Archives

This morning’s Charlotte Observer editorial gets it just about right in its take on K12, 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 have great value and popularity. The state’s N.C. Virtual Public School program offers courses to high school students across the state – often courses that don’t have high demand but ones that students in various parts of the state need or desire, and courses that students have flunked which can be recovered without students having to go back through a whole semester.

But the K12 Inc. managed school would be different. It would operate as a standalone school, completely online, taking in students from anywhere in the state.

Whether that’s a good idea is worth debating. But K12 Inc.’s involvement is another matter. The report from the National Center for Education Policy should prompt a thorough investigation before K12 Inc.’s application goes forward.”

Of course,  like so many other sharks looking to cash in on the privatization of our schools and other essential public structures, K12 is already employing a virtual fleet of high-powered lobbyists to represent it in the General Assembly. So, whatever the continued fallout from the NEPC repport, don’r expect the company to leave North Carolina alone anytime soon..

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 hard to run charter schools in North Carolina — including a so-called “virtual charter” in Cabarrus County. (The group currently employs seven registered lobbyists in North Carolina).

“A report released last week shows that students enrolled at K12 Inc., an online school company linked to a nonprofit group in Cabarrus County, are falling behind in reading and math scores compared with students in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Read More

Uncategorized

Cross-posted from the blog of State Government Radio commentator Barlow Herget:

See if the pig is in the bag
By Barlow Herget

The idea of the Internet as the next big thing in education is an appealing vision.  There are ways now being tried in some schools in which computer programs and the Internet are designed to aid teachers in developing custom learning plans for individual students.

But the virtual schools that for-profit companies are pedaling to financially strapped North Carolina school boards are pigs in a poke.  The State Board of Education and its chairman Bill Harrison are correct to ask for a detailed review of such questionable sales.

The issue surfaced after the Cabarrus School Board was casting about to save money in these tight budget times.  Under the guise of a charter school, a North Carolina non-profit, NC Learns, sold the Cabarrus board a virtual school program operated by a for-profit company called K12.

The charter school expects to get over $18 million in public school funds, most of which will be paid to K12.  The N.C. Virtual Academy as it’s called, offers to teach 2,700 students from across the state.

Now, stop and think.

Does an on-line K through 12 school pass the common sense test?  Hardly. Read More