K12 Inc. was quick to respond to the report
put out by a few charter school organizations saying virtual schools should be better regulated, which I posted about yesterday
. Unfair! the press release complained. Based on old data! We've changed our ways!
Well, not so much. The publicly traded corporation is still using the for-profit model, which includes the dictum, grow or die, as well as the necessity of putting stockholders' interests over the needs of its students. It has an incredible churn rate; about a third of the students leave every year. That means it needs to use every means possible to replace those students and add more. Its recruiters use the kinds of high power, coercive sales techniques which have gotten for-profit colleges in trouble, luring in students who are unsuited to online schooling where personal motivation and parental involvement are keys to success.
Online education can be a valuable addition to classroom learning, and for a small slice of the student population it can be a substitute for brick-and-mortar schooling, but it fails when it's sold as a mass education model. K12 Inc. ends its press release by saying, "We are a company of educators dedicated to putting students first." Massive research on the corporation gives the lie to that assertion. The sooner the stockholders jump ship and the company sinks, the better.