Tuesday, December 13, 2011

“By almost every educational measure, the Agora Cyber Charter School is failing. By Wall Street standards, though, Agora is a remarkable success that has helped enrich K12 Inc., the publicly traded company that manages the school. And the entire enterprise is paid for by taxpayers.”


Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators and members of the press via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

 

“By almost every educational measure, the Agora Cyber Charter School is failing.  By Wall Street standards, though, Agora is a remarkable success that has helped enrich K12 Inc., the publicly traded company that manages the school. And the entire enterprise is paid for by taxpayers.”

Profits and Questions at Online Charter Schools

New York Times By STEPHANIE SAUL, Published: December 12, 2011
By almost every educational measure, the Agora Cyber Charter School is failing.
Nearly 60 percent of its students are behind grade level in math. Nearly 50 percent trail in reading. A third do not graduate on time. And hundreds of children, from kindergartners to seniors, withdraw within months after they enroll.
By Wall Street standards, though, Agora is a remarkable success that has helped enrich K12 Inc., the publicly traded company that manages the school. And the entire enterprise is paid for by taxpayers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/education/online-schools-score-better-on-wall-street-than-in-classrooms.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hpw

 

NY Times Graphic: Lagging in Performance: Pennsylvania Online Schools

Pennsylvania was one of the first states to allow full-time online schools and it now has the third-largest enrollment in such schools. Education costs per student in online schools are lower than in traditional schools, which have significant overhead costs. But test scores at online schools lag.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/12/13/us/lagging-in-performance-pennsylvania-online-schools.html?ref=education

 

Previous KSEC Coverage of K12 Inc.

It's all about the kids......K12 Inc. chief executive Ron Packard paid $5 million compensation package in 2011

 

Pay charters actual costs Establish uniform tuition

Scranton Times-Tribune Editorial Published: December 12, 2011
As lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett accelerate the move to alternative forms of public education, they continue to ignore funding disparities that adversely affect school districts and taxpayers.
Charter schools, including those conducted over the Internet, attract more students every year. Because the Legislature has not corrected the disparities first detailed by Auditor General Jack Wagner, costs to taxpayers also will grow.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/pay-charters-actual-costs-establish-uniform-tuition-1.1243720#ixzz1gPbryvam

 

PSERs BOARD OF TRUSTEES SETS EMPLOYER RATE OF 12.36% FOR FY 2012-2013

PSERS Press Release December 9, 2011

Employer rate of 12.36% certified for FY 2012-2013; Investment performance also reported

HARRISBURG, PA – The Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) Board of Trustees met today in Harrisburg and certified an employer contribution rate of 12.36% for fiscal year (FY) 2012-2013, which begins July 1, 2012

http://www.psers.state.pa.us/content/news/press_release/2011%201209%20Sept%2030%202011%20inv%20perf%20FINAL.pdf

 

Legislature Sucker-Punches Voters Again

December 12, 2011 Lower Macungie Patch Letter to the Editor by Chuck Ballard
Chuck Ballard is a member of the East Penn School District Board of Directors, but this statement represents only his personal opinion, not that of the East Penn District or Board.
East Penn School Board member says vouchers are Harrisburg's latest attempt to pull the wool over taxpayers' eyes.
To the Editor:
For years, the legislature has bamboozled voters with a simple ploy. They tell you that they haven't raised taxes, then they send mandates they won't pay for down to local school boards that are forced to raise property taxes to pay for them. Even worse, legislators then turn around and blame school boards for the problem of high property taxes. The truth is, because of this ploy, districts like East Penn now get less than 20 percent of their budgets from the state, and local taxpayers are stuck for over 80 percent of the cost, when it used to be a 50-50 split.
Now that taxpayer righteous anger about property taxes is making that ploy unusable, the legislature is trying a new one, vouchers. 

http://lowermacungie.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-legislature-sucker-punches-voters-again

 

OP-ED CONTRIBUTORS

Class Matters. Why Won’t We Admit It?

New York Times By HELEN F. LADD and EDWARD B. FISKE, Published: December 11, 2011
Durham, N.C.
NO one seriously disputes the fact that students from disadvantaged households perform less well in school, on average, than their peers from more advantaged backgrounds. But rather than confront this fact of life head-on, our policy makers mistakenly continue to reason that, since they cannot change the backgrounds of students, they should focus on things they can control.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/opinion/the-unaddressed-link-between-poverty-and-education.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

 

ON EDUCATION

Military Children Stay a Step Ahead of Public School Students

New York Times By MICHAEL WINERIP, Published: December 11, 2011
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — The results are now public from the 2011 federal testing program known as NAEP, the National Assessment of Educational Progress. And once again, schools on the nation’s military bases have outperformed public schools on both reading and math tests for fourth and eighth graders.  It has become fashionable for American educators to fly off to Helsinki to investigate how schools there produce such high-achieving Finns. But for just $69.95 a night, they can stay at the Days Inn in Jacksonville, N.C., and investigate how the schools here on the Camp Lejeune Marine base produce such high-achieving Americans — both black and white.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/education/military-children-outdo-public-school-students-on-naep-tests.html?pagewanted=1&tntemail1=y&_r=1&emc=tnt

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