While not saying so outright, the writers suggest that political ties were involved in the Vallas administration's decision to adopt a curriculum that is not as academically rigorous as other curricula in the running.
It does say that cost was a major factor -- choosing the K12 curriculum could save the district $700,000. Not only that, establishing a relationship with K12 can open some financial doors to Schools CEO Paul Vallas, who:
... spoke to the “added value” of K12’s “capacity to help us secure the funds, to help us lobby for other funds, to secure additional funding for their programs from other state and federal resources.”The bottom line, if you read the article, is that the Philadelphia School Reform Commission is sacrificing curricula designed through "scientifically-based research" in favor of access to some deep pockets.
And this is not the first time that K12 has won contracts based on something other than their academic soundness.