The stories behind the story of K12 Inc.
Here's a story about how local media first uncovered abuses at for-profit online schools, with links to many of the articles:
A recent story in The New York Times about Virginia-based K12 Inc., the largest operator of virtual schools in the country, was the latest in a recent spate of critical national news stories about virtual schools.
"Polls show that the public and parents are leery of cyber schools," wrote the Fordham Institute's Mike Petrilli, "and this kind of media attention (sure to be mimicked in local papers) will only make them more so."
Leave aside, for a moment, the merit of the news stories. How about the notion that small newspapers follow meekly wherever the national media leads? In this case, that's just plain wrong.
In the last seven weeks, Mother Jones, the Nation, the Wall Street Journal and we here at The Washington Post have all examined virtual schools in general and K12 in particular.
But local outlets and education trade publications were the first to raise questions about virtual schools' cost and effectiveness.
By Valerie Strauss