Just the Facts: Calif. Virtual Schools Offer Bennett’s K12 Program

Published October 1, 2001

California’s leading manager of virtual charter schools, Innovative Education Management, Inc., is now offering its kindergarten through second grade students the world-class curriculum of K12, the Internet-based learning program created by former U.S. Education Secretary William J. Bennett.

The agreement was announced in August. K12’s curriculum for math, science, history, language arts, music, and art immediately was made available to families in IEM-affiliated schools, which currently serve about 6,000 students throughout the state.

“California is on the cutting edge of the next chapter in American education, and K12’s partnership with IEM confirms that fact,” said K12 CEO Ron Packard. K12 chairman Bennett called the development “a critical step forward in opening up the channels to educational excellence in California.”

K12 programs include a complete learning program plus supplementary learning and assessment tools. Programs currently are available for students in grades K-2; programs for grades 3-12 will be added each year through 2004, developed by an experienced team of learning and technology experts that include including technology guru David Gelernter and Core Knowledge curriculum authority John Holdren. (See “Offering ‘the Heart and Soul of an Excellent Education,'” School Reform News, July 2001.)

IEM is a nonprofit corporation with extensive experience in charter school development, administration, oversight, advocacy, and finance. The company’s expertise also extends into curriculum, teacher training, educational resources, and technical support. Since 1993, the company has offered an innovative and individualized “virtual school” approach to student learning.

“IEM Schools are committed to delivering high-quality education programs to California students–any time and anywhere,” said IEM CEO Randy Gaschler. “K12 is an extraordinary new program, rooted in solid educational content, high standards, and flexible technology tools.”

IEM currently manages six charter schools: Horizon Instructional Systems, Heritage Family Academy, Golden Valley Charter School, Mattole Valley Charter School, Muir Charter School, and Eagles Peak Charter School. Located in six different counties, the schools reach families in another 18 counties throughout California, ranging from San Diego and Los Angeles to Alameda and Sacramento to Placer, Yuba, and Humbolt counties.