PCCY Working to Block Cyber Charter Viruses



“This application fails to describe how teachers will deliver instruction, assess academic progress and communicate with students to provide assistance.” This tough critique concluded PCCY’s testimony last week at the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) hearing to consider permitting yet another cyber school to operate in the commonwealth.

Tomea Sippio-Smith, PCCY’s Education Policy Director, urged the Department to act cautiously because “all 14 of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters scored below the statewide average in English and math assessments and all 14 have been identified as needing support under the state’s ESSA School Improvement and Accountability plan.”

Over the last two weeks, as most Pennsylvanians focused on the election, Tomea testified before the PDE to urge the state to reject two new cyber school applications. As more parents experience the considerable pitfalls of online learning for their children, PCCY is doing the work of challenging the state to do a much better job protecting students from failed cyber education.

Do you want to read more of what Tomea told the Department of Education?  Click here and here

Two outfits hope to open up in Pennsyvlania. Tomea pointed out that one of the applicants “does not document its ability to provide comprehensive learning experiences to students, including the amount of live instruction they intend to deliver.”  Harsh but true words that we hope exposed the risk this potential new school presents for our children.

For the other applicant, Tomea pointed to a failed track record. “We need look no further than Ohio to find concerning evidence…[their] related for-profit charter management company operates a network of charter schools in Ohio. In 2018-19, the Ohio Department of Education gave 26 of their 35 schools a grade of “D” or “F.” More concerning still is the fact that the company’s online school received an “F” on every measure of student achievement in that same year. There is no reason to think that outcomes will be any different in Pennsylvania.”