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Saturday, September 3, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 2:57 PM No comments
Pennsylvania: Want Your Child to Fail While Wasting Tax $$? Send Her to a CyberCharter!

The Keystone Center for Charter Change at the Pennsylvania School Boards Association reprinted the following report about Pennsylvania’s low-quality cyber charters.

Pa. cyber-charter schools lead on cost; lag on results

PA Capital-Star by John L. Micek, January 28, 2022Pa. spends the most out of the 27 states that have cyber-charter schools, but gets the least return on investment, according to new research

Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
As public schools made the often-awkward pivot between in-person and online instruction during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commonwealth’s cyber-charter schools saw their enrollment explode as parents raced to find reliable schooling for their children. In fact, the Keystone State’s 14 cyber-charter schools saw their enrollment rise from slightly more than 38,000 students in October 2019 to more than 60,000 students by October 2020, marking the largest year-over-year increase, the Post-Gazette reported last May, citing data compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. By last April, that popularity showed no signs of abating, with a poll by Republican-friendly Susquehanna Polling & Research in Harrisburg showing that nearly 7 in 10 respondents to a poll of 700 Pennsylvanians supported the online programs, the Post-Gazette also reported. Despite that popularity, the online programs have come in for constant criticism by advocates for traditional public schools, who argue that the online schools aren’t worth the return on investment and that student performance suffers as a result (Obligatory Caveat: Charter schools are public schools that receive taxpayer money, but are run by private operators). A recently released report by a wing of the progressive-leaning advocacy group Children First keeps up that drumbeat of criticism, finding that, of the 27 states that authorize cyber-charter schools, Pennsylvania spends the most public money on these programs, but has the “weakest systems to ensure students and taxpayers are getting their money’s worth.”

Click here to read more.

“Pennsylvania is the cyber-charter capital of the nation, ML Wernecke, the director of the Pennsylvania Charter Performance Center, which conducted the study, said in a statement. “But given the persistent performance in cyber-charter programs, and the out-of-control pressure on local taxpayers, this is one place where it is not good to be first.”

Among its chief findings, the report notes that every one of Pennsylvania’s cyber-charter schools has “been identified as needing improvement under the state’s ESSA School Improvement and Accountability plan, placing them among the state’s lowest performing schools.”

In addition, consider the low graduation rates at Cybercharters:

Considering cyber schooling for your student? Millions in taxpayer-funded advertising notwithstanding, most Pennsylvania cyber charters have graduation rates 20 percentage points or more below statewide averages for all schools.

Keystone Center for Charter Change; PA Department of Education

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here


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