The on-line scam called K12 Inc.
While children play in the summer heat, parents in Massachusetts and 31 other states across the country are being bombarded with advertisements for the online “learning” giant, K12 Inc., a for-profit virtual school system that is part of the ongoing movement to divert public funds away from traditional schools and give the taxpayer money to privately owned and operated charter and on-line entities that supporters claim are the future of public education in the United States.
But the truth surrounding these corporate education reform strategies fall far short of their advertising claims, a fact that is especially true when it comes to the growing online or virtual charter school industry.
As California’s Mercury News explained in a major investigative series this past spring,
The TV ads pitch a new kind of school where the power of the Internet allows gifted and struggling students alike to “work at the level that’s just right for them” and thrive with one-on-one attention from teachers connecting through cyberspace. Thousands of California families, supported with hundreds of millions in state education dollars, have bought in.But the Silicon Valley-influenced endeavor behind the lofty claims is leading a dubious revolution. The growing network of online academies, operated by a Virginia company traded on Wall Street called K12 Inc., is failing key tests used to measure educational success.Fewer than half of the students who enroll in the online high schools earn diplomas, and almost none of them are qualified to attend the state’s public universities.
In fact, a series of academic studies have revealed that despite collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money, most virtual schools are utterly failing when it comes to actually educating children.
Reporting on a major study conducted in 2015 by Stanford University, the Washington Post wrote,
Students in the nation’s virtual K-12 charter schools — who take all of their The on-line scam called K12 Inc. - Wait What?: