WASHINGTON, DC (December 28, 2000) - Citing intensifying public concern for access to high-quality primary and secondary education and the burgeoning alternative education market, William J. Bennett and Knowledge Universe Learning Group (KULG) today announced the formation of the first Internet-based school for kindergarten through twelfth grade.
K12 will offer a full curriculum as well as supplementary learning and assessment tools over the Internet. K12's first education products will be offered, and enrollment will commence, in the fall of 2001.
In development for more than a year, K12 is led by William J. Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education and best-selling author. The company employs a team of nationally known educators and technology experts. Their goal is to make a high-quality education available to any child and any adult-at any time and in any place. K12 is supported by Knowledge Universe Learning Group, one of the leading education companies in the world.
"I believe that K12 will be one of the most important private-sector undertakings in the history of modern education," Bennett said. "By harnessing new technologies and building on what we already know about education, K12 will help connect parents, teachers, and children to one of the most effective educational approaches ever developed."
The K12 curriculum will focus on traditional, highly acclaimed educational content and proven methods while employing advanced technologies and graphics to promote more engaging, productive learning. Students will progress through frequent assessments and content that can be tailored to an individual child's achievement, interests, and needs.
K12 will focus on helping parents and other adults become better guides and educators of their children. "Education is dramatically improved by the direct, ongoing involvement of at least one adult committed to a child's education," Bennett said. "New technologies, and the intellectual opportunities they bring, can make that experience more compelling and productive for both parent and child. At K12, we believe that learning can be enriched not only by high standards and expectations but by the thoughtful application of powerful technology."
The market for K12's school and supplementary services is broad. It includes home-schooling families, summer-, before-, and after-school programs, charter schools, virtual schools, Americans living abroad, adult remedial education, and more. According to Ron Packard, K12's chief executive officer, "We aim to sell K12 products and services to any person or institution that seeks to use technology to deliver a world-class education." The kindergarten through twelfth-grade e-learning market is currently $1.3 billion, according to Merrill Lynch, and is likely to reach $6.9 billion by 2003.
David Gelernter, renowned professor of computer science at Yale University, is K12's chief technology advisor. "This important and unprecedented venture will use technology in new ways to tackle the nation's number one problem: how to give our children a serious education, starting right now," said Gelernter.
Knowledge Universe Learning Group (KULG) companies enhance the adventure of learning from birth through graduate school. The range of products and services at KULG companies includes interactive education products; technology training and career resources for teachers; early childhood education; and interactive learning websites for children, their parents, grandparents, and teachers.
K12 is located in McLean, Virginia. More information will be available December 28, 2000, at www.K12.com.