Jeff Kwitowski's picture

K12 sets up new campus on “Peaceful Side of the Smokies”

“When they started talking about their mission, and what their goals were, and what they wanted to do, and what they planned to do, and what they were all about — just their core values — I felt like we’re a great fit…Your way of thinking is our way of thinking. That idea that you’re here to serve and to make lives better, that’s the way we all feel.”

Those were the words of the mayor of Blount County, Tennessee, as reported by The Daily Times, when he welcomed K12 Inc. to eastern Tennessee at a jam-packed press conference on Thursday, March 13.  Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell and Mayor of Alcoa, TN, Don Mull, along with a dozens of other local, county, and state public officials and business leaders, announced the opening of K12’s new Family Support Campus which will be located steps away from the McGhee Tyson Airport (Knoxville, TN airport) – on the “peaceful side of the Smokies,” as the locals proudly say.

Through this new Family Support Campus, K12 will invest over $2.4 million dollars in Tennessee – the company’s largest capital investment outside of its headquarters in Virginia – and will create 300 new jobs.  This is in addition to the 140 teachers and educators K12 currently employs throughout the state.

K12’s President and COO, Tim Murray, along with a group of Tennessee-based K12 teachers, attended the event and expressed their gratitude for all the support.   Murray spoke about K12’s culture and mission, emphasizing that K12 and this Tennessee community shared the same “values and culture” making it a perfect fit for K12’s new Family Support Campus. 

Ashley Collier's picture

K12 School Leaders Meet and Prepare for Next School Year

K12 is a company of educators.  The schools served by K12 are led by a talented group of school leaders and thousands of certified, professional teachers.  They are committed to improving outcomes for at all schools and meeting the educational needs of every individual child.

Recently, more than 100 of K12’s school leaders and educators from across the country gathered together to share ideas, best practices, and plan new academic initiatives for the upcoming 2014-15 school year. 

Check out this report from K12-TV recapping the Summit.

 

Mary Gifford's picture

Responding to NEPC’s Virtual Schools Report – Part 2

By:  Mary Gifford and Jeff Kwitowski

In Part 1, we examined the NEPC’s data compared to data from K12-managed online public schools. Now, let’s look at NEPC’s recommendations.

It is clear that the NEPC remains unfamiliar with many of the reporting requirements, regulatory processes and operations of full-time online public schools.  Several of their recommendations are already addressed in state regulation or statute. In most cases, these recommendations are covered by charter school authorizing practices, annual external independent audits and reporting requirements to state departments of education.

Mary Gifford's picture

Responding to NEPC’s Virtual Schools Report – Part 1

By: Mary Gifford & Jeff Kwitowski

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), an organization largely funded by the nation’s most powerful teachers’ unions, recently released its annual "Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014" paper. NEPC is well-known for its ideological opposition to charter schools and parent choice in education.

In this report, NEPC offers 16 recommendations. Five of the recommendations already exist within the regulatory/legal/authorizing guidelines in most states and two are not supported by data or research. Seven of the recommendations hold promise for improving the success of online schools and the individual success of the hundreds of thousands of students enrolled in these schools (More on these recommendations in Part 2 )

However, before these recommendations can be considered, it is important to examine the accuracy of data in the NEPC report. It is reasonable to assume that an advocacy organization like the NEPC would position data to advance their ideological views.

Mary Gifford's picture

What the AFT does not want you to know about K12

The US News and World Report writes that one of the country’s largest and most powerful lobby unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – along with a political group called, In The Public Interest --launched a new website taking aim at public charter schools.  In the first of what appears to be a series of attacks on parent choice in education, the AFT-financed project specifically targets educational services providers, including K12 Inc., that provide curriculum and academic services to public charter schools.  They are apparently agitated that “for-profit” companies are servicing public schools.

However, the real issue is not that “for profits” are involved in education, (after all, private companies have been providing essential products and services to public schools for decades:  e.g. textbooks, computers, IT, construction, furniture, you name it!) it is that public charter schools disrupt the status quo by expanding options for students and empowering parents with the freedom to choose. As K12’s Jeff Kwitowski told the US News and World Report, “It is unfortunate the AFT is pushing an ‘us vs. them’ narrative, rather than focusing on working together to improve public education to help meet the educational needs of every child.  Not every child is the same.  Children need options in education.  Powerful lobbying organizations that actively oppose educational choice are at odds with parents who want the freedom to choose public school programs for their children.”

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