by David Safier
Colin Woodard writes for Maine's Portland Press Herald. In an article about Maine's refusal to allow a K12 Inc. virtual school in the state because the school's board isn't independent enough from the for-profit corporation, he has this great paragraph:
Amy Carlisle, president of the local board for the proposed Maine Virtual Academy, wrote the charter school commissioners to say she “was disappointed and blindsided” by their decision. She also vigorously denied that her board lacked independence from K12 Inc., the Herndon, Va., based online education company that would manage the school, hire and fire its staff and headmaster, and provide curricular materials and assessment data.
Right, Ms. Carlisle. Your board is completely independent from the multi-million dollar, publicly traded, for-profit virtual school corporation (that runs Arizona Virtual Academy) even though it oversees every aspect of the school.
Woodard wrote a long article about all this back in September, including an amazing graphic, "Following the money and influence for digital education." I'm still reading the article, but you can view the graphic below the fold. (Spoiler alert: ALEC and Jeb Bush are among the financial enablers.)