News

Report assails K12, Inc.-backed California virtual charter school for producing more dropouts than graduates

K12, Inc.A report released Thursday blasts K-12, Inc.-backed California Virtual Academies (CAVA), that state’s largest provider of online education, for producing few graduates and directing large amounts of revenue toward advertising, executive salaries and profit — while paying its teachers less than half the average wage traditional public school teachers earn.

“It is too easy for kids to fall through the cracks in CAVA’s current online schooling system,” said Donald Cohen, executive director for In the Public Interest, the Washington-based think tank that penned the report. “We are calling on California to immediately increase oversight of online education to ensure students are receiving a quality education.”

Notable findings of the report include:

  • In every year since it began graduating students, except 2013, CAVA has had less than a 50 percent graduation rate, while California’s traditional public school graduation rate has hovered around 80 percent;
  • Some CAVA students log into their virtual classroom for as little as one minute a day, which is enough to give the charter its daily attendance revenue from the state;
  • While K12 Inc. paid almost $11 million total to its top six executives in 2011-12, the average CAVA teacher salary was $36,150 that same year — close to half of average teacher pay in California; and
  • In December 2011, the California Charter Schools Association called for the closure of CAVA in Kern County because the school did not meet its renewal standards.

North Carolina’s State Board of Education gave the green light to K12, Inc. earlier this month to finally open up shop here after years of efforts on their part to open a virtual charter school in the state.

K12, Inc. has a history of producing low performance and graduation rates across the country, recently prompting the NCAA to announce that it will no longer accept coursework from 24 virtual schools that are affiliated with the company.

The company has also been compared to subprime mortgage lenders, pulling in and churning out a disproportionate amount of students who are not well prepared for the online learning model–all in the name of big profits from taxpayer budgets.

Last summer, Tennessee’s education commissioner ordered the closure of a struggling K12, Inc.-operated online school there thanks to poor academic outcomes.

While the State Board of Education has authorized the arrival of K12, Inc. in North Carolina, their approval didn’t come without reservations; several members of the board expressed concerns that the virtual school would only be accessible to those with considerable means, excluding economically disadvantaged students that lack computers or parental support critical to academic success.

Click to read the full report, Virtual Public Education in California.

2 Comments


  1. david esmay

    February 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    What do you get when you cross a neo-con pseudo-educator(William Bennett), and a Wall Street felon (Michael Milken)? K-12.

  2. Jan Cox Golovich

    February 28, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    “Some CAVA students log into their virtual classroom for as little as one minute a day, which is enough to give the charter its daily attendance revenue from the state.” I worked for this company and this is very true. I would like to see the State of California conduct an audit of CAVA’s attendance for the past 12 years and make the company reimburse taxpayers for the ripoff.

Check Also

Changing hats, but my focus remains on education

Dear NC Policy Watch readers, It’s been a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

With just a few hours left until the crossover deadline, the state of North Carolina’s environment i [...]

On Monday morning, there was only one way left to save the Court of Appeals and a few hours with whi [...]

The political compromise that repealed HB2 was enough for the NCAA and ACC, both of which have retur [...]

Conference comes a day after new report lauds benefits of same-day registration The new line-up for [...]

How many times do we have to say it? Well, it’s worth repeating – especially in the aftermath of rec [...]

As the national pundits weigh in on President Trump’s first 100 days in office and the General Assem [...]

How the General Assembly is spending “crossover week” and what it ought to be doing The last week of [...]

To casual observers, the recent controversy surrounding public school class-size mandates in grades [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more