A further update for those following the virtual charter schools issue, both here in Maine and abroad: K12 Inc, the company seeking to open a virtual charter school in Maine, is in trouble in Colorado, where they have operated a similar virtual school for a decade.
As reported in today's Portland Press Herald, the K12-operated Colorado Virtual Academy is at risk of being shut down after a review body recommended that its charter not be renewed. The staff noted the school's poor performance -- it has ranked in the bottom tenth of Colorado school for three years running -- and the "undue influence" K12 exercised over the school's local governing board.
As previously reported, K12 is also under investigation in Florida over allegations it used uncertified teachers and enlisted staff to cover it up. The preliminary results of that investigation are expected soon.
The companies were the subject of a Maine Sunday Telegram investigation published Sept. 2 that revealed how they were influencing the creation of Maine's nascent digital school policies.
I am an award-winning journalist and author of American Nations, American Character, Ocean's End, The Lobster Coast, and The Republic of Pirates. I'm a staffer at the Portland Press Herald, where I won a 2012 George Polk Award for my investigative reporting and was named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist.