Wow. This could be very big. Story earlier tonight on Nashville station, uncovering an e-mail that indicates the for-profit K12 online school (Tennessee Virtual Academy) ordered certain scores deleted. The clear implication is to make scores look better than a more comprehensive set would indicate. Gloria Johnson properly speaking out on this.

(link...)

Other big news on same subject. Education Committee meets tomorrow at 3pm to consider all bills dealing with virtual schools. One bill seeks to eliminate the state K12 deal. Could our legislators have the temerity to keep pushing for-profit, unaccountable online programs after this story broke? Stay tuned.

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Tamara Shepherd's picture

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Wow, indeed.

Has anybody noticed on the TN Virtual Academy's State Report Card that, under that tab labeled "Teacher," it says only 50% of core courses there are being taught by Highly Qualified Teachers?

Another tab on the page explaining Report Card Terms defines the term this way:

Highly Qualified Teacher: Any public elementary or secondary school teacher who holds at least a Bachelor's Degree, is fully-licensed in Tennessee and submits the required documents to demonstrate competency in the content area(s) being taught.

I noticed this just very recently, but don't recall any prior mention of it from media? You?

R. Neal's picture

Here are the virtual school

Here are the virtual school bills:

HB0728 by Stewart: Titles, Short - As introduced, repeals the Virtual Public Schools Act. - Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 16, Part 2.

HB0151 by McCormick: Education - As introduced, establishes total enrollment and out-of-district enrollment caps for virtual schools. - Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 16, Part 2.

HB0366 by Hawk: Education - As introduced, requires each center of regional excellence (CORE) and the LEAs it serves to establish a regional virtual school. - Amends TCA Title 49.

HB0385 by Love: Education - As introduced, requires public virtual schools to meet the same class size requirements as regular public schools. - Amends TCA Title 49.

HB0421 by Pitts: Education - As introduced, permits the commissioner of education to place any virtual school that fails to meet the performance standards set by the state board of education in the achievement school district. - Amends TCA Title 49.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

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HB0385 by Love: Education - As introduced, requires public virtual schools to meet the same class size requirements as regular public schools. - Amends TCA Title 49.

This bill reminds of another question I've had, namely what is the current ratio of teachers to students at the TNVA?

Concerning other states' virtual schools, I've read many places that those schools often have a single teacher interacting with well over 100 students in a single "class" and also that teachers are assigned responsibility for far too many "classes."

State Report Card data give us the number of students enrolled at TNVA, but I'd very much like to know the number of teachers overseeing them?

Stick's picture

It sucks but parents love it!

And our local rag offers this...?

B Harmon's picture

This just popped on KNS.

This just popped on KNS.

Mark Harmon's picture

Two Links about K12 worthy of noting

R. Neal's picture

This is how they are going to

This is how they are going to play it from now on as long as there is a GOP super majority...

Humphrey: Virtual Schools Melee: Repeal Bill Killed, Haslam Bill Passed, Legislator Testimony Blocked

Stewart also cited an email sent to Virtual Academy teachers in December that says they should "take out the October and September progress (reports); delete it so that all that is showing is November progress reports."

He distributed the email, which was provided by Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, to him and to WTVF-TV in Nashville, which aired a report on the matter Monday evening. Johnson, a Knox County school teacher, said she had been given the email by a Virtual Academy teacher.

Stewart asked that Johnson be allowed to speak to the committee about the email and implications. Brooks objected, saying the email had nothing to do with the Stewart bill under discussion. The committee chairman made a motion to end all discussion and proceed immediately to a vote on the bill. Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, presiding at the subcommittee meeting, promptly declared Brooks' motion approved by voice vote, then immediately called for a vote on [Stewart's bill to repeal Virtual schools]. It was declared defeated on voice vote.

Min's picture

Why have a committee system?

If all they're going to do is listen to one side and refuse to the debate issues related to legislatioin? They could save the taxpayers a lot more money by not conducting a kangaroo committee process.

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