Colorado Virtual School to Cut Ties with K12 Inc

The last 12 months have not been kind to K12, Inc., the nation’s most widely-recognized virtual school provider. A rash of scandals in Florida and elsewhere however have put a damper on the company’s future, as demonstrated by a recent decision by the Colorado Virtual Academy’s school board to forgo using the company’s school management [...]

The last 12 months have not been kind to K12, Inc., the nation’s most widely-recognized virtual school provider. A rash of scandals in Florida and elsewhere however have put a damper on the company’s future, as demonstrated by a recent decision by the Colorado Virtual Academy’s school board to forgo using the company’s school management services beginning with in 2014-15 academic year.

Board members are looking for a new approach as COVA struggles to come to grips with a number of issues including an appallingly low graduation rate. The school graduated fewer than a quarter of its students during the 2011-12 academic year.

Although K12 will no longer run the day-to-day operations at COVA, the school might continue to use the company’s curriculum and lesson plans. COVA school board president Brian Bissell confirmed the decision earlier this week.

Colorado Virtual Academy was one of the first online schools managed by K12 Inc. On Wednesday they will seek approval for a new multidistrict online school named College Prep Online Academy. According to a May 22 letter from Colorado Department of Education officials, the school would have a projected enrollment of 2,500, making it one of Colorado’s larger online schools.

Bissell says he has concerns about K12’s new school based on his experiences working with them. For example, Bissell said there was a “trove” of data that showed a steady decline in both parent and teacher satisfaction with COVA, but says that the board did not see the surveys until September 2012.

Bissell, who is a K12 shareholder and has three children enrolled in the school, expressed concerns that the proposed school would be too much like COVA and therefore would not bring any additional benefits to the state.

Meanwhile, COVA is undertaking a number of major changes in the fall including appointing a new senior executive who reports directly to the board members and allowing board members more control over the school marketing campaign.

Colorado Virtual Academy was one of the first online schools managed by K12 Inc. On Wednesday they will seek approval for a new multidistrict online school named College Prep Online Academy. According to a May 22 letter from Colorado Department of Education officials, the school would have a projected enrollment of 2,500, making it one of Colorado’s larger online schools.

Bissell says he has concerns about K12’s new school based on his experiences working with them. For example, Bissell said there was a “trove” of data that showed a steady decline in both parent and teacher satisfaction with COVA, but says that the board did not see the surveys until September 2012.

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