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Charter/Cyber School Stats

Source: PA Charter Change

When looking at any measure of academic performance, charter schools consistently score lower than traditional school districts. The difference is even more apparent when comparing school districts to cyber charter schools. Excellent examples of these differences can be found by exploring the state’s new Future Ready PA Index, created and maintained by PDE as a collection of school progress measures related to school and student success. Among the measures on the index are two designated as future indicators of success – 3rd grade English language arts proficiency and 7th grade math proficiency. Research indicates that a student’s success on these measures factor heavily in the student’s future educational success. When comparing cyber charter schools to traditional school districts, we see that:

  • 3rd grade English language proficiency was 22.3% lower in cyber charter schools than traditional school districts.
  • 7th grade math proficiency was 25.3% lower in cyber charter schools than traditional school districts.

Under the new accountability measures established by PDE to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), all 15 cyber charter schools have been identified by the state as either Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI), or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools. Schools identified as CSI are those schools facing the most significant challenges in academic achievement, student growth, and other areas. Schools identified as ATSI or TSI schools are those schools in which performance by one or more student groups (such as students with disabilities, English learners, or a racial group) is at or below the level of the CSI schools. More information on CSI, ATSI, and TSI schools can be found on PDE’s website. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. During the five years when the state issued School Performance Profile scores, none of Pennsylvania’s cyber schools earned passing grades. The chart below shows the difference, or gap, in proficiency in several key indicators of academic achievement for the 2018-19 school year. For purposes of this chart, proficiency includes all students who scored advanced or proficient on state assessments. Hover over a data point for more information. Click the arrows at the bottom of the chart to scroll between pages or click on the “Page x of y” to select which page to jump to.