Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Unveils Bureau of Children’s Justice

In First Action, New Bureau Sends Letters to All California Counties Reviewing Responsibilities for Foster Care System Oversight

Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today unveiled the Bureau of Children’s Justice within the California Department of Justice that will work to ensure all of California’s children are on track to meet their full potential. In the Bureau’s first action, Attorney General Harris sent a letter to officials in all 58 counties in California, outlining their legal responsibilities with regard to foster youth and urging each county to evaluate their current enforcement and oversight policies and practices.

The Bureau will enforce criminal and civil laws to hold those who prey on children accountable; work with a range of local, state, and national stakeholders to increase support for vulnerable children to prevent bad outcomes; and identify and pursue improvements to policies impacting children.

“We simply cannot let down our most vulnerable children today, then lock them up tomorrow and act surprised,” said Attorney General Harris.  “The Bureau of Children’s Justice will continue our smart on crime approach by addressing the root causes of crime, including our broken foster care system, and making certain that California’s children receive full protection under the law and equal opportunities to succeed.   One of the Bureau’s first orders of business will be to look at enforcement gaps in the foster care system and ensure that government agencies are held accountable to those entrusted in their care.”  

Attorney General Harris’ letter to counties lays out their responsibilities in protecting children in foster care and overseeing the agencies that provide direct services to these children. In the coming months, the Bureau will focus on identifying accountability and enforcement gaps in the foster system to ensure children have the support they need.

“We are thrilled that Attorney General Harris is making children her top priority with this new Bureau,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now. “Given the Attorney General’s past leadership and success with reducing chronic absence and suspensions in California, I’m confident the new Bureau will be very positive for children.”

“I’m happy to join Attorney General Harris in shining a spotlight on the importance of safeguarding our children,” said Diana S. Dooley, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “We at the California Health and Human Services Agency place a high interest and priority on addressing childhood trauma and we are committed with our county and community partners to meet the needs of all of our kids.”

The Bureau will draw on the civil and criminal law enforcement capacity of the California Department of Justice and build on CADOJ’s existing work on key issues affecting children. Core priorities for the newly formed bureau include

  • California’s foster care, adoption, and juvenile justice systems
  • Discrimination and inequities in education
  • California’s elementary school truancy crisis
  • Human trafficking of vulnerable youth
  • Childhood trauma and exposure to violence

Attorney General Harris also announced that the California Department of Justice was one of just three state agencies accepted by the U.S. Department of Justice to be part of its national Defending Childhood Initiative. Through this initiative, California will work to improve outcomes for children exposed to trauma by ensuring that at-risk children are screened for exposure to violence at school, when they visit a pediatrician, or when they become involved with child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

“I commend Attorney General Harris for taking this important step to protect the youngest and most vulnerable Californians,” said Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO, The California Endowment.  “The Bureau of Children’s Justice will watch over our state’s legal system and guarantee greater protection for our children, safeguarding their physical, social and emotional health and helping to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to grow up healthy and safe.”

The Bureau will expand CADOJ’s efforts to combat the crisis of elementary school truancy, piloting programs with school districts to improve attendance and launching a new partnership with University of California, Santa Barbara to ensure these pilots can be replicated across the state.

The Bureau draws on Attorney General Harris’ expertise as a career prosecutor focusing on sexual and physical crimes against children and her commitment to defending every child in California. Attorney General Harris served two terms as District Attorney of San Francisco, where she created a child sexual assault unit. She also led the San Francisco City Attorney’s Division on Children and Families and specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

The Bureau will be staffed by attorneys and experts on legal issues impacting children, including civil rights, education, consumer protection, nonprofit charities, child welfare, privacy and identity theft, fraud, and human trafficking.

To view the letter to counties, click here: http://bit.ly/1vHdkg7

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K12 Inc. Financial Guidance for Fiscal 2016 – Conference Call Details


By GlobeNewswire,  October 06, 2015, 06:09:00 PM EDT



Vote up

A
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HERNDON, Va., Oct. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN) announced today it plans to announce full year and first quarter fiscal 2016 financial guidance on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, followed by a conference call at 8:30 a.m. eastern time (ET).

A live webcast of the call will be available at http://public.viavid.com/index.php?id=116570. To participate in the live call, investors and analysts should dial (877) 407-4019 (domestic) or (201) 689-8337 (international) at 8:15 a.m. (ET). No passcode is required.

A replay of the call will be available starting on October 14, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. ET through November 14, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. ET, at (877) 660-6853 (domestic) or (201) 612-7415 (international) using conference ID 13622167. A webcast replay of the call will be available at http://public.viavid.com/index.php?id=116570 for 30 days.

About K12 Inc.

K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN) is driving innovation and advancing the quality of education by delivering state-of-the-art, digital learning platforms and technology to students and school districts across the globe. K12’s award winning curriculum serves over 2,000 schools and school districts and has delivered more than four million courses over the past decade. K12 is a company of educators with the nation’s largest network of K-12 online school teachers, providing instruction, academic services, and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families. The K12 program is offered through K12 partner public schools in approximately two-thirds of the states and the District of Columbia, and through private schools serving students in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. More information can be found at K12.com.

CONTACT: K12 Inc.
         Investor Contact:
         Mike Kraft, 571-353-7778
         VP Finance & Corporate Treasurer
         mkraft@k12.com
         or
         Press Contact:
         Frank Giancamilli, 703-483-1529
         Senior Manager Corporate Communicationsfgiancamilli@k12.com


Source: K12 Inc.

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Colorado Hybrid School Takes Students to New Heights with FuelEd Curriculum, Combining In-Class and At-Home, Online Instruction



HERNDON, Va., Sept. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — At Poudre School District Global Academy (PGA), an innovative hybrid school in Fort Collins, Colorado, students attend blended classes on campus and take online courses from home, and what they are achieving is extraordinary. Scores for grades 2-8 in math and reading on year-to-year Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) assessments show 140 to 240 percent growth, with the highest scores in grades 6-8—when students typically see a slight decline.  

In this K-12 school serving almost 200 students, the successes don't end there. The number of high school students being held back a grade dropped in the 2014-15 school year by nearly two-thirds—from 19 down to 7. And, the high school completion rate for secondary classes as well as college-credit bearing courses soared as well through PGA's concurrent enrollment program with local colleges.

PGA partners with Fuel Education™ (FuelEd™), which provides personalized learning solutions designed to enable schools and districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Using FuelEd online curriculum and content, PGA students work at their own pace at home three days per week, and attend teacher-led classes on campus the other two days each week.

The FuelEd curriculum is tailored to each student's unique needs, and allows for integration of teacher-created content. "Our teachers are rock stars," said Heather Hiebsch, PGA principal. "They look at the data to see what the students are mastering and where they have gaps. It's not 'What do I plan to teach today?' but rather 'What do these individual students need to learn today?'"

For the core courses, PGA employs its own local teachers, who oversee instruction for students whether learning at home or at school. For the elective courses offered through FuelEd, PGA uses FuelEd's certified instructors.

"FuelEd really listens to us," said Hiebsch. "I can tell them that I want to try something or that I think something is coming next, and I have their ear. They are flexible and responsive to what we want and need."

In addition to the high quality online curriculum and dedicated educators, Hiebsch attributes PGA's success to the hybrid learning model, parental involvement, and "the community we've built," she said.

Since opening in 2009 as a credit recovery and dropout prevention school, PGA has transformed into a small, personalized school serving a mix of former homeschoolers and students coming from traditional schools. Their learning needs are as diverse as in any traditional school—from those with learning disabilities to those seeking Advanced Placement (AP®) courses.

PGA students consider the hybrid model "the best of both worlds," said Hiebsch. "They're in charge, going it on their own, but they also have social connection and one-on-one help from teachers." In the past, students would attend PGA for a year while working on something else that was happening in their lives, she said. "Now we are attracting a broad range of students and have more kids returning every year. We even have a wait list at all grade levels, which says it all."

Gregg Levin, FuelEd general manager, said, "It is an honor to partner with the outstanding educators at Poudre School District Global Academy in delivering content and instruction for its winning hybrid learning model. PGA's success truly demonstrates how dedication and innovation can change student outcomes."

Since the school opened, more than 500 PGA students have used Fuel Education curriculum. In addition, each school year about 500 students at other Poudre School District schools take supplemental online courses, such as AP courses, world languages and electives, provided by FuelEd.

About Fuel EducationFuel Education partners with school districts to fuel personalized learning and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom. The company provides innovative solutions for preK-12th grade that empower districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Its open, easy-to-use Personalized Learning Platform, PEAK, enables teachers to customize courses using their own content, FuelEd courses and titles, third-party content, and open educational resources. Fuel Education offers the industry's largest catalog of digital curriculum, certified instruction, professional development, and educational services. FuelEd has helped 2,000 school districts to improve student outcomes and better serve diverse student populations. To learn more, visit getfueled.com and Twitter.

©2015 Fuel Education LLC. All rights reserved. Fuel Education and FuelEd are trademarks of Fuel Education LLC or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140821/138483

SOURCE Fuel Education

RELATED LINKS
http://www.getfueled.com

Colorado hybrid school taps into personalized learning

September 14th, 2015

Achievement increasing by up to 240 percent in math and reading

At Poudre School District Global Academy (PGA), a hybrid school in Fort Collins, Colo., students attend blended classes on campus and take online courses from home, and district educators say a personalized learning solution has had a positive impact in a number of academic areas.

Scores for grades 2-8 in math and reading on year-to-year Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments show 140 to 240 percent growth, with the highest scores in grades 6-8—when students typically see a slight decline.

In this K-12 school serving almost 200 students, the successes don’t end there. The number of high school students being held back a grade dropped in the 2014-15 school year by nearly two-thirds—from 19 down to 7. And, the high school completion rate for secondary classes as well as college-credit bearing courses increased as well through PGA’s concurrent enrollment program with local colleges.

PGA partners with Fuel Education (FuelEd), which provides personalized learning solutions designed to enable schools and districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Using FuelEd online curriculum and content, PGA students work at their own pace at home three days per week, and attend teacher-led classes on campus the other two days each week.

The FuelEd curriculum is tailored to each student’s unique needs, and allows for integration of teacher-created content. “Our teachers are rock stars,” said Heather Hiebsch, PGA principal. “They look at the data to see what the students are mastering and where they have gaps. It’s not ‘What do I plan to teach today?’ but rather ‘What do these individual students need to learn today?’”

For the core courses, PGA employs its own local teachers, who oversee instruction for students whether learning at home or at school. For the elective courses offered through FuelEd, PGA uses FuelEd’s certified instructors.

“FuelEd really listens to us,” said Hiebsch. “I can tell them that I want to try something or that I think something is coming next, and I have their ear. They are flexible and responsive to what we want and need.”

In addition to the high quality online curriculum and dedicated educators, Hiebsch attributes PGA’s success to the hybrid learning model, parental involvement, and “the community we’ve built,” she said.

Since opening in 2009 as a credit recovery and dropout prevention school, PGA has transformed into a small, personalized school serving a mix of former homeschoolers and students coming from traditional schools. Their learning needs are as diverse as in any traditional school—from those with learning disabilities to those seeking Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Since the school opened, more than 500 PGA students have used Fuel Education curriculum. In addition, each school year about 500 students at other Poudre School District schools take supplemental online courses, such as AP courses, world languages and electives, provided by FuelEd.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

K12, Inc. Continues Its Massive Transition

By Brian Stoffel | More Articles

April 28, 2015 | Comments (2)

K12 traditionally caters to students and families who work better in smaller, at-home, individualized settings. Photo: K12.

For-profit educator K12 (NYSE: LRN ) released its quarterly report today, handily beating expectations for both revenue and earnings. Revenue came in at $244 million – about $6 million ahead of what was forecast – and earnings came in at $0.45 per share, far ahead of the expected $0.37 per share. Yet the stock itself is up less than 5% as of mid-day.

In order to understand why the reaction was so muted, it's important to grasp where K12 has been, where it's going, and the massive transformation it is undertaking to make its business model more sustainable.

A tale of two approaches

Traditionally, K12's bread and butter was in what are now called “Managed Schools.” With such schools, K12 would set up a charter school subsidiary in a local community. The company would handle essentially all of the schooling – teaching, curriculum, assessment, etc. – for students whose families chose to use the company's online offerings instead of attending the neighborhood school.

The model itself started running into serious problems back in 2011. Parents, educational officials, and some short-sellers claimed that the company was recruiting students for the program based solely on meeting booming enrollment expectations. This led many to accuse the company of accepting students who were doomed to fail in the at-home environment simply to make an extra buck.

As education officials began to investigate these claims, the company began exploring other ways to provide e-learning solutions to schools. That gave birth to what are now referred to as “Non-Managed Schools.” In these schools, K12 principally provides the content and online platform for classroom teachers to use in augmenting their instruction.

Diverging results

As you might expect, growth in enrollment and revenue from managed schools has screeched to a halt, while non-managed programs have been growing by leaps and bounds. Altogether this is a very positive development: focusing on non-managed programs allows K12 to adopt an approach that is both sustainable and will keep the company out of the public's cross-hairs.

The problem: managed programs still bring in much more revenue than non-managed ones.

Overall, for the most recent quarter, managed schools saw enrollment shrink 4.6% year-on-year, while revenue inched up 3.5%. Non-managed schools, on the other hand, experienced a 37.8% bump in revenue on an enrollment surge of 38.1%.

Perhaps more important are the trends for average revenue per student. Managed schools brought in $1,849 per student last quarter, while non-managed schools brought in significantly less: $462 per student. The non-managed figure has also been trending downward, if ever so slightly.

This, combined with revenue estimates for next quarter that came in near the low end of expectations, explains why Wall Street remains cautious with K12, taking a wait-and-see approach to the company's transformation.

Brian Stoffel owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and K12. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Company Shares of K12 Inc Drops by -1.48%

Company Shares of K12 Inc Drops by -1.48%

Posted by Erica Dunham on March 8, 2015 // Leave Your Comment

K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN) has dropped 1.48% during the past week, however, the bigger picture is still very bullish; the shares have posted positive gains of 0.6% in the last 4 weeks. The shares have outperformed the S&P 500 by 0.1% in the past week but underperformed the index by 0.16% in the last 4 weeks.

In the latest trading session, K12 Inc (LRN) climbed higher by 0.01 points or 0.06%. The shares opened the session at 16.5 and supported by strong buying, continued to tread higher throughout the day. The price hit an intraday high of 16.965 before the last trade at 16.68. During this strong upmove, the volume was recorded to be 182,203 shares. The shares had ended the previous session at 16.67. The 52-week high and the 52-week low are in close contact with each other, at 26.2 and 10.07 respectively. Technically, the 60-day simple moving average of 13.57 should act as a strong support level. The trading currency is in USD.

K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN) has a short ratio of 2.31. Higher the ratio, the more pressurized the stock will be, lower the ratio, lesser the duress on the stock. The short interest has seen a change of 37.38% in the past month. The 3-month change in short interest was measured at -35.94%. The ratio of monthly shorts to total outstanding shares stands at 0.021. The average daily volume for the last 20 days is 214,223 shares. The 20-day volume is 0.56% of the total shares outstanding. A low short ratio indicates marginal bearishness while a high short ratio represents excessive pessimism.

Virtual charter schools get go-ahead from NC education board | The Progressive Pulse

Virtual charter schools get go-ahead from NC education board

Thursday, February 5, 2015 InNews

http://thetruthaboutk12.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/09/As expected, the State Board of Education gave its blessing Thursday to two virtual charter schools applying for a new pilot program set up by the state legislature.

The new public schools will allow students to take their entire course loads remotely, and stand to send millions in public education dollars to two companies that will manage the daily operations of the virtual schools.

N.C. Policy Watch has been covering the push by K12, Inc., the company behind the N.C. Virtual Academy, since 2011 to open a virtual charter school in North Carolina. The company has been criticized in other states for its aggressive lobbying of public officials to open schools, as well as low academic results from many of the public schools it manages.

On Thursday, the state board also decided to drop a requirement that would have required schools to provide or pay for learning coaches for students whose parents can’t serve in that role.

Here’s more from my article earlier today:

Get ready to add “attend third-grade” to the growing list of things you can do over the Internet in North Carolina, after ordering pizzas and watching cat videos.

The State Board of Education, which oversees public education in the state, is expected to approve two charter schools today that will teach children from their home computers in schools run by Wall Street-traded companies.

Daily monitoring would be in the hands of “learning coaches,” a role that’s been filled by parents, guardians and athletic coaches in the more than 30 other states that offer publicly-funded virtual schooling options.

Today’s anticipated vote of approval (click here to listen to an audio stream of today’s meeting) will be a significant change of the state board, which fought an attempt in the courts from the N.C. Virtual Academy to open up a virtual school three years ago.

If approved, the N.C. Virtual Academy (to be run by K12, Inc., NYSE:LRN) and N.C. Connections Academy (to be run by Connections Academy, owned by education giant Pearson, NYSE:PSO) will be able to enroll up to 1,500 students each from across the state, and send millions in public education dollars to schools run by private education companies.

You can read the entire piece here.

Fuel Education Releases Guide to Scaling Personalized Learning

Multimedia Gallery

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnc/20140821/138483

Feb 26, 2015 08:00 ET



Fuel Education Releases Guide to Scaling Personalized Learning

White Paper Developed with Getting Smart Examines How Schools and Districts are Scaling Online and Blended Learning Programs

WASHINGTON and VIRGINIA, Feb. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Personalized learning solutions provider, Fuel Education™, in association with education advocacy firm, Getting Smart®, today released a white paper exploring how schools and districts are not only implementing online and blended learning programs to address students' individual needs, but also successfully scaling the personalized learning experience delivered through those programs.

In February 2014,Getting Smart and Fuel Education (FuelEd™) released Fueling a Personalized Learning Revolution in Secondary Education, which highlighted how personalized and blended learning is improving access to high quality education opportunities for secondary students.

In this follow-up paper, How to Successfully Scale Personalized Learning: Six Key Lessons from Effective Programs, the focus shifts from individual students and courses to explore the question of scale. Getting Smart interviewed educators from a wide range of schools and districts and captured key lessons experienced by those educators in extending learning opportunities for all of their students.

The new paper features: a framework for scaling personalized learning; the six key lessons from educators who have successfully scaled their personalized learning programs; benefits being realized today by schools and districts who are scaling their programs; and recommendations for school leaders and educators who wish to scale.

Dr. Carri Schneider, Getting Smart's Director of Policy and Research one of the authors of the paper, said, “Many schools and districts are now recognizing the benefits of blended and online learning. But this is still new to many schools. Only a small percentage of these districts have started to scale their offerings. We wanted to learn from those programs. This paper reflects key lessons learned from programs that have successfully scaled their blended and online learning opportunities.”

The six key lessons identified by educators that are described in the paper are:

  1. Simplifying the teacher and student experience
  2. Customizing courses and content
  3. Partnering to extend access and boost outcomes
  4. Investing in your leaders and teachers
  5. Growing with a “stairstep” approach
  6. Rewarding and recognizing success

Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, said, “Partnerships are important in helping districts scale personalized learning. Powerful partnerships, like those featured in this paper, allow educators to focus on what they do best which is providing excellent instruction. The benefits of scaled blended and online learning include vast array of course offerings, a simplified tech experience, and customize content. Partnerships help create personalized learning at scale.”

To download the full paper, visit Fuel Education's website. Or to attend a webinar hosted by Fuel Education and Getting Smart on scaling personalized learning, register here.

Getting Smart

As a mission-driven organization Getting Smart® is passionate about accelerating and amplifying innovations in teaching and learning that put students at the core. Getting Smart, an education advocacy firm, provides strategic, marketing, communications, content creation and professional learning services that turn ideas into impact. GettingSmart.com is a community of learners and contributors that cover important events, trends, products and publications across K-12, early, post-secondary education and lifelong learning opportunities.

AboutFuel Education

Fuel Education™ partners with school districts to fuel personalized learning and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom. The company provides innovative solutions for pre-K through 12th grade that empower districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Its open, easy-to-use Personalized Learning Platform, PEAK™, enables teachers to customize courses using their own content, FuelEd courses and titles, third-party content, and open educational resources. Fuel Education offers the industry's largest catalog of digital curriculum, certified instruction, professional development, and educational services. FuelEd has helped 2,000 school districts to improve student outcomes and better serve diverse student populations. To learn more, visit getfueled.com and Twitter.

©2015 Fuel Education LLC. All rights reserved. Fuel Education and FuelEd are trademarks of Fuel Education LLC or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140821/138483

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fuel-education-releases-guide-to-scaling-personalized-learning-300041931.html

SOURCE Fuel Education LLC

This is the weekly update from FairTest about the movement against high-stakes testing. FairTest has been leading the figh against the misuse and overuse of standardized testing since 1985.


 


Bob Schaeffer writes:


 


 


The “spin” on today’s first story may be a bit ahead of the curve. But the testing resistance and reform movement is making significant progress, as this week’s clips from half of the nation’s 50 states clearly demonstrate. To win even more tangible victories, we have to ratchet up the pressure on policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to significantly reduce testing overuse and end high-stakes standardized exams.


 


Boycotters Might Be Winning Battle Over Standardized Testing

http://ift.tt/1F7pceb


 


No Child Left Behind Has Failed

http://ift.tt/1vY7d72


 


Scholarly Support for Assessment Reform

http://ift.tt/17s5jzK

500+ Researchers Sign Letter to Congress: Stop Test-Driven “Reforms”

http://ift.tt/1FSWJpW


 


Send a Message to Congress Today — Real NCLB Reform = Less Testing + No High-Stakes

http://ift.tt/1A0ZepI


 


San Diego California School Board Unanimously Supports End of Annual Federal Testing Mandate

http://ift.tt/1E42AaH

Test Scoring of Schools Being Dismantled in California

http://ift.tt/17s5jzN


 


Colorado Teachers Protest New Standardized Testing

http://ift.tt/1vY7bfA


 


Parents Should Refuse Connecticut’s Smarter Balanced Exams

http://ift.tt/17x2ka0


 


Florida Educators and Parents Demonstrate Against Toxic Testing

http://ift.tt/1vY7d73

More Florida Families Seek Test Opt Outs

http://ift.tt/17s5mvg


 


Georgia House Approves Bill to Retroactively Cancel Graduation Test Diploma Requirement

http://ift.tt/1vY7d74


 


Hawaiian Teachers Story: My Two Kids

http://ift.tt/17s5mvh


 


Illinois Superintendent Questions Value of New State Assessment

http://ift.tt/1vY7bvV


 


Indiana Testing Turmoil Likely to Boost Opt Out Movement

http://ift.tt/17s5mvl

New Computerized Assessments Freeze Up During Indiana Stress Test

http://ift.tt/1vY7bvX


 


Massive Testing Opt Out Looms Over Louisiana Schools

http://ift.tt/17s5lHT

Don’t Rely on Test Scores to Evaluate Louisiana Teachers

http://ift.tt/1vY7d79


 


Maryland Testing is Killing the Joy of Learning and Teaching

http://ift.tt/17s5mvp


 


High Stakes Testing Narrows Michigan Education

http://ift.tt/1vY7bvY


 


Mississippi House Votes to Eliminate Graduation Testing Requirement

http://ift.tt/17s5lHV


 


New Hampshire Takes Aim at Testing Overkill

http://ift.tt/1A6dkrA


 


New Jersey Parents Revolt Against New PARCC Test

http://ift.tt/1KX9hgR

New Jersey Voters Want More School Accountability With Less Testing

http://ift.tt/17s5lHY


 


More Than 300 Albuquerque Students Opt Out of New Mexico State Test . . . So Far

http://ift.tt/17s5lYd

New Mexico Teachers Challenge “Error-Ridden” Test-Based Evaluation System

http://ift.tt/1AlMdbV


 


New York Education “Reforms” Miss Mark

http://ift.tt/17s5lYf

Tally of 60,000+ New York Opt Outs in 2014 is Accurate

http://ift.tt/1Cw2xlu


 


North Carolina State Task Force Recommends Testing Overhaul

http://ift.tt/17s5lYj

North Carolina School Grades Spark Criticism

http://ift.tt/1vY7d7g


 


Growing Numbers of Ohio Families Opt Out of Common Core Tests

http://ift.tt/1L5Mhy7


 


Activists Urge Parents to Opt Out of Oregon’s New Smarter Balanced Test

http://ift.tt/1FmWndN

Oregon Testing Debate Moves From Schools to Capitol

http://ift.tt/1zUlAHP


 


Opt Out Numbers Soar in Pennsylvania

http://ift.tt/1CAVf01

The Limits of Standardized Testing in Pennsylvania Schools

http://ift.tt/17s5mLQ


 


High-Stakes Testing Decimates Classroom Teaching in Rhode Island

http://ift.tt/1vY7bw7


 


Texas Testing Is Like Using a Bathroom Scale to Measure Height

http://ift.tt/17s5meI

Texas Refuses Fed’s Demand for Test-Based Teacher Evaluation

http://ift.tt/1vY7bw9


 


Utah May Cancel Test After First Year

http://ift.tt/17s5meK


 


Tacoma, Washington Parents Take Case Against High-Stakes Testing to School Board

http://ift.tt/1vY7bMo

Washington State Teachers Rally Against “Toxic Testing”

http://ift.tt/17s5mLY


 


West Virginia School Board Supports Testing Reduction, Postponing Consequences

http://ift.tt/1vY7dnD


 


Wisconsin State Testing is a Mess

http://ift.tt/17s5meN


 


How to Tell Parents That They are “Wrong” About Testing

http://ift.tt/1DyFIlm


 


Uncle Sam is Not Good at Providing “Cover” for School “Reform”

http://ift.tt/1E83TFC


 


Bad Apples: Pearson’s Stranglehold on American Education

http://ift.tt/1zU8EBO


 


Malcolm X and the Problem of High-Stakes Testing

http://ift.tt/1Fu3XQS


 


 


Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director

FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

office- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779

mobile- (239) 699-0468

web- http://www.fairtest.org
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://ift.tt/19ykfOy

Ready or not, virtual charter schools on verge of powering up in North Carolina – Jefferson Post

Ready or not, virtual charter schools on verge of powering up in North Carolina

Last updated: February 11. 2015 7:00AM –


Get ready to add “attend third-grade” to the growing list of things you can do over the Internet in North Carolina, after ordering pizzas and watching cat videos.

The State Board of Education, which oversees public education in the state, is expected to approve two charter schools today that will teach children from their home computers in schools run by Wall Street-traded companies.

(Update: The two virtual charter schools were approved Thursday.)

Daily monitoring would be in the hands of “learning coaches,” a role that’s been filled by parents, guardians and athletic coaches in the more than 30 other states that offer publicly-funded virtual schooling options.

Today’s anticipated vote of approval (click here to listen to an audio stream of today’s meeting) will be a significant change of the state board, which fought an attempt in the courts from the N.C. Virtual Academy to open up a virtual school three years ago.

If approved, the N.C. Virtual Academy (to be run by K12, Inc., NYSE:LRN) and N.C. Connections Academy (to be run by Connections Academy, owned by education giant Pearson, NYSE:PSO) will be able to enroll up to 1,500 students each from across the state, and send millions in public education dollars to schools run by private education companies.

North Carolina has experienced a rapid increase in charter schools since state lawmakers lifted a 100-school cap in 2011 on the publicly funded schools run by private non-profit boards of directors. There are now 147 tuition-free charter schools that operated in counties across the state.

But North Carolina, unlike many states, doesn’t have any full-time virtual charter schools. The state does run the North Carolina Virtual Public School, which offers individual classes to schoolchildren around the state.

Ensuring that students are learning

North Carolina’s education board is wrestling with what, if any, additional restrictions should be placed on the virtual schools that will be run by education management companies that have seen mixed results in other states.

A committee of state board members previously recommended the schools provide and pay for “learning coaches” if parents weren’t available to monitor students, and provide computers and Internet access to students living in low-income families. Both schools say they won’t have the resources to pay for learning coaches.

At-risk students with parents who work wouldn’t be able to attend the virtual schools otherwise, Evelyn Bulluck said during Wednesday’s discussion at the state board. Bulluck is a Nash County-Rocky Mount school board member who serves in an advisory role to the state board.

“That tells me that this school is not accessible for many children which means then that we’re excluding a segment of our student population,” Bulluck said. “North Carolina would not have established a law that excludes a whole segment of children.”

But other members stressed Republican lawmakers hadn’t envisioned those types of restrictions when they created a four-year pilot program for two virtual charter schools in last year’s budget bill.

“The responsibility should fall on the parents,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican supportive of expanding education choice options in the public school system. “It’s very problematic for us to get in the business in telling them they must provide a learning coach.”

The N.C. Virtual Academy hopes to serve students from kindergarten through 10th grade, while the NC Connections Academy aims to help children in the elementary and middle-school grades. In other states, the online-based schools have proven popular with families that prefer home-schooling, or students who contend with serious health problems, behavior problems, taxing extracurricular schedules or bullying.

Other states have experienced problems or expressed concerns about K12, Inc., the for-profit vendor behind the N.C. Virtual Academy. One Colorado school run by K12, Inc. had a graduation rate as low as 10 percent in 2010, Tennessee may shut down a K12, Inc.-run school following poor academic results and the NCAA has indicated it won’t accept classes for prospective student athletes from a number of K12, Inc.-run schools.

A 2012 report from the National Education Policy Center (which has been critical of the charter schools) found that students who attended virtual schools performed worse academically then their peers in other public schools.

The virtual schools will be funded at levels close to what brick-and-mortar charter schools receive, but with fewer local funds available to the online schools. The schools could receive up to $66 million a year by 2017, if enrollment reaches a combined 6,000 students by then, according to the Associated Press.

Investors watching North Carolina decision

North Carolina’s warming to virtual schools will be welcome news to investors, who have seen online charter schools in other states scale back their involvement with K12, Inc. as school leaders take over the management functions from the company.

Today’s decision by the state board was mentioned in a Jan. 29 earnings call K12, Inc. management had with investors.

“In North Carolina, we continue to support our independent not-for-profit partner, the NC Learns Board, as they were the policymakers in the State Board of Education on their application to open a statewide online public charter school for the upcoming year,” K12, Inc. CEO Nate Davis told investors, according to a transcript of the call. “If approved the school could enroll up to 1500 students in the upcoming school year and increase this to about 3000 students by the fourth year of operation.”

There’s not much wiggle for the state board in considering the applications, after the Republican-led legislature slipped a provision into last year’s budget bill mandated the creation of four-year pilot with two schools.

At least two Republican lawmakers contacted education board members this week to remind them of that.

“The language is unambiguous that the legislature intended for there to be exactly two virtual charter schools, no more, no less,” wrote state Rep. Jason Saine, a lawmaker from Lincolnton. “Moreover, it is equally unambiguous that the legislature intended for the virtual charter schools to cover all grades, kindergarten through twelfth grade.”

N.C. House Speaker Pro-Tem. Paul “Skip” Stam, a powerful Apex Republican and key supporter of school choice issues, sent a similar letter this week.

The law passed “requires that the school ensure that each student is assigned a learning coach,” Stam wrote. “It does not require the school to provide a learning coach.”

Forest, the state’s lieutenant governor, also said educational choice options are designed to offer solutions, and that means that the virtual schools may not work for everyone but can make differences in the lives of some students.

“Not every (educational) choice is going to be a good choice for every single child,” Forest said. “That’s why you do these things.”

Questions? Comments? Reporter Sarah Ovaska can be reached at (919) 861-1463 or sarah@ncpolicywatch.com.