I think there is a definite place in education for online classes.
I do not think there is a place for such a misuse and abuse of taxpayer money. K12 leaders appear to be squirming and trying to avoid giving full information to the investigators or to the districts.
This to me is part of that education "reform" steamroller hitting public schools so quickly they wonder what happened. So much power and money behind this movement.
From the Lakeland Ledger:
There is so much information in this article it is hard to just pick 4 paragraphs.
The Florida Department of Education has launched an investigation of K12, the nation's largest online educator, over allegations the company uses uncertified teachers and has asked employees to help cover up the practice.The company actually put the request to teachers to claim students they did not know in an email. The email said they were being asked to sign off on such students because "you were qualified to teach that subject and we needed to put your name there".
K12 officials asked state-certified teachers to sign class rosters that included students they hadn't taught, according to documents that are part of the investigation.
In one case, a K12 manager instructed a certified teacher to sign a class roster of more than 100 students. She only recognized seven names on that list.
"I cannot sign off on students who are not my actual students," K12 teacher Amy Capelle wrote to her supervisor.
In Seminole County, parents were given a list of names and asked to verify if these were their children's teachers. Only 36 percent verified that their child's teacher was the one listed.
Seminole County has seen even more of these questionable practices.
The article begins with an update from the author of the article about the upcoming investigation.
Note from author: Over the past week, the NCAA notified K12 Inc. (LRN) that it will no longer accept credits earned from Aventa Learning, a K12 unit whose Internet coursework has been favored by college student-athletes or those prepping for professional debuts, because of concerns over rigor and standards. Language and documents discussing this have been inserted near the bottom of the article.More:
From the moment it secured its contract to run Seminole County's Virtual Instruction Program in early 2009, K12 represented to Florida Department of Education officials that courses offered in a fast-growing virtual school were taught by certified teachers.The writer mentions that K12 has paid off for its investors, but apparently not so much for the students. He mentions that there have been many "headlines centering on concerns over the effectiveness of K12′s schools or programs."
In many cases they were not.
Nor, according to documents obtained by The Financial Investigator via the Freedom of Information Act, was this a one off administrative or judgement error.
..."The tips pointed investigators to a series of emails and phone calls in August and September 2009 between Patty Betoni, the then-Director of Virtual Instruction Programs at Florida Virtual Academies (the K12 unit running Florida's county-level virtual instruction programs; she now holds the title of Head of School) and Diane Lewis, Seminole County's Director of Instructional Technology.
Too many of the charter schools and online schools in the "reform" movement are blatant in their disregard of rules and regulations that public schools must follow. They seem to have a sense of entitlement to do as they wish.
Here is a website to read the actual documents that led to the investigation of K12.