Oct 5, 2013
Many times we’ve written about attacks upon our public school system by corporate interests wishing to capitalize off of public tax dollars spent on education. Cyber schools are some of the most misunderstood programs by parents. Journalist Mary Bottari at PRWatch has done an excellent job of ferreting through the data – ciphering information from dis-information – to give parents and students a more complete understanding of why Cyber School programs are failing. Not only failing to achieve the results promised, but companies like K-12, Inc. are amassing huge profits from tax dollars as our children’s education is set back decades.
The full article is a must read for parents, teachers and those trying to decide whether long distance learning and charter schools are the future of America’s education program.
by Mary Bottari at PRWatch
“The data is in and K12 Inc.’s brand of full-time public “cyber school” is garbage. Not surprising for an educational model kicked off with a $10 million investment from junk-bond king Michael Milken.
“Milken was the Wall Street financier who virtually invented junk-bonds — high-risk securities that were used to leverage hostile buyouts in the “go-go” 1980s. Milken came to symbolize Wall Street excess, serving as inspiration for the Michael Douglas character Gordon Gekko in the 1987 movieWall Street. Milken spent almost two years in a federal penitentiary for securities fraud.
“After he was released from prison, Milken set his sights on the $600 billion public education “market,” forming new companies including Knowledge Universe and Knowledge Learning, parent company of the KinderCare child care chain. With his $10 million stake in K12 Inc., Milken aided one of his Vice Presidents and another junk dealer, Ron Packard, who specialized in mergers and acquisitions for Goldman Sachs back in the ’80s.
“The duo prepped to exploit the public education sector, and boy, have they. His various educational ventures have made Milken one of the richest men in America, and Packard ra
Explosion of For-Profit “Virtual Schools” Linked to ALEC
In recent years, there has been an explosion of full-time “virtual” charter schools paid for by the taxpayer. From 2008 to 2012, 157 bills passed in 39 states and territories (including the District of Columbia) that expand online schooling or modify existing regulations. Many of these bills are attributable to American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) politicians.
ALEC approved a “model” Virtual Public Schools Act in 2005 at a time when both K12 Inc. and Connections Academy (the second largest for-profit) were corporate sponsors and helped craft the measure, according to ALEC’s website at the time. Connections Academy quit ALEC under pressure, but K12 Inc. remains on the ALEC Education Task Force and helped sponsor the organization’s recent 40th anniversary shindig in Chicago…”