Online School Students’ First Day of School is at Home

<i–< Idaho Technical Career Academy students return to online public
school September 6 —

August 30, 2016 05:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time

MERIDIAN, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Students across the state of Idaho in grades K-12 will be returning to
school this fall in the comfort of their own home, having chosen to
attend the full-time, tuition-free, online public school, Idaho
Technical Career Academy (ITCA). ITCA has been operating in Idaho since
2014.

First day of school for ITCA students is September 6!

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ITCA is the state’s only career-technical education online public
charter school serving students in grades 9 through 12. Students have
the opportunity to explore four program options in key industries of
growth in the state: Business Administration, Automated Manufacturing,
Web Design, and Healthcare. The goal of ITCA is to develop a sequence of
instruction that teaches students occupational skills while ultimately
providing a pathway to job opportunities or to a technical college
program upon graduation.

The online school setting enables students in any geographic area of the
state to utilize this unique curriculum. Furthermore, the flexible
learning environment enables students to partner with professionals and
companies to apply the skills they are learning in a specific industry.

ITCA uses the award-winning K12 online curriculum to offer students in
grades K–12 an exceptional learning experience. The innovative
curriculum and technology, combined with a strong partnership between
families and teachers, creates an opportunity for teachers to focus on
each student’s academic needs, and gives a growing number of students a
powerful educational option to reach their true potential.

“ITCA is a new and exciting school option for kids in Idaho,” said Monti
Pittman, Head of School for ITCA. “The focus on career and technical
skill sets – combined with the commitment and passion of our staff –
provides our students with an amazing learning experience.”

Teachers for ITCA are Idaho-credentialed and provide instruction,
guidance and support, and interact with students and parents via email,
web-based classrooms, online discussions, phone and face-to-face
meetings.

ITCA is accepting enrollments for this fall. To learn more about
enrollment requirements visit http://itca.k12.com/.

About Idaho Technical Career Academy

Idaho Technical Career Academy (ITCA) is a full-time online public
school program that serves students in grades 9 through 12 statewide. As
part of the Idaho public school system, ITCA is tuition-free, giving
parents and families the choice to access the award-winning curriculum
and tools provided by K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN),
the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online
education programs. For more information about ITCA, visit http://itca.k12.com/.

Contacts

Team SoapboxAnne Heavey, 206-528-2550anne@teamsoapbox.com

Idaho Technical Career Academy Relaunches to Help Meet State’s Job Growth Surge

Idaho’s only CTE-focused online public school provides technical and specialty trade job skills for high school students

06:00 ET
from Idaho Technical Career Academy

BOISE, Idaho, May 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Board members of the Idaho Career and College Readiness Academy, along with partner K12 Inc., (NYSE: LRN), the nation’s leading provider of online education programs for students in kindergarten through high school, today announced that they are changing the name of their online technical high school for students in Idaho. The school will now be known as Idaho Technical Career Academy (ITCA).

Idaho Technical Career Academy is an important education option for Idaho students, especially following recent reports from both the Department of Labor and federal Bureau of Labor Statistics that identify the state of Idaho as the state experiencing the fastest job growth in the past year. Employment in Idaho has increased 3.6 percent between March 2015 and March 2016.

The surge of job opportunities in Idaho will need to be met. ITCA is an online public charter school that provides opportunities for students to obtain technical and specialty trade skills by offering four years of occupational training in an industry pathway of their choice. Courses are delivered online and students earn can earn industry-recognized certifications and college credits to give them a post-graduation edge.  

The Idaho Technical Career Academy (ITCA) provides four programs option for students in key industries of growth in the state: Business Administration, Automated Manufacturing, Web Design, and Health Science. The intent of the school is to develop a sequence of instruction that teaches students occupational skills while ultimately providing a pathway to job opportunities or to a technical college program upon graduation. 

“We want our students to graduate from ITCA with the skill set necessary to earn one of the many new jobs in our state, so we really prepare the whole package” said Monti Pittman, Head of School for Idaho Technical Academy. “It’s academics and training, but also the skills used in every career, like resume writing and interviewing techniques.”

“With the growing demand for skilled laborers, we are thrilled by the career and technical focus of ITCA,” said Kerry Wysocki, ITCA Board Chairman and general manager of Northwest Machining and Manufacturing, Inc. “We have such a need for qualified technical workers that we know these students will have a bright future ahead of them.”

ITCA’s digital learning expands the reach and opportunities for students – the online school will equip students with vital technical skills that will prepare them to succeed in the workplace regardless of where they reside in Idaho. Additionally, the online school provides a flexible learning environment that enables students the opportunity to partner with professionals and companies to apply the skills they are learning in a specific industry.

In addition to the industry-focused curriculum, ITCA offers students state-of-the-art academic coursework and content using K12’s nationally-acclaimed, award-winning curriculum and learning programs. K12’s personalized academic programs are designed to work for all types of students, from advanced learners to students with special needs. Certified teachers will provide instruction, guidance and support, and will interact regularly with students using innovative technology and web-based classrooms. 

To help families learn more about the program, ITCA will host information sessions and community events around the state, as well as several online information sessions. For details, visit the school website: http://itca.k12.com/

About Idaho Technical Academy
Idaho Technical Academy (ITCA) is a full-time online public school program that serves students in grades 9 through 12 statewide. As part of the Idaho public school system, ITCA is tuition-free, giving parents and families the choice to access the award-winning curriculum and tools provided by K12 Inc. (NYSE:  LRN), the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs. For more information about ITCA, visit http://itca.k12.com/.    

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160511/366772LOGO

SOURCE Idaho Technical Career Academy

Related Links

http://itca.k12.com

Crumbling Foundations 7

Don’t fool Idaho, either


By Bill Cope

“The more desperate parents can be convinced that the public system is beyond salvation, the better positioned education-for-profit interests are.”

—from “Crumbling Foundations 1,” Feb. 16, 2011

If quoting myself from five years ago seems self-indulgent, forgive me. But after running this series through seven installments from 2011 to March 3, 2016, I’ve never found anything else said that nails more succinctly what I, and others, believe the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation is up to.

That quote is exactly what the foundation’s meddling in the politics of public education is about: Parents, who understandably want the best future for their children, are being sold the false and frightening notion that if they don’t allow politicians to direct more and more public monies dedicated to education into for-profit ventures, their kids will suffer the consequences.

I resurrected this series in response to the foundation’s latest spiel—its ubiquitous ad featuring a kid getting on the bus at school, but not showing up as expected at home.

If I believed the sole motive behind that ad was to promote the best solutions to problems no one can honestly deny are plaguing modern education, I wouldn’t be as outraged at the disingenuousness of it. But for at least 15 years, key players in the Albertson Foundation have been investing—heavily—in the very thing they are so heavily promoting. This has to do with much more than our nation’s education policies. If you’ve ever wondered how the very rich just keep getting richer—how the rush of wealth to the “1 percent” never seems to even slow down, let alone stop—the influence that Foundation leaders have exerted on Idaho politics with ample complicity from Idaho politicians can be considered a manual on how, with enough money priming the right pumps, one can gain access to that great aquifer of steady revenue: the American taxpayer.

Following is a timeline assembled largely by Grove Koger, a lifelong friend and a very picky researcher. Further information came from an Associated Press probe into the relationships between the foundation, at least one member of the corporate for-profit education community and ex-Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s push to radically reform Idaho’s schools.

There is nothing new about any of this. Most of it relates to the decade leading to Luna’s reform scheme. But as the Albertson Foundation has shown, it refuses to give up on making that scheme a reality, so must we keep reminding ourselves why we rejected it so decisively.

• Together, Joseph Scott—the grandson of Joe and Kathryn Albertson and heir to much of their fortune—and his business partner, Thomas Wilford, founded Alscott Inc., an investment arm of the Albertson-Scott family. Wilford was installed as president of the business concern in 1993. From 1995 to 2003, he was also the president of the Albertson Foundation. Even now, Alscott and the foundation share the same address and, at least until 2011, the same phone number.

• In 2002, the Idaho Virtual Academy was created with administrative direction and educational material provided by K12, Inc., the Virginia-based source of online education founded three years earlier by Bill Bennett, former secretary of education. Bennett had contributed $1,000 to Tom Luna’s first, and failed, 2002 campaign.

That same year, while still the president of the Albertson Foundation, Wilford was appointed a seat on the K12, Inc., board of directors. The next year, he was named CEO of the foundation.

• By 2005, the foundation was handing out grants to charter schools, including the Idaho Virtual Academy, which has grown to be the state’s largest online public charter school. Its curriculum was (and is) provided in full by K12. Wilford contributed to Luna’s 2006 campaign, as did out-of-state for-profit education concerns, including K12, whose campaign contributions ran into several thousands of dollars. Wilford’s compensation as a K12 director soared from less than $500 in 2007 to $107,114 in 2010.

• In 2011, immediately after re-election, Luna introduced his reforms, relying heavily on charter schools and for-profit curriculum providers for solutions to Idaho’s public education woes—woes that were largely the result of inadequate funding from the same state leaders who supported Luna. Even while the foundation was running expensive ads in newspapers across Idaho hawking those reforms, Alscott Inc. held 826,000 shares in K12, Inc. By then, Idaho public monies going to K12 coffers was running into the tens of millions of dollars a year. Wrote Joe Miller of the AP: “All the while [Joseph] Scott’s family’s education foundation was actively promoting Idaho’s fledgling online education programs—something Luna has made a centerpiece of his reforms.” The siphoning of those public monies continues to this day.

I have never claimed there isn’t room for improvement in our public schools. But the two most horrifying and damaging blunders Idaho could make is handing over our public schools and/or our public lands to private interests. Once we go there on either, we’ll never get them back.

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Crumbling Foundations 4 | They’re trying to sell us what!? | Bill Cope | Boise Weekly

April 16, 2014 Opinion » Bill Cope

Crumbling Foundations 4 

They’re trying to sell us what!?

by Bill Cope



Six hundred billion dollars. Billion. Let me put that another way: $600,000,000,000.

Keep that figure in mind as we examine one reason so many rich people have the hots for such phenomena as charters schools, vouchers, online education and other alternatives to the American public school system that have sprung up–and no doubt will continue to–like dandelions in a distressed lawn.

I don’t mean to imply that all this concern and consternation over the condition of education in our country might be founded on lust for wealth only. I’m suggesting it is an explanation we can’t rule out. Because, let’s face it, as the hit/miss record for those alternatives to public ed. comes increasingly into focus, we find that there is little to get excited about, and possibly much to be alarmed about.

Online charters schools, for instance–and for our purposes here, let me focus on the performance of K12 Inc., one of the largest and most powerful corporate providers of online instruction. How confident would you be in K12 Inc.–as either a parent or a taxpayer–after hearing the following experiences of teachers who had worked for that company? In this case, from a former teacher at the K12 Agora Cyber Charter School in Pennsylvania who had been assigned 300 students:

“A huge portion of my students never showed up or did anything. I have no clue what happened to them, though I have no doubt Agora was charging the state for them.”

Or this, from an ex-teacher in the Colorado Virtual Academy, another K12 Inc. enterprise: “Three-quarters of my … kids never logged in, never completed any work. Never answered their emails or phone calls, yet they remained on my class rosters. … No one is monitoring this as far as I can see.”

These are not isolated incidents. According to a report from the Center for Media and Democracy, K12 is being sued by shareholders who are disenchanted with the gap between what that company has promised and what it has delivered. Now there’s something you’d want hanging on your child’s wall of fame, right?… a diploma from a joint like that.

Incidentally, thanks to Tom Luna, K12 is the provider to the Idaho Virtual Academy, this state’s largest online charter school.

Idaho isn’t the only state where charter schools are falling below expectations. But first, let’s re-examine what makes a charter school a charter school. Generally, they are portrayed as grassroots-generated antidotes to a failed public education system, formed by loving parents so insistent that their children receive better educations that they band together like outraged villagers marching to Frankenstein’s castle, clutching higher academic standards instead of pitchforks.

Yeah, that happens. But increasingly, the chartering is done by one of the 97 companies in America that are in the business of making a profit off these schools. (Michigan leads the country with 79 percent of its charter schools being run for-profit.)

Being a charter means that a school can pick and choose which students get in, and if your child is a dumb, misbehaving delinquent whom the best teacher in all of history couldn’t do anything with, don’t hold your breath until a charter school takes him in and turns him into the state debate champ.

Perhaps another way of looking at charters is to understand they are a means by which some parents can send their kids to a private school, only it’s being paid for by public funds. Yet in spite of being able to leave special-needs kids and low performers out of the mix–and in spite of sucking public education monies out of the public system, making it harder and harder for those schools to meet expectations–charters have been exposed for producing no better results, and in many cases worse results, than their public counterparts. The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University issued a study four years ago that demonstrated only 17 percent of charters were outperforming comparable public schools–”comparable” in terms of the socio-economic status of the students–while 37 percent were doing worse.

The Albertson Foundation has been one the most enthusiastic supporters of charter schools in Idaho since our laws were changed in 1998 to allow charters. Since 1997, they have awarded $500 million in grants to Idaho public schools and charters. At present, for-profit charters haven’t been OK’d in Idaho. Still, when you give a bunch of tax money to a charter or public school, which then pays for online material from profit-driven companies, we have to question how meaningful it is to claim there are no for-profit charters in Idaho.

Plus, we sense that with a little more softening up of our state leaders, it is just a matter of time before for-profit outfits come flooding into Idaho like locusts. I repeat, there are currently 97 companies in America whose motivation it is to turn a profit off of students.

Incidentally, last we heard, the investment wing of the Albertson family (Alscott, Inc.) owned 355,000 shares of K12 stock.

Oh… and about that $600 billion–billion–I mentioned at the beginning of this piece? According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, that is the combined total of what the United States spent in 2011 to educate its public school children. Can you even imagine an investor who wouldn’t go to any lengths to get access to an ocean of cash like that? And before we let vested interests scare us into handing such an enormous and endless reservoir of public funds over to them, we need to examine the state of America’s public schools with a mind open to the possibility that maybe they’re not as bad off as we’re continually being told they are. That is what I intend to do next week.

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Why is for profit a bad thing? What is it about making money, to pay your bill and not be subsidized by taxpayer money that frightens you people?



For the record Charter Schools are a joke and virtual schools are even worse. Kids need to be in school somewhere. And the bad ones will fail… like they have been doing. That is how for profit works… if you do something poorly, you fail, you die, you go away. If you do it well, people come knocking on your door and want more of it.



If parents want to choose where to send their kids, and they send them to a virtual school and their kids fail… it’s their problem. The Parents.



You want to fix this problem? You need to fix the single parent family’s that are running rampent in this country. Fix the family and you fix a lot more than education..

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Posted by luvmy45 on 04/16/2014 at 8:44 AM .

According to the US Dept of Education… since 1970 the test scores for Reading, Math and Science have not increased, enrollment in schools has been relatively flat since 1970 as well…. yet the funding has increased over 100% on Teacher and administration costs.



So here is the question… we keep throwing more money at our existing education system, and the outcomes are not changing. This is according to the Dept of Education.



So tell me again, how is this different than the definition of insanity? Something needs to change….

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Posted by luvmy45 on 04/16/2014 at 11:37 AM .

Simply saying “According to the US Department of Education” does not make your statistics any more meaningful or persuasive, nor does it provide support for whatever logic you have used to arrive at the conclusion that we are “throwing money” at the system without changing outcomes. Cite your sources..

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Posted by Kevin Wilson on 04/16/2014 at 3:41 PM .

What’s wrong with for-profit schools replacing public ones? As impossible as it may seem, it is actually the case that not every service the government supervises is an appropriate target for commodification. The free market and competition simply are not appropriate tools for doing what public schools were created to do. The nurturing of human minds is not replaceable by any process similar to culling potatoes. The use of test scores, zero tolerance policies, and under servicing of special needs students is a culling process. We have three issues challenging public education and none of them are addressed by choice or technology.

1. Poverty. 2. Poverty. 3. Unstable, inequitable funding. Anyone proposing to “fix” public schools who isn’t focused on these is not serious about educating children..

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Posted by Miron Boland on 04/16/2014 at 5:48 PM

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What test scores are you referring to? Standardized tests weren’t used until 2002 (other than SAT/ACT). As far as enrollment, your numbers are crap. US population in 1970 was 203.2 million. In 2010 it was 308.7 million. There is no way enrollment has stayed the same..

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Posted by Jerel Thomas on 04/16/2014 at 7:29 PM

.

US Department of Education, “Digest of Education Statistics” and NAEP Tests, “Long Term Trends, 17-year olds”



Then there are several reports by the Cato Institute about how education systems are lying to us about what the true costs of education are and how poorly the system is doing.



But that’s not my words or opinion. So believe what you want. Educate yourselves, it’s enlightening.



Education systems are not created equal, get over it, this isn’t a utopia. Good teachers are drawn to good schools and good neighborhoods, that have supportive parents and intact families. You can’t force a good teacher to goto a crappy school and expect them to succeed.



The family unit is the problem in education, fix it and most everything else will fall in place..

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Posted by luvmy45 on 04/16/2014 at 8:25 PM .

Is this what you mean by inequitable funding?



“86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers”

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/86m-full-time-private-sector-workers-sustain-148m-benefit-takers



You cannot sustain a system with more takers than givers…period… it doesn’t work, it’s call socialism, and every time socialism has been tried in history it has failed, so why are you expecting it to succeed this time?.

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Boise charter school plans to expand | Education | Idahostatesman.com

  • ONLINE TECH HIGH SCHOOL TO OPEN

    A new online charter high school aimed at technical and specialty trade education is coming to Idaho in fall 2014 in a partnership between K12 Inc. and the Idaho College and Career Readiness Academy.

    The academy is designed to teach technical skills and direct students to job opportunities or to post-secondary technical training.

    “Our focus is to remove barriers to technical education so that more students stay in school to pursue a hopeful future,” said Kerry Wysocki, academy board president and general manager of Northwest Machining Inc. in Meridian.

    K12 provides online education materials for pre-kindergarten through high school.

    The school, which will be headquartered in Meridian, has set an enrollment goal of 200 students for the first year. But that number could change depending on demand.

K12 Inc. Partners with Idaho Manufacturing & Tech Leaders to Launch College and Career Readiness Academy – MarketWatch

BOISE, Idaho, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –The Board of Directors for Idaho College and Career Readiness Academy (IDCCRA) in partnership with K12 Inc., LRN -1.34% , the nation’s leading provider of online education programs for students in kindergarten through high school, today announced the creation of a new, online technical high school for students in Idaho.

The state’s first of-its-kind, online public charter school will provide opportunities for students to obtain technical and specialty trade skills by offering four years of occupational training in an industry strand of their choice. Programs will emulate the Idaho State Career Clusters, which aim to improve student achievement by connecting school and the workplace, thus making school relevant for students. The initial programs will include: Business Administration, Manufacturing, Web Development, and Healthcare. The intent of the school is to develop a sequence of instruction that teaches students occupational skills while ultimately providing a pathway to job opportunities or to a technical college program upon graduation.

IDCCRA was authorized by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission. The school is governed by an independent, nonprofit board of directors consisting of industry professionals in Idaho who have a passion for seeing technical education expanded through innovative solutions. With backgrounds in machining, electrical engineering, technical education, and small business administration, IDCCRA board members have decades of industry expertise to provide necessary governance and oversight.

“This represents a truly exciting educational opportunity for students and families in Idaho,” said Kerry Wysocki, IDCCRA Board President and General Manager of Northwest Machining Inc., a precision machine shop in Meridian, Idaho. “With the growing demand for skilled laborers, our new school is specifically designed to provide a career and technical education program for students who might not have access to such a program. Our focus is to remove barriers to technical education so that more students stay in school to pursue a hopeful future.”

“K12 is focused on developing innovative new school programs to meet the needs of all students,” said Monti Pittman, IDCCRA head of school. “Digital learning expands reach and opportunities for students. This new model will help equip students with vital technical skills that will prepare them to succeed in the manufacturing workplace. We are very proud to partner with such a dynamic team of professionals to better serve young men and women in Idaho.”

In addition to the industry-focused curriculum that will provide the foundational skills for specific industry certification, IDCCRA will offer students state-of-the-art academic coursework and content using K12’s nationally-acclaimed, award-winning curriculum and learning programs. K12’s personalized academic programs are designed to work for all types of students, from advanced learners to students with special needs. Certified teachers will provide instruction, guidance and support, and will interact regularly with students using innovative technology and web-based classrooms.

IDCCRA will also seek out partnerships with local businesses, post-secondary schools, and other community organizations to provide extended learning opportunities and resources for students.

About K12 Inc. K12 Inc. LRN -1.34% is leading the transformation to individualized learning as the nation’s foremost provider of technology-powered proprietary online solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. K12 has worked with over 2,000 school districts and charter schools and has delivered more than four million courses over the past decade. K12 provides curricula, academic services, and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, online and blended school programs, and directly to families. More information can be found at K12.com.

© 2013 K12 Inc. K12 is a registered trademark, and the K12 logo is a trademark of K12 Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE K12 Inc.

Copyright (C) 2013 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Setting record straight about Idaho Virtual Academy, K12

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Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013 12:00 am

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The Press-Tribune published an op-ed by Travis Manning recently criticizing the school I lead, the Idaho Virtual Academy, and its curriculum and education services provider, K12 Inc.

The author makes many inaccurate claims about our instructional practices and mischaracterizes the culture of our school.

I am a life-long educator. I’ve been with IDVA for 11 years. I’m privileged to lead a team of teachers and educators who are committed to serving thousands of students across the state. Parents trust our school and believe in the K12 academic program.

Our teachers are state-certified and highly qualified. They live and work in Idaho. IDVA teachers have always been responsible for providing instruction, reviewing student work and assigning grades. Our school does not use outside vendors to review or grade student work.

Our teachers do an incredible job serving families. I’m proud that our teachers have close personal relationships with parents in our school, something that all educators aspire to achieve. Our school respects parent choice, and we welcome parents who want to partner with us and be actively involved in their children’s education.

IDVA is a public school. We are held to the same accountability standards as all other Idaho public schools. In fact, as a charter school we have additional requirements and oversight. Most importantly, we are held accountable by the parents who choose our school.

For over a decade, IDVA has provided individualized learning programs for all types of students, including kids with special needs, high achievers and many others. Our school’s culture has always been to put students first.

* Kelly Edginton, Idaho Virtual Academy Head of School

The Idaho Virtual Charter Academy outsourced the scoring of student essays to India, according to local reports. The company involved, K12, has been criticized for its business practices and its poor academic results; its bottom line is cost-cutting, not academic quality. Its virtual schools typically have high student turnover, low test scores, and low graduation rates, yet the corporation is profitable because it continues to lure students with a promise of a “customized,” “individualized,” “personalized” education.


One of the most important responsibilities of teachers is to give tests and grade them, to know what their students know and don’t know, and to help students who need extra help. Having the essays scored in India removes that function from teachers and places it in the hands of readers who may not understand American idioms or cultural references.


Investor Whitney Tilson recently announced that he would sell the stock of K12 short. This education company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and makes handsome profits, despite its poor academic results.


One of the big investors in K12 is the billionaire Albertson family of Idaho, whose foundation has been placing advertising across the state disparaging public education and touting the virtues of charter schools and virtual schools.


Terry Ryan of the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute recently moved to Idaho to lead the battle for charters. Ryan supports both charters and vouchers.


According to a story in an Idaho paper:


Ryan also is excited about his seat on the nine-member Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho. The group of national experts will focus on the unique issues and challenges of rural schools in Idaho. ROCI is sponsored by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.


“Albertson’s’ vision is very compelling,” Ryan said. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help make Idaho a leader and a model in education.”


Ryan is a nice, amiable guy whom I knew when I was on the board of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Ohio, where Terry Ryan worked on behalf of charters for many years, has some of the worst charters in the nation. The biggest charter chain in Ohio is White Hat, which has made its owner very rich. The charter founder, a non-educator, is a major contributor to Republican candidates. His schools are never held accountable for poor performance. They fail and fail, and get more money. Currently, ten of the boards of his White Hat charters are suing the company to try to get information about how the money is spent. The owner takes 96% of public dollars and says how he spends it is proprietary information and not available for public scrutiny, not even to the board members of his charters.


Idaho, beware of the privatization movement. In a matter of years, you will have no public schools, just charter schools, vouchers, and virtual charters.


 
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://dianeravitch.net/2013/10/08/idaho-virtual-charter-outsourced-essay-scoring-to-india/

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K12’s outsourcing of essays to India linked to current practices

by David Safier

Travis Manning, an Idaho teacher and director of The Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho has penned a column linking the for-profit online education corporation K12 Inc.’s past practices of outsourcing student essays to India with its ongoing corporate policy of putting profits ahead of students.

Travis begins by writing about my 2008 investigation into K12’s essay outsourcing (He contacted me, and we discussed the topic). He noticed that the corporation admitted sending essays from Arizona Virtual Academy but nowhere else. He got them to admit Idaho Virtual Academy outsourced essays as well.

The revelation that K12 Inc., the world’s largest online charter school provider, sent thousands of student essays overseas was revealed back in 2008 by Arizona blogger David Safier. But it wasn’t until September 2013 that K12 verified at least one Idaho charter school was also involved. After being pressed, K12 admitted that Idaho Virtual Academy (IDVA), Idaho’s largest virtual school and operated by K12 Inc., had outsourced student essays.

In fact, K12 schools in 8 other states participated in the outsourcing. We’ll see whether K12 spokesperson Jeff Kwitowski will admit to the other cases as well.

Travis goes on to note current concerns at IDVA.

IDVA’s 2013 Annual Update also reveals that, “There appears to be potential for conflicts of interest to result from IDVA’s administration and management staff being K12 employees.” And, in a 2012 study by Western Michigan University, 27% of K12’s schools in 2010-11 reported making adequately yearly progress, compared to 52% for brick-and-mortar schools. Perhaps K12, which donated 44K to Superintendent Tom Luna’s 2010 campaign, shouldn’t also get transportation costs for “bring(ing) the school to the children.”

The column is very timely, coming as it does on the heels of hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson’s epic takedown of K12 Inc., explaining why he’s “shorting” the corporation. Tilson is convinced the corporation’s educational model is fatally flawed and it’s poised to collapse like a house of cards. We’ll see if Tilson is right. The way the corporation is run now, most of its students would be far better off if it failed.

David Safier on October 01, 2013 in Charter Schools, David Safier, Education, K12/AZVA | PermalinkShareThis

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