by Jeff Woods
Stewart, an East Nashville Democrat, cited the Tennessee Virtual Academy as Exhibit A in his case against online schools, accusing the owner, K12 Inc., of fixing grades. In its first year, K12 Inc.’s online school narrowly averted scoring in the lowest 10 percent of student achievement in the state. Said Stewart:
In Tennessee and elsewhere, virtual schools run by for-profit companies have been an extremely bad deal for schoolchildren. They’ve been notoriously and consistently ineffective as a tool for education, and they’ve been an even worse deal perhaps for taxpayers, consistently overcharging the state for services that cost K12 Inc. very little and leading to enormous profits on the part of K12 Inc. … The only people who benefit from our current for-profit virtual school statute is K12 Inc., a Virginia corporation which is using the statute to siphon off millions of dollars every year.