but another virtual charter school application did – one affiliated with education assessment giant Pearson).
But the fight is not yet over for K12, Inc. Earlier this month, the State Board of Education endorsed a report from a virtual schools study committee that calls for the state legislature to test up to three new virtual charter schools beginning in 2015 for four years – and K12, Inc. could be included in that test group.
K12 has run into numerous problems recently, with school districts dropping their partnerships with the company, news of teachers lacking certification, and instances of very low graduation rates.
Last fall, news surfaced of a K12 school outsourcing the grading of student essays to workers in Bangalore, India.
The company has also run into trouble on Wall Street, where its stock was recently downgraded on account of slow enrollments.
*A representative from K12, Inc. reached out to N.C. Policy Watch to highlight their response to the NCAA’s actions. K12 believes that their teachers and courses meet the NCAA eligibility standards, and that NCAA employs vague standards and an unclear review process with regard to eligibility certification, leaving schools to guess at what would pass NCAA’s eligibility test.
Read K12, Inc.’s full response here.