Pennsylvania Eases NCLB Rules to Help Charter Schools

How is this for fair? Charter schools in Pennsylvania are now being assessed by easier rules than are traditional public schools when it comes to determining whether No Child Left Behind mandates have been met.

The result is that it looks like charter schools, in general, are outperforming traditional public schools when, in fact, they aren’t.

Here’s what happened, according to The Morning Call newspaper. The state’s Education Department changed the rules for assessing whether a charter school had met NCLB’s Adequate Yearly Progress mandate to match the method used for school districts (and it did it before getting the required permission from the federal Department of Education). District rules have been easier to meet than the rules for individual public schools, both public and charter — until, that is, Pennsylvania’s pro-charter officials decided to give individual charter schools a break.

According to the Pennsylvania School Board Association, 44 of 77 charter schools recently labeled as having met the AYP requirements for 2011-12 actually didn’t if compared to the rules that traditional public schools had to meet. Some of the 44 charters even saw declines in proficiency percentages.

Click here to read the article by Valerie Strauss published in the Washington Post (October 8, 2012).

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