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Tue Oct 14, 2014, 09:20 PM

K12 Online Charter Schools having lots of problems.

Crossposted in General Discussion. Hoping for some recs.

Edu-lection roundup — Tough times for K12, Inc.

TOUGH TIMES FOR K12, INC: The nation’s largest for-profit operator of public schools, K12, Inc., has had a bumpy ride of late. Its stock closed Friday at a 52-week low of 13.82 per share, down from a recent peak of 36.78 in September 2013. What’s behind the slump? For one thing, the company’s astronomical growth has slowed significantly. Just last fall, K12 executives were projecting revenue of $987 million for fiscal year 2014. But actual revenue for the year came in under $920 million. In a conference call last week, executives projected revenues would rise only slightly in the next fiscal year.

Meanwhile, K12’s academic empire has been in turmoil. The board of Agora Cyber Charter in Pennsylvania, which is one of K12’s largest and most profitable online schools, has signaled its intent to seek new management (though it will continue to buy digital curriculum from K12). Colorado Virtual Academy broke ties with K12 before the start of the school year. And late last week, Delaware’s state board of education voted to close another struggling school operated by K12, the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute. Trouble also looms in Tennessee, where Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman has ordered the K12-operated Tennessee Virtual Academy to shut down after this school year unless it shows big gains in academic performance. And last spring, the NCAA said it wouldn’t accept coursework completed at any of two dozen K12-operated schools as proof of a student’s eligibility to compete for Division I or II colleges and universities.

To top it all off, K12 faces a trademark infringement lawsuit in Florida. The state Supreme Court last month ruled that Florida Virtual School — which was founded in 1997 — could sue K12 Inc. for opening a slew of competing online schools under the name Florida Virtual Academies. Pro Education looked at K12’s business model and examined the shaky performance of online schools in general in a series last fall: http://politi.co/ZznuQd and http://politi.co/ZUDaOW

K12 has had many other problems in Florida.

Online charter school, K12, got 730.8 million from taxpayers in 2013. Teacher speaks out.

She said as she wrote this in early December "nearly 80 percent of our students were failing their classes." That's a huge percentage.

She further said that 303 students were enrolled in special education, and "259 of them were failing while 17 had no grade at all."

She pointed out that that 92% of the ninth graders were failing.

I wonder how much public taxpayer money this K12 virtual school will get in 2014.

And then there are just plain fraudulent practices.

K12 officials asked state-certified teachers to sign class rosters that included students they hadn't taught, according to documents that are part of the investigation.
In one case, a K12 manager instructed a certified teacher to sign a class roster of more than 100 students. She only recognized seven names on that list.

"I cannot sign off on students who are not my actual students," K12 teacher Amy Capelle wrote to her supervisor.

A story from last year pointed out that the money keeps flowing to these charters, even though they are not succeeding.

Cyber schools flunk, but tax money keeps flowing

Taxpayers send nearly $2 billion a year to cyber schools that let students from kindergarten through 12th grade receive a free public education entirely online.

The schools, many managed by for-profit companies, are great at driving up enrollment with catchy advertising. They excel at lobbying. They have a knack for making generous campaign donations.

But as new state report cards coming out now make clear, there’s one thing they’re not so good at: educating kids.

In state after state, online school after online school posts dismal scores on math, writing and science tests and mediocre scores on reading. Administrators have long explained their poor results by saying students often come to their schools far behind and make excellent progress online, even if they fall short of passing state tests.

But lately, more states have begun measuring how much students actually learn during the school year — and a POLITICO review of the data shows many cyber schools are flunking that test.

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Reply K12 Online Charter Schools having lots of problems. (Original post)
madfloridian Oct 2014 OP
QED Oct 2014 #1

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