Friday, September 14, 2012

Florida Investigates K12, Inc.

K12 is a virtual charter school operation. In fact, it is the nation's largest provider of online education. It is currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Education for allegations that it used uncertified teachers to teach classes.  Furthermore, the company is accused of asking certified teachers to sign documents stating that they taught students they did not actually teach. You can read an article about it here

This is the most interesting part about the article, and explains why K12 would want to use uncertified teachers. It also explains why the charter school movement is so appealing to many in government.

K12 has a financial incentive to skirt Florida’s law requiring the use of certified teachers. Simply, K12 can pay uncertified teachers less than certified teachers while collecting the same amount per student from state public school districts, increasing profits for shareholders.
Founded in 2000 by William Bennett, a former U.S. education secretary under President Ronald Reagan, K12 is an $864 million publicly traded company whose stock price has more than doubled in the last year.
In recent years, K12 has increased profits while student performance has suffered, raising questions about whether the for-profit virtual schools provider is making money at the expense of academics.
A July 2012 study by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado found that students at K12 schools fell further behind in reading and math scores than pupils in traditional schools.

Like I've said in the past, the charter movement is all about reducing the cost of labor. Otherwise,  states would provide traditional public schools with the same flexibility to do things they felt were innovate and productive for their students.  

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