Tennessee Virtual Academy

“TN virtual school draws criticism.” The Tennessean (TN), 9/10/2012

As state officials lambaste the Tennessee Virtual Academy for low achievement scores and discuss new oversight methods, the school’s management company is facing an investigation in Florida, overcoming a list of citations issued in Georgia and recovering from reports of poor results in many of its schools.

The virtual academy allows students in grades K-8 to take all their classes online, monitored by a certified teacher. It is managed by K12 Inc., a publicly traded for-profit company that has contracts for differing levels of involvement with at least 2,000 other schools across the nation.

In its first year, the Tennessee academy ranked among the bottom 4 percent of districts in the state on a measure that shows student progress from year to year.

State Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville, called the school “a risky experiment that blew up in our face.”...

However, Tennessee is not the only state where the management company has been criticized.

A research paper published in July by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder recommended national education officials slow down the approval of virtual schools while examining effectiveness and cost. The study showed achievement scores of K12 students were not on par with those of traditional schools.

A class-action lawsuit against K12 is pending in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia claiming the company made inflated claims about its student achievement in an effort to inflate stock prices...


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