Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ownership Society News

K12 Inc. buys Inc.'s high school online program

Kaplan has been the Washington Post's main profit center. But in the past year, the company has been riddled with student loan scandals and mismangement. Kaplan remains one of the biggest testing companies and has a distance-learning component which makes it compatable with the Republican connected K12 Inc. Kaplan Virtual Education, which provides online education for grades six through 12, bought Insight Schools Inc. from Apollo Group Inc. (APOL) in February. It is now selling that brand, as well as the schools branded under Kaplan Virtual Education, to K12.
"While our experience in online learning made the Insight Schools an attractive acquisition with long-term potential, we determined that the timing was not right for us to devote intensive energy and resources to this initiative right now," a Kaplan spokesman said in an emailed statement. "Exiting this business will enable us to focus on our core businesses of higher education and test preparation." -- WSJ
K12 has been expanding rapidly, using it's political connections to win lucrative contracts, as online schooling gains in popularity across the country. In November, the company bought American Education Corp., a provider of instructional software, and it snatched up KC Distance Learning Inc. in July. The company reported enrollment of 101,030 in the latest quarter.

K12 was started by Republican operative and former Sec. of  Education William Bennett but the company was forced to remove Bennett as chairman of its directors following a series of racist remarks and gambling scandals which threatened the company's marketability. K12 Inc. has been under  investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, which has been looking into K12's involvement in a project that received an improper multimillion-dollar grant from the Department of Education during Bennett's tenure at the firm. Meanwhile, during some of his television appearances, Bennett has continued to comment on administration education policy and the No Child Left Behind Act without mentioning the grant..

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