Pennsylvania has 16 full-time cyber charter schools. Of the twelve that have been around long enough to report on test scores, only one made AYP this year. Last year, two made AYP. Eight are in corrective action status. None has ever been closed. The other four were authorized earlier this year.
Last summer, the offices of the state’s largest cyber charter school was raided by the FBI, which apparently had many questions about where the money is going in an enterprise that collects more than $100 million every year. The board of that school fired its top staff but the investigation continues.
A review of the cyber charters by CREDO at Stanford University concluded that they get terrible results: their students have low scores, low graduation rates, and high attrition rates. A spokesperson for CREDO said: “whatever cyberschools are doing in PA is definitely not working and should not be replicated.”
But the cyber charters just keep growing, as they spend more and more money to recruit students and more and more money to lobby legislators.
So what does the future hold for cyber charters in Pennsylvania in light of evidence that cyber charters get poor education results and need greater oversight?
Eight more cyber charter schools just applied to the state for authorization.
The state auditor complained that the cyber charters overbill the state.
But aside from his report, has the governor or legislative leaders or the state commissioner of education expressed concern about the growth of the state’s lowest performing education sector?
Are you kidding? This is not about improving education. It’s not about “the kids.” This is the edu-business.