New K12 Academic Report Highlights Solid Results in Individualized Learning
Industry Leader Pledges to Serve Growing Academically At-Risk Population, One in a Series of Challenges as Online Education Gains Mainstream Acceptance
New Chief Academic Officer Emphasizes "Finding What Works" to Drive Academic Excellence
HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- K12 Inc. (NYS: LRN) , the nation's largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs for students in kindergarten through high school, released today an Academic Report highlighting solid results and factors in individualized learning. The report aims to provide a transparent view of progress, areas in need of improvement and efforts K12 is taking to close gaps.
Accessible at http://investors.k12.com, the report also highlights a series of challenges facing the industry as it nears mainstream acceptance and describes how K12 is adapting quickly to these factors.
Key findings in the K12 2013 Academic Report, include:
Solid Academic Results -- For the 2011-12 school year, students in K12-managed public schools, in aggregate, achieved 97% of the norm group gain in math and 196% of the norm group gain in reading based on the results of the Scantron Performance Series, an online computerized adaptive test used by the company to measure gains. Results for K12 private schools were broken out separately and exceed the national norm group in math and reading for all tested grades.
The Longer Students Stay with K12, the Better They Perform on State Tests - the longer that students have been enrolled in a K12-managed school, the more likely they are to be "proficient" on state exams.
Student Dynamics are Changing - Individualized learning is encountering a growing population of academically at-risk, economically disadvantaged, and special needs students, as well as high mobility rates, and the complexities of measuring academic progress across the education system. In particular, the company indicated that in some of its schools 50 to 70 percent of students enroll below grade level in math.
Parent Surveys Show High Levels of Satisfaction - 88% of parents with students enrolled in K12-managed public schools indicate they are satisfied with their school. The top reasons cited by parents for selecting K12-managed schools is flexible scheduling and pacing.
Working to Advance Individualized Learning
As a leader in the industry, K12 is deploying its resources to address the challenges facing individualized learning and to drive continuous improvement through innovation, investment and partnerships. To date, K12 has invested more than $330 million in innovative curriculum, technology, learning systems and teacher training and support, with a focus on cognitive science.
In particular, to meet the needs of a growing academically at-risk student population, K12 is extensively innovating and investing in the development of multiple pathways for students at different levels, along with enhanced remedial instruction, focused support programs, and specialized teaching practices. The Report highlights a series of pilots to identify more effective approaches to online learning and develop best practices to be implemented across the K12 system.
K12 Chief Executive Officer and Founder Ron Packard commented, "We want to give every child, regardless of geographic location or economic circumstances, the opportunity to succeed academically. Over time, it is our goal to offer a full continuum of options that make individualized learning the norm, not the exception for all students, whether they are at-risk or advanced learners."
Partnering with Districts and States to Improve Academic Performance
In addition, K12 pledged to partner with states, districts and parents to improve academic performance and boost graduation rates. Leading efforts to boost academic performance is Dr. Margaret Jorgensen, K12's recently announced Chief Academic Officer (CAO) who is working with a distinguished Education Advisory Board. Jorgensen emphasized, "Our mission is to see the promise of individualized learning fulfilled and make the dream of a great education for every child a reality by focusing on academic performance across the board. We need to ask the right questions, find what works best for kids and settle for nothing short of excellence, no matter what form of assessment states employ."
Specifically, the Company cited the following goals for raising the bar on academic performance:
Accelerate Learning -- For students who enter below grade level, accelerate the rate of learning to a pace faster than what was experienced in their prior educational setting, working to catch them up over time. For students who enter on or above grade level, make one year or more of progress for each year they are enrolled in a K12-managed public school.
Empower Teachers -- Provide teachers with the training and tools needed to best serve students and continue to develop state-of-the-art curriculum and learning systems.
Increase Engagement -- Increase engagement and drive academic performance through the creation of multiple programs for students with different interests and aspirations, so they can learn in the most efficient way and be better prepared to succeed.
Improve Nation's Graduation Rates - Continue to have a role in the nation's quest to improve graduation rates and help ensure a promising future for every child.
"We believe the industry is reaching an inflection point and we expect results to get better every year. With Margie Jorgensen leading our team, we will focus even more intensely on working with cognitive scientists, experienced educators and other industry leaders to 'crack the code' on what makes learning come alive for all types of students, even those chronically unengaged students for whom our current online individualized pedagogical approach may not be appropriate. We foresee a time in the not-too-distant future when an algebra course is an engaging as a good video game," added Packard.
K12 also said it will continue to explore new and improved means of gauging student progress, including tracking studies to measure outcomes over time, such as college graduation and employability. K12 is also celebrating the second annual National Digital Learning Day by hosting a series of events across the country to recognize teachers, students and educators who are breaking new ground by individualizing education through digital learning.
About K12, Inc.
K12 Inc. (NYS: LRN) is leading the transformation to individualized learning as the nation's foremost provider of technology-powered online solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. K12 has worked with over 2,000 school districts and has delivered more than four million courses over the past decade. K12 provides curricula, academic services, and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and families. K12's curriculum is rooted in decades of research combined with 21st-century technology by cognitive scientists, interactive designers and teachers. K12's portfolio of more than 550 unique courses and titles -- the most extensive in the technology-based education industry -- covers every core subject and four academic levels for high school including Honors and AP. K12 also offers credit recovery courses, career-building electives, remediation support, six world languages and a deep STEM offering. K12 also manages public schools serving more than 120,000 full-time students in 32 states and the District of Columbia and private schools serving students in all 50 states and 85 countries. More information can be found at K12.com.
KEYWORDS: United States North America Virginia
The article New K12 Academic Report Highlights Solid Results in Individualized Learning originally appeared on Fool.com.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.