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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cost of Virtual Schools

A little over a year ago, Jaring Internet Magazine published a feature article entitled "Virtual-School Costs Under Siege" by John Gartner (and yes, I'm only just finding it now) and a related in-depth article by the same author with the same name "Virtual-School Costs Under Siege". Anyway, the gist of the article was that state legislators are getting a little weary over how much money school districts and publicy funded virtual schools are spending on third party vendors such as Connections Academy, K-12 Inc. (the only two actually listed in the article), APEX, Aventa Learning, etc..

This is something that I haven't really raised to date on this blog, these third party, for-profit vendors. I think the best response to this issue is to look at two reports produced by the Education Policy Research Unit of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University. These reports consider the K-12 Inc. company and parts of their operations.

DATE: April 1, 2004

TITLE: Knowledge Universe and Virtual Schools: Educational Breakthrough or Digital Raid on the Public Treasury?

AUTHOR: Gerald Bracey

INSTITUTION: Arizona State University

SOURCE: Education Policy Research Unit

DESCRIPTION: This report considers one little-known-but large and influential-technology enterprise, Knowledge Universe, and examines the operations of its school-related division, K12, Inc.

Report in (Word) (Acrobat Reader)
Press Release in (Word) (Acrobat Reader)

DATE: April 1, 2004

TITLE: The K12 Virtual Primary School History Curriculum: A Participant's-eye View

AUTHOR: Susan Ohanian

INSTITUTION: Arizona State University

SOURCE: Education Policy Research Unit

DESCRIPTION: Since its inception in 2000, K12 has evolved from a provider of curriculum materials for home schooling into a "Virtual Academy" that receives public school dollars under the charter school laws of several states. The author, a long-time public school teacher, critiques the K12 history curriculum for kindergarten through second grade.

Report in (Word) (Acrobat Reader)
Appendices in (Word) (Acrobat Reader)
Press Release in (Word) (Acrobat Reader)

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