Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued its formal report noting which schools had made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the previous year (2012). Although the press covered this report for traditional public schools, the coverage of the performance of Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools was lacking.
Since cyber charter schools are funded entirely through the same tax dollars as our public schools, an analysis of their results is appropriate.
In summary, the performance of the cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania has been a disaster.
Of the 12 cyber charter schools that have been approved by the Pennsylvania
Department of Education only one, 21st Century Cyber, made AYP. The other 11 schools (91.7 percent) failed to meet the standard established by the state for the proper instruction of our children.
Our tax dollars should not go to a system that is failing to educate our children at this alarming rate.
Unfortunately, the story gets much worse. Although the AYP numbers are going down across the board due to a narrowing of the goalposts (to an impossibly high level of 100 percent in 2014), the performance of the cyber charter schools is just as bad in past years when the standard was much easier to meet.
How bad is the performance of the taxpayer-funded cyber charter schools?
Nine of the 12 cyber charter schools have never met AYP—not even for a single year (cyber charter schools have been in existence for eight years).
Someone should probably ask Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis why the state, as the chartering entity, has not taken action to revoke the charter of
the cyber charter schools that have never made AYP once in their existence.
When a traditional public school shows this level of ineptitude, taxpayers are appropriately outraged and demand accountability. Pennsylvania’s failing cyber charter schools should not get a free pass.
Joseph M. Zupancic, Director
Canon-McMillan Board of School Directors