New Website Exposes Privatization: Focus this Week on K-12 On-Line Schools

The Center for Media and Democracy, which has explored the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in its long-term project, has launched a new project——to help “taxpayers identify the corporations seeking to privatize public assets and services in their communities: including their schools, roads, prisons, drinking water, court systems, and more.”

Yesterday reported on K-12, the cyber school giant in From Junk Bonds to Junk Schools: Cyber Schools Fleece Taxpayers for Phantom Students and Failing Grades. K-12, the giant cyber school network that claims to enroll 77,000 students nationwide, was launched in the 1990s with an investment of $10 million by “junk-bond king Michael Milken.”

According to, K-12 prioritizes enrollment over quality education. “Evidence is mounting that for-profit charters spend a massive amount on advertising to pack in students… but once they get the cash, things fall apart.” Many of the students K-12 collects tax dollars to educate never log-in; others fail to complete the supposedly required work. “Only 27.7 percent of K-12 Inc. online schools met AYP in 2010-2011, compared to 52 percent of public schools.”

Today’s report on K-12 reports that even hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson has turned against K-12 as an investment. “When you introduce unlimited government money and virtually no government regulation, the industry will run amok,” warns Tilson.

The new expose of K-12 from the Center for Media and Democracy compliments two recent pieces from Stephanie Simon at PoliticoPro, here and here.