Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Houston, K12, Inc. has a problem.

A few months ago I suggested that if K12's management agreement with Agora Cyber (PA) was severed their stock would drop into the $12-13 range (if not more). I checked prior to writing this and their stock was $11.34 per share.

K12 has a problem.

I'm not talking about their well-documented academic struggles. Nor am I talking about the fact they struggled last year to increase student enrollments. And, no I am not talking about their ongoing retention issues. Those problems are all symptoms of the core issue.

Sometimes doctors understand if you treat the symptoms the patient will "feel" better even though the core illness remains. Unfortunately companies tend to do the same thing -- let's work on correcting the symptoms. The problem - they tend to ignore the true illness and they wonder why the symptoms continue to occur.

K12's problem is their attention is on the symptoms -- academic struggles, enrollment stagnation, high attrition rates, teacher instability, board relationship issues, revenue generation, etc. -- and they are ignoring the core illness.

Until they turn their attention to the core, these symptoms will continue. Small victories will mask the main issue yet they will convince themselves their efforts are working - if only given more time. As more time passes though, the symptoms will remain, even grow.


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