K12 Inc. statement about investigation of California schools
Bay Area News Group
04/18/2016 08:34:44 PM PDT Updated: about a month ago
K12 Inc. released the following statement Monday in response to a Bay Area News Group investigation published Sunday and Monday into the Virginia company’s network of online charter schools in California.
HERNDON, Va., — This week, The San Jose Mercury News published two articles about K12 Inc. and the California Virtual Academies (CAVA) — eleven independent public charter schools — that are inaccurate, incompletely researched, and missing the balanced input of many parents whose children have attended and been served by these schools.
Most concerning, these stories cite several politically-driven claims about the CAVA schools that are substantially similar, and in some cases identical, to allegations made by the California Teachers Association (CTA) in their multi-year campaign to unionize the CAVA schools. These issues have been addressed and in many instances roundly refuted. The paper fails to disclose that the few teachers quoted in the article represent a small subset of CAVA teachers organizing on behalf of CTA. The union opposes charter schools, and has also lobbied for legislation aimed at shutting down CAVA schools and other similar public schools of choice.
Parents of children with a variety of educational needs choose CAVA schools: students with special needs who are not receiving the services they require at their local schools; children who struggle in traditional schools; students who are bullied; academically gifted children; and many more. We believe parents know their children best, and we respect the choices they make.
The Mercury News articles are inconsistent with the positive experiences of thousands of California parents who thoughtfully choose CAVA schools for their children. They ignore the experience of the majority of CAVA teachers and educators who are passionate about their work, committed to these schools, and who reject the self-serving goals of the CTA. And they fail to represent fairly the volunteers–many of whom are themselves parents of CAVA students–who serve on the independent, nonprofit CAVA schools’ boards. The Mercury News should have considered the input of a wider sample of parents and teachers.
K-12 public schools are highly regulated entities, and as a services provider to public schools across the U.S. we take compliance very seriously. Each CAVA school is governed by a separate and independent charter school board. Each school follows state and federal regulations, and operates under California’s Independent Study program designed for non-classroom-based educational programs. These schools are open, transparent, and accountable. They operate under multiple layers of oversight at the state and local levels, undergo annual independent financial and programmatic audits, and have strong records of compliance.
K12’s mission is to serve our school partners and to assist them in making student achievement the first goal. Where there are deficiencies, we make improvements. If mistakes are made, we correct them. We work constantly to enhance our products and academic services–and, in turn, to facilitate student success. K12 is an organization of educators, teachers, and professionals who are dedicated to providing quality services to the schools and students we are privileged to serve. Unfortunately, these articles do not fairly tell that side of the story.