4.3 K12 INC Distortions, Deceptions and Outright Lies
In this section, we will present hard evidence of the horrific harm K12 INC has inflicted on the children in its programs here in Washington State as well as evidence that K12 INC leaders know that the marketing information they are giving to students, parents and investors is false.

Why are we using Data from Washington State in this Section?
The reason we are using the state of Washington for our example is first because we have better access to data about students in the State of Washington than we have in other states. Also, there has already been a great deal written and published online about the harm inflicted by K12 INC on children in other States – including the states of Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and Ohio (just do a Google Search). As you will see, the story in Washington State is remarkably similar to the story of harm in these other states. This is because all children and all parents in all states will have about the rate of failure if they try to replace a real public school and public school teacher with the fake K12 INC program. The one difference we noted here in Washington State was that K12 INC appears to be targeting wealthy white children rather than poor minority children. The result is still the same – a huge percentage of children fail in this program regardless of their family income level.

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Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA)
The Washington Virtual Academy is an online education program being run through the Omak and Monroe School Districts. It is the second largest of about a dozen online schools being run here in Washington State. The largest is called Insight Academy and is run through the Quilayute School District. Each has a different name and is run through a different school district. But in the end, they are all the same online program and they are all actually run by a national for-profit corporation called K12 INC.

What can we learn from K12 INC problems in other States?
Lawsuits and court declarations from more than 20 former K12 teachers and other former K12 employees accuse K12 Inc of using uncertified teachers and having teacher case loads of 300 to 400 students per teacher. They also accuse K12 of lying to parents about the record of K12 in order to deceive parents into signing their children up for the K12 program. K12 spends $30 million per year (all from the tax payers) to advertise to children on the Disney channel. K12 INC also spends millions more dollars bribing our elected representatives into passing laws making it easy for K12 INC to rob public schools and increase their corporate profits.
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Huge Turnover in Students every year
K12 INC gets $6,000 to $9,000 in State tax payer dollars for every student they convince to enter their program. Nationally, over 120,000 students out of our nation’s 50 million school children sign up for the K12 program each September. Of these 120,000 children, about 70,000 children – or well over half of these children - drop out during their first year.

Ironically, because K12 Inc continues to recruit more parents and children throughout the school year, the 70,000 children who drop out are replaced by 70,000 more students so by the end of the school year in May, there are actually more students in K12 online classes than there were at the beginning of the school year – despite the fact that more than half of the initial students dropped out and they are all different students!

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Huge Declines in Test Scores on Washington State Standardized Tests
The test scores of WAVA/K12 INC students are much lower than the Washington State average. (Source OSPI Report Card, Omak SD, WAVA schools)

2011-2012 WAVA students % Passed compared to the State Average

Grade

State Ave Math

WAVA Math

Difference

State Ave

Reading

WAVA

Reading

Difference

3

65

46

-19%

69

53

16%

4

59

30

-19%

71

49

-22%

5

64

29

-35%

71

52

-19%

6

62

37

-27%

71

50

-21%

7

59

27

-32%

67

53

-14%

8

56

22

-34%

81

41

-40%


The result was similar for the 7th Grade Writing test where 40% of WAVA students passed compared to 71% of statewide students. On the 8th Grade Science test, 33% of WAVA students passed compared to 66% Statewide.

Having a REAL teacher makes a huge difference in helping students learn!

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Struggling K12 INC Students Disappear on State Testing Days
Note: Most of the information in this section comes from the 2013 OSPI annual report on online programs in Washington State:
https://www.k12.wa.us/LegisGov/2013documents/OnlineLearningAnnualReport.pdf

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These very low K12 INC test scores are despite the fact that K12 INC has a known practice of dropping struggling students from their rolls in the weeks before the standardized tests in an effort to raise their test scores- and despite the fact that huge numbers of WAVA students do not even take the tests.

05 The huge number of K12 INC students who fail to take State testing calls into question even their current meager results. Former K12 INC teachers and administrators have submitted statements in various K12 INC lawsuits that they were instructed to release poor performing students before State testing to try to artificially raise K12 INC test scores!

K12 INC students are much less likely to complete courses than normal students
K12 course completion rates are about 80% versus a state average in normal schools of 97%. The following table shows total K12 INC students per school followed by the number who completed courses:

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Student Grades in K12 INC completed courses are also much lower:
One in four of these students who completed an online K12 course received an F. This means that the actual pass rate for K12 is now 60% versus a State average of 90%. The following table shows the number of K12 INC students who completed their courses followed by the percent who receive at least a C and the percent who received at least a D.

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Below is a graph of the percentage of Grades Earned in K12 INC courses versus traditional non-online courses.

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The combination of not completing courses and getting a failing grade in courses they do complete means that K12 INC students are much less likely to graduate from high school than students who attend real public schools in real classes with real teachers.

What is the average graduation rate of K12 INC online students?
According to OSPI, the 2011-2012 Graduation rate for WAVA was only 22%. The Washington State average graduation rate is 75%. In Colorado, the average graduation rate of K12 INC online students was only 20%. In Ohio, the K12 INC graduation rate was 30%. By comparison the average graduation rate for all students in Colorado is about 72%. In Ohio, it is 78%. Below is a chart showing the two year graduate rate of several K12 online schools compared to the average high school graduation rates in the same state:

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The Washington State WAVA result is based on a small number of students. However, the Colorado and Ohio, K12 INC graduation rates are based upon thousands of students in each state. In general, the more years a student is subjected to the K12 INC online program, the less likely they are to graduate from high school as students tend to fall further behind every year they are in the K12 program.

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So the graduation rate of K12 INC students is much worse than almost any public school – despite the fact that K12 INC students in Washington state typically come from families with higher than average incomes and therefore should have a higher graduation rate.

Who are K12 INC aka WAVA students?
Note: Most of the information in this section comes from the 2013 OSPI annual report on online programs in Washington State:
https://www.k12.wa.us/LegisGov/2013documents/OnlineLearningAnnualReport.pdf

There are about 8,000 students enrolled in online education programs in Washington State. About 6,000 of these students are enrolled in K12 INC programs such as WAVA. To be clear, this is just the enrollment at the beginning of the school year. During the school year, over 3,000 K12 INC students drop out to be replaced by another 3,000 new student victims. So the total number of students harmed every year by the K12 program is about 9000 students – even though there are only 6,000 students in the program at any given time. The only good news is that the number of K12 INC students in our State fell in the latest report by about 6% - a sign that parents are starting to realize that K12 INC programs are not all they claim to be. K12 INC claims that the reason their students do so poorly is because they are “at-risk” students to begin with.

However, the facts in Washington state show that just the opposite is the case. There is a strong relationship between poverty and low school performance. Yet K12 students typically come from families which are much wealthier than the State and national average. For example, only 15% of WAVA students are from poor families (eligible for free or reduced price lunch) while 42% of all Washington State students are from poor families who are eligible for free and reduced lunch. Because student test scores are highly related to family income, WAVA students should score much higher than the State average. Instead, they score much lower than the State average. Source OSPI Report Cards. Also, only 4% of WAVA students are special education students while the State average is 14% special ed. This also should increase K12 INC scores.

K12 also serves fewer minority at risk students than normal schools:

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In Washington, lower income minorities make up only 25% of K12 INC programs compared to over 40% of normal schools. This should increase K12 INC scores because upper income students always do better on high stakes tests than lower income students. Instead we see just the opposite. Even high income can not make up for a terrible program.

If the students are not low income or minority at-risk students, then why are so many of them failing in the K12 online program?
There are several reasons. Below we will review the top four reasons so many middle class students fail in the K12 INC online program:

#1: Poorly qualified, over-worked and under-paid teachers.
#2: Overburdened Parents are also not well trained to meet the academic needs of their children.
#3: Overburdened students are not able to handle prolonged “independent study.”
#4: K12 has extremely poor Grading and Attendance policies

#1: Poorly qualified, over-worked and under-paid teachers.
K12 INC’s entire program is based on devaluing the roll of highly trained and certified teachers and replacing teachers with parent coaches. K12 INC has a court case well documented history of hiring uncertified teachers and abusing them with huge case loads. This is how K12 INC is able to maintain their huge profit margin. In a normal public school, two thirds of our taxpayer dollars go towards teacher salaries and one third goes towards administration. However, with K12 Inc schools, only one third of our tax payer dollars goes towards teachers and the other two thirds goes towards Wall Street Profits.

Normal public schools always use certified teachers and limit caseloads to 100 to 150 students per teacher per day (5 classes of 20 to 30 students each). For example, North Carolina, state statutes call for no more than 150 students per teacher in grades 7 through 12. In both Florida and Colorado, K12 inc teachers were assigned 250 to 300 students per day, two to three times the national average).

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In both States, K12Inc teachers were paid a meager $35,000 per year (far below what public school teachers are paid). More than half of these teachers quit in less than one year.

See for example K12 INC under investigation for high teacher case loads
https://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2012/09/18/k12-inc-under-more-scrutiny-for-high-teacher-caseloads/

In one documented case in Florida, a K12 manager ordered a certified teacher to sign a class roster of more than 100 students. The certified teacher refused because she only recognized seven names on the list. “I cannot sign off on students who are not my actual students,” K12 teacher Amy Capelle wrote to her supervisor. “It is not ethical to submit records to the district that are inaccurate.” Many other teachers have also come forward with similar allegations of K12 falsifying records to increase profits.

Here is what one former COVA teacher wrote about K12Inc: From what I have personally observed  there is one goal, and one goal only and that is making millions of dollars for K12. They have never cared about quality teachers, and in fact, K12 lobbied NOT to have certified teachers, so they could save money on employee salaries. They could care less about the students' education. How can anyone justify 77 cents out of every dollar going to a private for profit company, when that money is tax payer money set aside for the education of our children? COVA should be shut down immediately and K12 should be held responsible for the tax payer money that they have pocked over the years!!
https://www.kunc.org/post/overworked-and-underpaid-teacher-staffing-colorado-virtual-academy

A 2012 National Study on K12 INC also found that they spent far less than normal schools on teachers, administrators and counselors and almost nothing on facilities. Thus, the bulk of the funds they received went towards corporate profits. Here is a quote from another study: “K12 has more than three times the number of students per teacher compared with overall public school student-teacher ratios. The higher student-teacher ratio and the reduced spending on teacher salaries, as well as on salaries for all other categories of staff typically found in schools, help explain the poor performance of K12’s schools “
https://nepc.colorado.edu/files/nepc-rb-k12-miron.pdf

Former employees allege that K12-managed schools aggressively recruited children who were ill-suited for the company's model of online education. They say the schools then manipulated enrollment, attendance, and performance data to maximize tax-subsidized, per-pupil funding.
https://kunc.org/post/ahead-colorado-charter-renewal-embattled-k12-inc-facing-complaints-nationwide

Does the total number of students assigned to a teacher matter?
Those who defend the K12 INC program say it is a different model of education from a normal public school. They therefore claim that the total number of students assigned to a teacher does not matter. However, former K12 INC teachers have said that the total number of students they are assigned does matter and that it is physically impossible for them to meet the needs of their students when they are responsible for 300 kids.

What is the average training, experience and pay of WAVA/K12 INC teachers?
K12 INC does not release this information. However, reports from former K12 INC teachers confirm that the average K12 teacher has less than one year of teaching experience. Most quit during their first year – leaving students with a constant turnover of teachers. In addition, former K12 teachers report that they are paid less than $35,000 per year – half of what a normal teacher is paid. By contrast, the average teacher in the Snoqualmie Valley School District in Washington State has more than 10 years of experience and a Master’s Degree in Education.

#2: Overburdened Parents are not well trained to meet the academic needs of their children.
Defenders of the K12 program claim that they do not really need teachers because K12 relies on parents to “coach” their children through the K12 program. Some parents have strong enough social skills to act as their children’s teacher and coach. Some parents also have the time to stay home and help their children through their course work. Some parents also have adequate academic knowledge of math and learning methods to help their children. However, many parents lack one of more of these crucial skills. This leaves many children without the resources they need to succeed in school.

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#3: Overburdened students are not able to handle prolonged “independent study”
Defenders of the K12 program claim that online courses place less pressure on students because students can study at their own pace. In fact, online courses place much greater pressure on students because any time they fail to perform, their parent will be right there watching them as they fail. Students are therefore under tremendous pressure to retain their relationship with their parents. While home school may help some students, other students are too distracted by other things which are at home but not at school – things such as the TV or video games. They are also quickly bored with the online programs because they lack interaction with their former school friends.

One former K12 INC teacher explained it this way: “When you have the television and the Xbox and no parental figure at home, sometimes it’s hard to do your schoolwork.”

Both young girls and young boys struggle with online programs.
15
Online programs are particularly hard on young boys who are often cognitively as much as two years behind young girls in their brain development.
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#4: K12 Inc has extremely poor Grading and Attendance Policies.
In addition to under-paying and overloading uncertified teachers with huge student case loads, K12 Inc inflated enrollment numbers by counting attendance merely by the number of students who logged in rather than the amount of time they spent online. In a normal public school, a student has to actually be at the school for a minimum of 3 hours in order to be counted in the daily attendance.

The state audit of the Colorado Virtual Academy, which found that the state paid for students who were not attending the school, ordered the reimbursement of more than $800,000. State auditors found that the K12-run Colorado Virtual Academy counted about 120 students for state reimbursement whose enrollment could not be verified or who did not meet Colorado residency requirements. Some had never logged in. The lawsuit alleges that K12 Inc. used lax grading and attendance practices to maintain and artificially inflate enrollment.

One former COVA academic advisor claimed there was a push by administrators to keep students enrolled until the October count date, which determines school funding. Despite having information on date, time and duration of students’ engagement with the K12 Inc. software, “the only factor that was taken into account for attendance purposes was whether the student logged in.”https://kunc.org/post/institute-reject-colorado-virtual-academy-application-ripples-felt-wall-street

Below are quotes from a lawsuit court filing on June 22, 2012. The quotes are all from former K12 teachers and other K12 employees.
https://securities.stanford.edu/1048/LRN00_01/2012622_r01c_12CV00103.pdf

It was very easy to cheat on exams because there was no way of knowing who was actually taking the online test. Parents or other family members could be taking the test. Students received passing grades on courses for which they had never even logged in. Teachers were threatened with being fired if they did not pass more students.”
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Several current and former staff members said that a lax policy had allowed students to remain on the rolls even when they failed to log in for days. Officials of the Elizabeth Forward School District in western Pennsylvania complained that Agora had billed the district for students who were not attending. One of them was a girl who had missed 55 days but was still on the school’s roster, according to Margaret Boucher, assistant business manager at Elizabeth Forward.

When a student failed to log in for a class day, parents were instructed to log in for the student. When the parents failed to log in, teachers were allowed to log in for the student. When teachers failed to log in for the student, administrators were allowed to log in so that K12 would receive the maximum funding for the student having attended classes that day.
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Poor attendance and disengaged students have been such a problem that Agora dismissed 600 students last year for nonattendance, 149 of them just before state tests were administered, according to school board minutes.

It can be difficult to determine whether students are actually doing the work, or getting help from their parents or others. “Virtual schools offer much greater opportunity for students to obtain credit for work they did not do themselves,” said a report in October from the National Education Policy Center. Due to rampant reports of cheating on online tests, in 2012, the NCAA announced that they are no longer accepting credits from K12’s Aventa Learning.

4.3 Fact checking K12 distortions, deceptions and outright lies
Despite all of the above evidence, K12 still falsely claims in their recruitment meetings and in their promotional literature and on their websites that K12 students do significantly better than normal students. We will therefore examine several of their claims:

Claim #1: K12 INC claims that their students do better than normal students
Claim #2: K12 INC claims that parents approve of K12 schools.
Claim #3: K12 INC claims that their schools have received State and National awards

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Claim #1: K12 Inc claims that their students do better than normal students
I attended a K12 recruitment meeting where parents were told that K12 students did much better than normal students. When I asked what evidence this claim was based on, I was told to go to the K12 Inc website and read their 2013 Academic Report. In this report, K12 INC claims that their “norm based Scantron” tests are more reliable than “achievement based” tests approved in most States. According to the Washington State MSP test, K12 students are doing much worse than the State average. However, according to the K12 Scantron test, K12 students are doing slightly better than the Scantron national average:
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Look carefully and you will see that for three years in a row, less than 1,000 K12 “WAVA” students in our State took the Scantron test. The problem of course is that each of these years, there were over 3,000 total students in the WAVA program. So less than one in three students even took the Scantron test. This indicates that K12 cherry picked the students who would take the test in order to inflate their results.

Below are the Scantron test results for the Insight School of Washington State – another K12 school:

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Look closely and you will see that only 75 students took this test. The problem here is that there are 1750 high school students in this online program. Only 3% of these 1750 students even took the test! What happened to the other 1675 students???

What exactly is the Scantron Test?
We were curious to read about the K12 Scantron test. What we learned was that there is almost no published data on how the crucial “normed national sample scores” were determined. In fact, there are only a couple of objective scientific studies even done on this test. One was a controlled test in Illinois where the same group of students was given standardized tests and then given the Scantron test. A standardized test, while graded by turning in computer cards, is actually done with the student reading a written test guide and where the student fills in their answers on a multiple choice answer sheet. All questions range in difficulty but are the same questions which are answered by all students. The reason for using a paper test booklet and paper answer sheet and a pencil is to simulate as much as possible how a student normally works – with paper books, paper sheets and a normal pencil.

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Students taking a Real Paper and Pencil Standardized Test
With a real standardized test, it is possible for parents to see a copy of the actual test questions that were administered to their child because all test questions for all grades are publicly available. This is not possible with Scantron tests because they use a completely different test process in which every child gets a different test and no two tests are alike. Because Scantron tests are scored online, no parent or teacher can verify the results.

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Students adapt easily to paper and pencil tests

Scantron Tests are Online Tests using a computer key board
The Scantron test is radically different from a traditional standardized test. It is done on a computer screen with internet access to the Scantron testing center. Each time a student gives a right answer, the next question is harder. Each time a student gives a wrong answer, the next question is easier.

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Surprisingly, the following study found that there was very little relationship in the scores received between the normal standardized test and the Scantron test. In other words, a student can score high on one but low on the other. This means that Scantron tests are measuring different skills from standardized tests.
https://www.gocatgo.com/texts/davis.scantron.analysis.pdf

Many students who did well on a standardized test saw their scores drop on the Scantron test by as much as 20%. Strangely, when the students took the Scantron test a second time, their scores rose dramatically. While student scores generally rise with re-tests, the rises with the Scantron test were much higher.

25
Middle School Students taking the Scantron Online Test

Here is what the author of the study concluded:
The wide range of gains within classrooms supports the idea that the Scantron test results are not valid or reliable for some students...The Scantron issues raise important concerns for teachers, parents and administrators. If the goal of testing is to accurately assess student learning, then something is amiss with the testing of these students”

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This is why students did much better on re-tests. It is because they had more skill in reading the computer monitor and using the computer keyboard.

27
High School Students taking an Online Scantron Test

Should Scantron testing be called Scamtron testing?
This is also why K12 students may do better than normal students on Scantron tests. When you spend your days looking at computer screens and typing answers into computer key boards, you will naturally get more comfortable with this process. The evil geniuses at K12 were quick to realize this. And they have been hyping the Scantron tests ever since. Sadly, these test results do not correlate with standard test results. Nor do they correlate with student knowledge. Nor do they correlate with student SAT scores or student achievement in college. In fact, the college rate of attendance for K12 students is only 10%. This compares to a 55% rate of college attendance for normal high school students.

Claim #2: Parents approve of K12 schools?
K12 also frequently claims that 88% of all parents report that they are happy with the progress their children make in the K12 online program. On page 67 of their nationwide 2013 Academic Report, K12 presents charts claiming that 88% of their parents are satisfied with the K12 program as indicated by a response of 5, 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 7. They do not disclose the percentage of parents who failed to respond to the survey. However, they did list the sample size for the survey. If you look very closely, you will see that only 9,174 parents completed the survey out of 190,000 parents that year.

K12 has 120,000 students at their schools on average at any given time. But because 70,000 drop out and are replaced by 70,000 new students during the year, the total sample size of students is 190,000. So out of 190,000 students, less than 5% of their parents even returned the surveys.

This is a very low response rate. It is unknown what happened to the other 95% of the surveys. It is like having an election where one does not know what happened to 95% of the ballots. What is known is that parents and students voted with their feet. Over half of them left the program in the first year.

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This problem is also true here in Washington State. About 90% of all parents turning in K12 Satisfaction surveys indicate they are satisfied with the K12 program. However, in the Omak WAVA program only 130 parents turned in the form out of more than 2,000 students who started out the school year in the program. Considering that there were actually more than 1000 students who dropped out of the program during the year – only to be replaced by another 1000 new students, the total number of parents was more than 3000. Therefore, the response rate to this survey was less than 5% - with 95% of all parents not turning in the survey and 50% of all parents voting with their feet by pulling their kids out of the program before the end of the first year.

Claim #3: K12 schools have received State and National awards
On the home page of the K12 Washington Virtual Academy, they proudly claim that they were awarded an OSPI School of Achievement Award in 2012. Knowing how badly the WAVA school actually does, it is hard for me to imagine this online school ever getting an award for anything. So I clicked on the link to see the award. Instead of going to the award, the link led to the K12 national website home page where there was a press release describing the award and what a great achievement it was to have gotten this award in Washington State. At the bottom of this press release was a link which claimed to go to the award. So I clicked on this link. This link went to the OSPI website which described the award and the process for getting the award.
https://www.k12.wa.us/EducationAwards/WashingtonAchievement/default.aspx

There was a link on this OSPI page to see the actual award winners. Curious to see how many schools got this award, I clicked on this link. This took me to an Excel spreadsheet listing 383 who got this award in 2012. I examined this very long list very carefully. Strangely, WAVA was not on the OSPI list. Nor was any other K12 Inc school!

I then went back to the OSPI page and clicked on the PDF version of the list. WAVA was not there either. I then checked 2011 and 2010 to see if perhaps WAVA was on one of these lists. Not there either. So I called OSPI. They said that WAVA – Monroe School District did receive an award for “improvement” in 2011 by having their scores better than they were in 2010. We will therefore look at the Monroe WAVA scores compared to the State average to see how WAVA managed to game the system to get an award that they clearly do not deserve. For reference, here are the most recent test scores Statewide (the average test scores for all students in Washington State):

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Below are the average test scores for students in the Snoqualmie Valley School District:

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Students in the Snoqualmie Valley School District are far above the State average in every category. Now here are the Monroe School District WAVA program test scores. Because it is only a 9-12 program, they do not list test scores for the lower grades:

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Monroe WAVA students are far below the State average. This is very sad considering that there are 900 students in this program. Half of them are failing.

Below are the charts of the WAVA performance for the past three years in Reading and Writing:

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Notice that the scores in both reading and writing went from below average to average in 2010-11. Both he Reading and Writing test scores rose dramatically during the year that WAVA was given the award. But they both fell back down below average the very next year. This indicates that K12 administrators did something to manipulate the test scores in both reading and writing on the 2010-11 test - indicating that WAVA rigged the test in order to get this award.

Because of the potential for rigging scores in order to temporarily raise them, OSPI eliminated the “Improvement” award the year after WAVA Monroe managed to game the system. This kind of conduct is despicable. But this is what we should expect when we allow a Wall Street corporation to bring in a Hollywood marketing firm to fool local parents into sending their kids to this failing program.

How much does K12 INC receive per pupil and what percent goes towards teachers compared to our normal public schools?
The average State funding here in our State is about $6,000 per child. More than 60% of every dollar spent by our normal public schools goes to teacher salaries with the rest spent on all kinds of special programs (including bus transportation) and less than 20% is spent on administrative overhead. Public school districts have no profit margin and are controlled by a publicly elected school board whose members are not paid anything for their service to the community.

In sharp contrast, K12 INC devotes more than 60% of the tax payer income they receive on salaries and bonuses for their upper management and profit for Wall Street Hedge Fund Managers who own K12INC stock. Last year, K12 INC reported more than $900 million in revenue and their upper managers were paid millions of dollars each.

K12 INC gets about $6,000 per student in Washington State because they also get local levy dollars in their contracts with school district. The total currently is about 8000 students. Multiple this times $6,000 per student and it is likely that K12 INC takes $48 million per year out of public schools in our state.

What is happening to K12 INC programs in other States?
There are currently lawsuits in Colorado and Florida with complaints filed in many other States. Virginia just voted to close their statewide K12 INC online school after similar disastrous online student performance in that State. A Tennessee study found their online schools ranked in the bottom 11% of all schools. K12 INC taxpayer-supported, privately operated online schools have been receiving increased public scrutiny, including criticism of their performance and their funding arrangements. Also see the following link for a national study of online school performance:
https://nepc.colorado.edu/newsletter/2013/05/virtual-schools-annual-2013

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Calculating the negative impact of K12 INC on students in Washington
There are currently about 8,000 K12 INC students in Washington State – with 4,000 of these students dropping out of the K12 INC programs every year only to be replaced by another 4,000 unsuspecting students and their parents. Assuming that K12 INC gets $6,000 per student from the several school districts which are “hosting” their program, the total loss of funds to our public schools is $48 million per year. The total number of normal public school teachers that have to be fired to make up for this huge loss in revenue is about 800 teachers.

Therefore, if we offered our online students a better program using free open source educational programs, we could rehire 800 teachers – half of whom could be used to support our online education programs in Washington State and the other half of whom could be returned to our normal public schools to reduce class sizes in 400 schools in our State.

A better option... Local Control over a Local Online Educational Program
So far in this report, we have looked mainly at the negative impact of K12 INC on students in Washington State. However, by addressing the shortcomings of the K12 INC program, we could offer an online program which helps students rather than harms them. Some of the changes we should make include:

#1: Warn parents of the actual track record of the K12 INC program.

#2: Offer parents a better alternative than the K12 INC program.

#3: This better alternative would increase the use of a higher number of local public school teachers.

#4: Screen students to insure that only students who have a track record of being able to complete an independent study program are allowed to sign up for more than one online course at any given time.

#5: Provide a training program for online teachers to help them better meet the needs of online students and their parents.

#6: Provide school districts with a list of approved free open source online courses and programs in order to improve the quality of the online curriculum.

#7: Provide multiple types of online learning experiences including not only videos and exercises, but also more and better online interactive books, online student clubs, online forums organized by topic and parent support groups.

What is Next?
Now that we know the drawbacks of the K12 INC scam program, in the next section, we will look at free open source options for those students who really do need an online option for their learning. 
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