If you want to get an idea of what kind of education policies to expect from a Donald Trump administration, Wall St. has a clue for you.
A report from BuzzFeed explains, online charter schools are “gearing up for a boom during the Trump administration, judging by where investors are placing their bets.”
The article points to K12 Inc., which is the country’s largest operator of online charters, whose stock price has risen in value by more than 50 percent since Election Day – hitting a 2-year high at one point.
The article quotes K12 executives who’ve “told investors the company was one of the ‘best positioned under Trump,” especially due to the “‘personal’ experiences that high-level Trump administration members have with the company.”
Among Trump personnel who’ve had these “experiences” with K12 is his pick for US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
As the article notes, Betsy DeVos’ husband Dick is “an early investor in K12.” Another in the Trump entourage who is close to online charters is his Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. As governor of Indiana, Pence advocated for more “school choice” in the state, including online charters.
Online charter schools operated by K12 have a particularly poor track record for academic achievement, as the BuzzFeed story notes.
A recent article in the Washington Post reports on a study that finds these schools are so bad that students enrolled in them “lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days of learning in math during the course of a 180-day school year … In other words, when it comes to math, it’s as if the students did not attend school at all.”
A recent assessment of the academic performance of online charter schools in Indiana found that nearly half of them are doing poorly or failing.