Jeff Kwitowski's picture

When Journalism Crosses Into Advocacy


What the Mercury News Didn’t Want Readers To Know About California Virtual Academies

The Mercury News published several recent stories critical of K12 and the online charter schools California Virtual Academies (CAVA).  The paper claims to have established certain “findings,” however these are largely based on incomplete and inaccurate reporting. It is a classic case of advocacy journalism:  ignore key facts and information that do not support a desired narrative. 

For example, on student attendance, the Mercury News stated that CAVA schools claim funding for students who log on for one minute.  (It happens to be the exact same charge made by the California Teachers Association in its campaign to disparage the CAVA charter schools and force them to unionize).  It is not true. 

A log on alone—regardless of duration—would not be submitted by CAVA nor eligible for funding. Under California’s Independent Study law, a student’s education activities are used to determine attendance – not seat time.  Teachers at CAVA schools are required to determine the days the student was working and the education activities completed during the work period (both online and offline). The Mercury News simply ignores the latter. 

K12 Inc.'s picture

Nevada Virtual Academy Commencement Speech by K12 CEO Stuart Udell

K12 CEO Stuart Udell congratulates graduating NVVA student Morgan Adams

Thank you, Orlando.

Nevada Virtual Academy family, it’s an honor to be with you today. I want to start by extending my heartfelt Congratulations to the Class of 2016! You did it!


I also want to recognize all of today’s guests – the parents, the grandparents, brothers and sisters, other family members, and learning coaches who supported these students along the way. This is your day too. Graduates, how about a round of applause for your families!

K12 Inc.'s picture

TXVA Class of 2016 Commencement Ceremony Remarks by Jeff Kwitowski

Jeff Kwitowski, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, speaks at TXVA Graduation on Thursday, June 9th.

Thank you very much.  I am honored to be here to celebrate this great day with all of you.  Congratulations to the graduates of TEXAS VIRTUAL ACADEMY.  You achieved your high school degree.  It is a great accomplishment and a very important step in your life journey.

Also, a special thanks to the teachers and staff at TEXAS VIRTUAL ACADEMY for your hard work and your dedication to serving the needs of your students.  You’ve made tremendous investments into the lives of these young adults and it has paid off.

Finally, congratulations to the parents, family members and relatives of the Class of 2016.  Your love, support, and sacrifice have made a difference.  I’m a parent, so I know the pride you Moms and Dads must be feeling right now.  It is well deserved. 

K12 Inc.'s picture

Catching Up with IDVA Valedictorian and White House Science Fair Honoree Olivia Thomas

IDVA Valedictorian Olivia Thomas is all smiles as she delivers her graduation speech

Between graduating as Valedictorian and presenting her self-designed videogame in the White House Red Room, Idaho Virtual Academy’s (IDVA’s) Olivia Thomas has had quite a momentous year!

Olivia started on her road to the top of her IDVA class in the 1st grade, and has loved her schooling every day since. After just a few weeks into 1st grade at her former brick and mortar school, Olivia was bored and needed a more involved and stimulating education. “I knew she had a lot of potential and I wanted her to be challenged,” Trish Thomas, Olivia’s mother, said. “The K12 curriculum was extremely rich and it just worked.”

Fast forward twelve years later and Olivia delivered her Valedictorian address in three separate locations surrounded by the peers she’s grown close with, while attending school virtually.

Mary Gifford's picture

Let’s Get Some Context and Real Reform Around Charter School Graduation Rates

There’s been much commentary following the release of the latest GradNation report, particularly among charter school leaders.

The report notes a wide disparity in graduation rates among charter schools and calls out Alternative Education Campuses (AECs) and online schools for their low graduation rates, which led to some admonishments from others within the charter sector.

Before we get too judgmental, let’s remember that the federal government’s four-year cohort graduation rate was built for a traditional school model.