by David Safier
In 2008, I broke the story that the online education corporation, K12 Inc, was outsourcing student essays to India to be graded without parents' knowledge. The corporation eventually apologized, calling the outsourcing "growing pains" and one of those "occasional glitches." It says it has stopped the practice.
Since then, when articles are written questioning K12 Inc, like a story today in the Des Moines Register, they often talk about this as being exclusive to K12's Arizona charter, Arizona Virtual Academy.
I would like to correct that. As I stated in a lengthy post explaining the outsourcing process, ten K12 online schools sent papers to India.
AZVA [Arziona Virtual Academy] was one of ten K12 schools sending papers to India to be commented on and scored. The others are AGORA (Agora Cyber Charter School, Pennsylvania), CAVA (California Virtual Academy), COVA (Colorado Virtual Academy), CVCS (Chicago Virtual Charter School), IDVA (Idaho Virtual Academy), MNVA (Minnesota Virtual Academy), OHVA (Ohio Virtual Academy), PAVCS (Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School) and WAVA (Washington Virtual Academies).
I only bring this up because it shows the outsourcing was a corporate decision, not a lone action by the Arizona charter. Cost cutting measures of this kind are typical of for profit EMOs (Education Management Organizations) where a dollar saved on educating students is a dollar earned. That's one reason why K-through-12 schools -- especially those paid for with government funds -- should not be run on the profit motive.