HERNDON, Va. -- K12 Inc., one of America's leading provider of K-12 online school programs, released a new report showing three of its largest managed online charter schools -- Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA), Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA), and Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) -- are making progress on closing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged and not disadvantaged students.
The full report can be found, here.
"For the 2013-2014 school year, K12 reported that its network of schools enrolled a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students than the national average," Dr. Margaret Jorgensen, K12 Chief Academic Officer, said. "K12-managed schools are working to close the achievement gap, and in this report we look at three cases where schools are closing the gap between students eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch and those not eligible. In other instances, we observed that students who were eligible for either free or reduced price lunch are achieving higher percentages at or above proficiency on state tests, while others who were not eligible for subsidized meals were making even greater gains in proficiency."
"Our commitment at K12 is to serve all students, regardless of their academic or socioeconomic circumstance," Mary Gifford, Senior Vice President of Education and Policy, said. "We recognize that many of the schools we serve have a higher population who come from low-income households than the national average. We are pleased that the instructional programs and wrap around family support services we are providing at these schools are demonstrating positive results."
Texas Virtual Academy: In Reading, comparing TXVA students enrolled 3 years or more to those enrolled less than 1 year, proficiency percentages increased with longer enrollment for Free Lunch Eligible students by 20 percentage points, for Reduce-Price Lunch by 18 percentage points, and for Not Eligible by 15 percentage points. Notable at TXVA is the impressive improvement in Mathematics for each category of students enrolled 3 years or more, with 74% of students eligible for Free Lunch reaching proficiency, 81% of students eligible for Reduced-Price Lunch reaching proficiency, and 94% of students Not Eligible for subsidized meals reaching proficiency.
Arizona Virtual Academy: In Reading, proficiency percentages increased for AZVA in all free or reduced-priced lunch (FRL) groups. The gap between Free Lunch Eligible and Not Eligible narrowed from 17 percentage points for students enrolled less than 1 year, to 15 percentage points for students enrolled 3 years or more. In Mathematics, compared to students enrolled less than 1 year, AZVA students enrolled 3 years or more achieved higher proficiency percentages across all FRL groups.
Georgia Cyber Academy: In Reading, compared to students enrolled less than 1 year, GCA students enrolled 3 years or more achieved higher proficiency percentages, except for students eligible for Reduced-Price Lunch Eligible. The overall proficiency percentage of students eligible for Reduced-Price Lunch enrolled 3 years of more remained high at 95%. In Mathematics, compared to students enrolled less than 1 year, GCA students enrolled 3 years or more achieved higher proficiency percentages in all FRL groups.
The report concludes that AZVA, TXVA, and GCA continue to narrow the gap between students who are economically disadvantaged and those that are not, while simultaneously raising the achievement levels of all free or reduced-price lunch groups in both Reading and Mathematics. The three K12-managed schools have improved student performance as measured on their state test year over year.
This K12 report is a third in a series of white papers highlighting K12 partner schools and programs that have demonstrated improved results and raised student academic achievement. Other reports include: Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy: A Success Story, Prepared for Launch and Success at New Mexico Virtual Academy, in addition to K12's annual 2015 Academic Report.