K12 (company)
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Stride, Inc. (formerly K12 Inc.) is a
for-profit education For-profit education (also known as the education services industry or proprietary education) refers to educational institutions operated by private, Profit (economics), profit-seeking businesses. For-profit education is common in many parts of the ...
company that provides
online In computer technology and telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It has its ori ...

online
and
blended
blended
education programs. Stride, Inc. is an
education management organizationAn education management organization (EMO) is a term of art describing a for-profit entity that manages schools. It provides a distinction from charter management organization which is a ''non-profit'' manager of charter schools. The terms are ofte ...
(EMO) that provides online education designed as an alternative to traditional "brick and mortar" education for public school students from kindergarten to 12th grade, as well as career learning programs. As of 2012, publicly traded Stride, Inc. was the largest EMO in terms of enrollment.


History


Finance

The company was founded by former banker Ronald J. Packard. Initial investors in the company included Michael R. Milken and
Lowell Milken Lowell Jay Milken (born November 29, 1948) is an American businessman, philanthropist, and co-founder and chairman of the Milken Family Foundation. He is also the founder of the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement as well as co-founde ...

Lowell Milken
of education company Knowledge Universe, who along with the Milken Family Foundation, invested $10 million. Andrew Tisch of the
Loews Corporation Loews Corporation is an American conglomerate headquartered in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimated ...
and
Larry Ellison Lawrence Joseph Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is an American business magnate, investor who is a co-founder, the executive chairman and chief technology officer (CTO) of Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation is an American Multinational ...
of
Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational ...
also contributed venture capital. It became a
publicly traded company A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company A public limited company (legally abbreviated to PLC or plc) is a type of public company under United Kingdom company law, som ...
on December 13, 2007.


Leadership

William Bennett William John Bennett (born July 31, 1943) is an American conservative Conservatism is a Political philosophy, political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation ...
,
Secretary of Education The United States secretary of education is the head of the U.S. Department of Education. The secretary serves as the principal advisor to the president of the United States, and the federal government, on policies, programs, and activities rela ...
under
Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the Un ...

Ronald Reagan
was hired as the company's first chairman of the board, serving until 2005. In 2005, the Philadelphia Board of Education called for the termination of a $3M science curriculum contract with K12 after Bennett said, "if you wanted to reduce crime ... you could abort every black baby in the country and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down." Bennett subsequently resigned from the K12 board and his part-time position with K12. The contract was not revoked, but was not renewed at the end of the contract term. Founder Packard resigned in 2014 to start Pansophic Learning. On February 13, 2018, Stuart Udell resigned from his role as CEO. Nate Davis, the previous CEO, replaced Udell as the current CEO. On January 27, 2021, Stride Inc. (formerly K12 Inc.) announced Nate Davis would be retiring and James J. Rhyu will be taking over his role as CEO. Davis will remain as executive chairman of the board.


Offerings


Education management

Stride, Inc. is a for-profit education management organization (EMO). In this sector, Stride does not operate physical schools, but provides online curriculum to Homeschooling, homeschooled children and other schools. Stride was the largest EMO in the US in 2011–2012. Stride's for-profit rival EdisonLearning has also moved away from physical schoolhouses to virtual offerings. Stride offers its online curriculum at three levels: *To states and districts as a homeschooling alternative to brick-and-mortar schools *To school districts as a supplement to classroom teaching *To parents individually as a private, online, homeschooling alternative In 2015, 526 virtual schools in the United States enrolled 278,511 students.


Charter management

Stride competes with non-profit educational organizations known as charter management organizations (CMOs) that typically run brick-and-mortar schools. Other large non-profits are Imagine Schools (55 schools), Knowledge Is Power Program, KIPP (209 schools), and Cosmos. Multi-state EMOs and CMOs control about a third of the charter school market. K12 provides to online non-profit CMOs including Agora and Insight in Pennsylvania. The company manages state-funded virtual charter schools and hybrid schools in twenty-nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia. In 2015, Stride was CMO (and charter holder) for schools enrolling 44,559 students.


Curricula

Stride's product line includes courses for pre-K, elementary, middle, and high school grades, online learning platforms, and educational software. The K-8 curriculum includes core subject areas: math, science, language arts, history, art, music, and world languages. The majority of lessons in the early grades are offline using textbooks, printed materials, and hands-on activities. The learning coach (typically a parent or guardian) is expected to spend three to five hours each day monitoring students' progress, logging attendance, and facilitating lessons. Short answer or multiple choice assessments are given at the end of most lessons in K-8 and are administered and recorded by the learning coach. At the high school level (grades 9-12), students complete all coursework online. Less parental involvement is expected. In high school, teachers monitor student's progress and grade tests and assignments. In addition to core and comprehensive courses, students can choose remedial, Honors, Credit Recovery and Advanced Placement options. Unlike in the K-8 grades, high school courses take place mostly online. Students attend live online classes and have more communication with teachers, via e-mail, phone, and online conferences. In all cases, the school assigns a state-certified teacher to assist the coach and student. The cost to a sponsoring agency depends on the teacher-student ratio selected. Stride offered the Commonwealth of Virginia three plans: a teacher-student ratio of forty, fifty, or sixty to one. Teacher interaction is accomplished through virtual classroom environments using Blackboard Inc., Blackboard Collaborate, telephone, and face-to-face meetings and events. In hybrid schools, students complete the same curriculum but attend a physical building and participate in classes with other students and teachers.


Branding

Stride, Inc. offers itself through a variety of brands.


State and district sponsored homeschooling

Stride develops identities for specific opportunities. In Union County, Tennessee, it has operated Tennessee Virtual Academy since 2011. In Pennsylvania, it operates Insight Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. Stride operates Hoosier Academy Virtual Charter School, an online charter school in Indiana that enrolled 3,681 students in 2016. The school is scheduled to be closed in June 2018.


Private online K-12 schools

Stride, Inc. operates three online private schools: K12 Private Academy, George Washington University Online High School, and the Keystone School. In 2011, The George Washington University partnered with Stride to offer a full-time online private school accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.


Career learning

Stride, Inc. offers career and technical education programs at public schools, called Destinations Career Academies and Programs to students in grades 9-12. In 2020, Stride expanded into the adult learning space with the acquisition of data science and software engineering bootcamp Galvanize. With the companies rebrand in November 2020, it was announced that they would acquire Tech Elevator, a computer coding bootcamp, and MedCerts, an online healthcare career training program.


Learning Solutions

In April 2014, Stride, Inc. established wholly owned subsidiary, Fuel Education. Fuel Education operated as a separate legal entity from Stride, Inc., and houses different personalized learning programs. The subsidiary has since rebranded as Learning Solutions.


School assessment

The National Education Policy Center regularly conducts studies of the performance of Stride and other for-profit virtual schools including Connections Academy (a subsidiary of Pearson Education). A study at Western Michigan University and the National Education Policy Center found that only a third of K12's schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), which is required for public schools by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. According to the Times, "By almost every educational measure, the Agora Cyber Charter School [a school run by K12] is failing." In Pennsylvania, 42% of Agora students tested at grade level or better in math, compared with 75% of students statewide. 52% of Agora students tested at grade level or better in reading, compared with 72% statewide. Nonetheless, Agora brought K12 $72 million in the 2011 school year – more than 10% of K12's revenue. Agora terminated its contract with K12 in 2014. Proponents argue that such statistics are undermined by the fact that a significant proportion of newly enrolled students begin several grade levels behind because of an alleged failure of brick and mortar schools. Education reformers such as United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have further stated that AYP is not an accurate measure of a school's performance and estimated that under NCLB, as many as "82 percent of America's schools could be labeled 'failing'". A paper by Yale students found "With no exceptions, students enrolled in K12 schools performed worse in math than their district and state counterparts. With only one exception, they performed worse in English and language arts" The press and politicians have been equally critical. A 2012 PolitiFact.com article noted K12's poor performance in Tennessee. The ''New York Times'' investigated K12 and concluded that the company squeezes profits from public school funding by raising enrollment, increasing teacher workload, and lowering standards. The ''Washington Post'' raised similar issues. K12 defends its position, describing its student base as "at risk" to begin with.


Lobbying efforts

''The New York Times'' wrote that K12's profits are used to pay for advertising and lobbying state officials. K12 spent $26.5M on advertising in 2010 and the company and its employees contributed nearly $500,000 to state political candidates from 2004 to 2010. K12 has contributed money to organizations like Pennsylvania Families for Public Cyber Schools, which lobbied for online schools. In Ohio, an organization founded by a K12 official hired temp agency workers to demonstrate with signs against state representative Steven Dryer, who challenged their funding.


Ransomware attack

In November, 2020, Stride was attacked by Ryuk (ransomware), Ryuk ransomware criminals, rendering some of Stride's records inaccessible and leading to the threatened release of students' personal information. The company paid an undisclosed ransom amount, saying, "Based on the specific characteristics of the case, and the guidance we have received about the attack and the threat actor, we believe the payment was a reasonable measure to take in order to prevent misuse of any information the attacker obtained".


See also

* California Virtual Academies * Ohio Virtual Academy * Virtual School * Charter schools in the United States * Charter school * Educational technology, Educational Technology * School choice, School Choice * List of virtual schools, List of Virtual Schools


References


External links

{{authority control Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange Companies based in Fairfax County, Virginia Curricula Education companies of the United States American educational websites Education management organizations Education companies established in 2000 American companies established in 2000 2000 establishments in Virginia Charter management organizations 2007 initial public offerings