The Pennsylvania Secretary of Education changed the state testing rules, without federal approval, to boost the scores of charters. The change involved treating charter schools as if they are districts, not schools. This reduced the number of charters that failed to make adequate yearly progress.

The chief legal counsel for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association said “the change might give the Legislature the false impression that charter schools outperform traditional public schools as they consider bills supported by Corbett to expand the number of charter schools and change how they are authorized in Pennsylvania.”

PSBA pointed out that the new formula overstates the performance of charters. Because of the formula, “…44 of the 77 charter schools that PDE has recently classified as having made AYP for 2011-12 in fact fell short of the targets for academic performance that other public schools had to meet, some even declining in proficiency percentages rather than making gains.”

This is the intersection of politics and education, where the data are adjusted for political ends.