News & Notes: News 

York Academy Regional Charter School gets IB authorization

Jan20

James Pastore, chief academic officer for York Academy Regional Charter School, has liked to tell people that the school was “living the IB lifestyle” though it was still working on its official recognition from the International Baccalaureate organization. But now it’s official. On Jan. 8, Pastore received word that the school is now authorized as […] More »

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Co-chair Pedro Rivera talks about Wolf’s education transition team

Jan09

Longtime Philadelphia teacher and administrator Pedro Rivera, who is now the Lancaster superintendent, is the co-chair of Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s transition committee for education. Rivera was born and raised in Philadelphia, spent 13 years in the Philadelphia system, and has led Lancaster schools since 2008. He said in a Thursday interview that the committee is […] More »

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Chester Upland partnerships with charter schools nixed

Jan09

Chester Upland School District Receiver Joe Watkins said Thursday morning that his pursuit of public-private partnerships with the city’s charter schools has been called off. The development was announced at a follow-up status hearing with district representatives and the Pennsylvania secretary of education before Judge Chad Kenney. The hearing comes one month after Secretary Carolyn […] More »

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Senator Smucker Moves Up To Chair Education Committee

Jan09

For state Senator Lloyd Smucker, the new legislative session begins with a challenging assignment he was seeking – chairing the Senate Education Committee. “All the discussions in our communities about growing jobs and expanding opportunities and encouraging investment and development ultimately come back to the quality of the workforce, which in turn reflects on how […] More »

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SRC’s Green: Next Philly teachers contract will include longer school day

Jan02

Philadelphia School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green says the district’s next contract with the teachers union will include a longer school day. “Longer school days and longer school years are some of the things that are going to make improvements in high-poverty urban districts,” said Green in a telephone interview Wednesday. Read more. More »

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Advocates Urging State On Weighted School Funding

Jan02

The flawed formula Pennsylvania uses to fund its school districts forces some of its best and brightest to do more with less. “We have one of the best districts in Pennsylvania, and we traditionally have one of the lowest costs,” John Bell, superintendent of the prudent Delaware Valley School District, said in a public hearing […] More »

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Wakisha Charter School votes to close next month

Nov14

Less than three weeks after the Walter Palmer charter school abruptly closed its high school, another Philadelphia charter said it was shuttering because it was on the brink of financial collapse. At a meeting that drew dozens of angry and sobbing parents, staff, and students, the board of Wakisha Charter School in North Philadelphia voted Thursday […] More »

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Penn Hills charter school seeks second location

Nov14

Imagine Penn Hills Charter School took its first step toward expanding into a new school building next year. The board of the Penn Hills-based charter school Thursday night unanimously approved a motion to submit a letter of intent to rent a former school building at 10700 Frankstown Road. Read more.  More »

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PA Cyber reviewing its relationship with NNDS

Nov14

The Rochester-based nonprofit National Network of Digital Schools relies almost entirely on the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School for its revenue, but that lucrative 10-year relationship is now under review against a messy backdrop. Read more. More »

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Rechartering prompts changes at Vida

Nov10

The rechartering process has been a learning experience for Vida Charter School. In response to an almost 2-year rechartering investigation by Vida’s authorizing districts, as well as its own internal audits, the school has updated some of its hiring and board election policies. Read more. More »

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How Philly’s charter schools stack up on PA’s performance measure

Nov10

The Pennsylvania Department of Education last week released its evaluation of the academic progress of the state’s public schools. The School Performance Profile index is composed mainly of standardized test score results, but also takes into account attendance, graduation rates, and student improvement. Last week, Newsworks published a story that analyzed overall state trends, as […] More »

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Districts, parents sue Pa. over education funding

Nov10

School districts, parents, an organization representing small and rural school systems and the state NAACP on Monday filed a lawsuit against Gov. Tom Corbett, state education officials and legislative leaders, saying that Pennsylvania fails to uphold its constitutional obligation to educate children adequately. Read more. More »

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Bear Creek Charter School does well in PSSA tests

Nov10

Recently released PSSA test results were cause for celebration at Thursday’s meeting of the Bear Creek Community Charter School Board of Trustees. The school’s composite performance on last year’s tests showed almost a 7.5-point increase over the previous year — 87.4 in 2013-14, up from 80.0 in 2012-13 — and school Principal Brian Dugas said […] More »

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Editorial: Will Wolf save York City schools?

Nov10

The York City teachers union rejected a state fact finder’s report this week, ensuring a lengthy contract negotiation will drag on even longer. The union and school board have been at it for more than a year now, and it’s safe to say they’re farther apart than ever — especially since we were led to […] More »

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Point Breeze activists feel blindsided by loss of prize charter

Nov10

Claudia Sherrod held high hopes for the Walter G. Smith School, an imposing structure on the National Register of Historic Places at 19th and Wharton Streets in Point Breeze. She and others in the community were stricken when the Philadelphia School District shuttered the building in 2013 amid its continuing budget crisis. But news that […] More »

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Focus narrowing for Basic Education Funding Commission

Nov10

Focus narrowing for Basic Education Funding Commission Author: Jason Gottesman/Thursday, November 6, 2014 Thursday, the Basic Education Funding Commission held its seventh hearing aimed to help in its mission to provide the legislature with a new basic education funding formula for consideration. According to Commission Co-Chairman Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), the focus of the commission is […] More »

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Capitolwire: Charter school SPP ratings drop slightly, districts hold steady

Nov10

Charter school SPP ratings drop slightly, districts hold steady By Christen Smith Staff Reporter Capitolwire HARRISBURG (Nov.7) — Just one third of the state’s charter schools scored 70 or higher on the 2013-14 School Performance Profiles, representing an overall decline of 4 percent from last year’s scores, according to data released by the Pennsylvania Department […] More »

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Freire Charter School wants to open a tech-focused high school

Oct31

Freire Charter School is trying to open a technology and entrepreneurship-focused high school. It’s the first time in seven years that the School District of Philadelphia is accepting applications for new charter schools and Freire, which runs a middle school and high school in Center City, will be one of those applicants. The deadline for applications is Nov. 15. Read more. More »

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PCPCS Addresses Philadelphia City Controller’s Report on Financial Impact of Charter Schools on School District of Philadelphia

Oct24

October 22, 2014 King of Prussia, Pa.—The Office of the City Controller’s October report on the impact of charter schools on the finances of the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) found nothing altogether new in its research and some of the resulting recommendations are reforms that the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools has long […] More »

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Opinion: Why the runaround on turnarounds?

Feb13

AMID extensive coverage of the very real challenges facing our public schools, we shouldn’t lose sight of what’s actually working. Right now, outstanding educators are working closely with families of all backgrounds to transform Philadelphia’s lowest performing schools into some of the best schools in the city. Yet, not enough people are talking about Renaissance […] More »

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Philadelphia: Pew Poll Shows Growing Charter Support as District Support Sharply Declines

Sep18

PHILADELPHIANS gave the strapped school district the lowest rating in five years while placing blame equally on local and state leaders for the system’s woes, according to a poll released yesterday by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130918_Residents_give_school_district_bad_grades_in_Pew_poll.html#mXXgJ3BV84z5ApW7.99 More »

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Inq.: School Crisis Drives Families from City

Aug18

Brian Hackford is divorcing Philadelphia, citing irreconcilable differences over public education. For most of his adult life, Hackford has loved this city – its energy, its grit, its humor, its culture, its diversity, restaurants, parks, museums, and a host of other ineffable qualities that have made this place home.But try as he might, he no […] More »

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Ed Week: Fiscal Pressures Squeeze Philadelphia Schools as Opening Looms

Aug17

Philadelphia’s scramble this week to find the $50 million in emergency aid Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says is needed to open schools as scheduled exposed deep rifts about how to fix the district’s chronic fiscal problems. On the hot seat, both short and long term: a district that’s laid off thousands of teachers and […] More »

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The Center for Education Reform Finds Multiple Shortcomings in New Stanford Research Study on Charter School Performance

Jun25

(PRWEB) June 25, 2013 The Center for Education Reform (CER), the nation’s leading advocate for substantive and structural change to K-12 education, today criticized a new study by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), taking issue with flawed CREDO findings that purport to show the performance of charter schools in the United […] More »

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DN Editorial: No more games

Jun14

SOMEDAY – someday very soon, we hope – someone in Harrisburg is going to have to get serious about the fate of Philadelphia’s public schools. We will begin with Gov. Corbett, who is the father of much of the misery that the district is facing. The deep cuts he made in state support for public […] More »

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The end of Philly’s public schools?

Jun14

Could all of Philadelphia’s school-aged kids soon be destined for charters? As the district struggles with a serious cash deficit, a top Democratic senator said Monday there has been talk in Capitol halls of turning all of Philadelphia’s schools into privately-run charters. Sen. Vincent Hughes says he heard from “high-placed sources” over the weekend of […] More »

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KIPP Philadelphia Educator Wins Excellence In Teaching Award

Jun14

KIPP Philadelphia Schools’ own Rachel Kohan was recognized at the KIPP School Summit with the prestigious Harriet Ball Excellence in Teaching Award.  Rachel was one of eleven teachers selected from a pool of more than 2,700 KIPP educators to win the award.  In addition to being recognized for excellence in teaching, each of the award […] More »

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Districts Save What Cybers Spend

Jun14

How much of Pennsylvania’s education spending goes to public cyber schools? Just 1 percent, or $319 million. Keep this in mind when reading about new data on school district reserve funds. A common complaint we hear about public cyber and charter schools is that they cost school districts too much money. Indeed, along with pension payments and lack […] More »

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Down to the wire on charter talks

Jun14

With their schools’ mandates to operate running out in just a matter of days, leaders of 10 charters are deep into negotiations with District officials who are determined, at least for now, to defer plans by the schools to expand. Citing the budget crisis, Superintendent William Hite last month announced hewould not recommend any charter expansions in the coming […] More »

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Large urban school districts creating their own virtual schools

Jun14

The Philadelphia school system will open a new, full-time online school this coming fall, a program that the district promises will offer the academic flexibility and customized learning that many students and families demand. But district officials also see the virtual program as bringing at least one clear benefit to the city school system itself: […] More »

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4,000 Philadelphia Teachers, School Staff Losing Jobs

Jun08

Nearly 4,000 Philadelphia school teachers, administrators and staff learned Friday they would lose their jobs. School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite, Jr. said the layoffs are a result of severe budget cuts necessary to keep the nation’s eighth-largest school district financially sound. “The School District of Philadelphia must live within its means,” said […] More »

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Education Committee moves sweeping charter reform package to House floor.

Jun04

SOURCE: CAPITOLWIRE By Peter L. DeCoursey Bureau Chief Capitolwire HARRISBURG (June 3) – The House Education Committee on Monday moved to the floor a sweeping charter school reform package supporters say will move an estimated $80 million a year from charters back to their districts. The committee separately passed legislation containing a three-year moratorium on new […] More »

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Charters wants accountability, transparency

May29

Op-Ed by Dr. Michael Conti CEO, Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School The Observer-Reporter was neither when it penned its op-ed entitled “Wanting public money, but not the accountability.” The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School has been at the forefront of advocating for increased accountability and transparency among charter and cyber-charter schools for longer than a half-decade. Just […] More »

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POLL SHOWS OVERWHELMING TAXPAYER SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE

May28

A new poll shows 62 percent of Pennsylvania’s voters have favorable impressions of the concept of parental choice in public education. Conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research in Harrisburg, the poll shows 87 percent of the respondents believe parents should have the option to determine the type of public school that would best serve their child’s […] More »

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Charter expansions reasonable

May25

The Notebook reported that 21 Philadelphia charter schools are seeking to add more than 15,000 new students during the next five years. This does not seem unreasonable given the fact that thousands of parents and families are on waiting lists desperately hoping to get their child into a high-quality Philadelphia charter school. This overwhelming demand is a […] More »

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Governor Corbett Announces Changes at Pennsylvania Department of Education

May15

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Governor Tom Corbett today announced that Ronald J. Tomalis will leave his post as Secretary of Education on May 31 to become Special Adviser to the Governor on Higher Education. Tomalis, who has been with the administration since January 2011, will be responsible for overseeing, implementing […] More »

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Phila Tribune: Truebright School fights to keep charter

May10

Truebright Science Academy Charter School. — Photo courtesy Great Philly Schools.org When the leadership of the School District of Philadelphia recently announced the system would not expand charter school options for the ensuing school year, thoughts turned to the existing charter schools that are up for renewal at the end of the year, and to […] More »

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Charter schools offer value, options

May06

Like many parents, I have concerns about my children’s education. This isn’t an indictment of their teachers or school district. However, as an educator, I am astutely aware of the fact that people have different learning styles. What works for one of my students doesn’t always work for another. Public schools have become highly bureaucratized […] More »

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West Shore school officials lift prom ban for cyber school student

May05

  An 18-year-old cyber charter school student barred from attending her senior prom will be allowed to go after all. Eleanor Lohry picked up her tickets to the Cedar Cliff High School prom Friday after school officials called to let her know they’d reversed their original decision to keep her out of the event. West Shore […] More »

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Inquirer: Virtual shout-out for cyber schools

May05

To be honest, the prospect of Internet-based education was not intuitive to me at first, either. And if fate had given me different kids, or no kids, or enough cash to send my kids to private school when the going got tough, I’d probably be part of the shrill chorus decrying the use of public […] More »

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Lancaster Online: Charter schools offer value, options

May05

Public schools have become highly bureaucratized and are not capable of adapting to individual children’s needs. While teachers are knowledgeable about learning, they often find that their hands are tied when it comes to making adaptations for a struggling student. Some children are diagnosed with a learning disability and qualify for “accommodations.” Within the public […] More »

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OP-ED: District’s oldies are not goodies

May03

The School District of Philadelphia’s school closures, although 10 years too late, are a step in the right direction. The School Reform Commission and Hite seem to be generating responsible change and changing their tune. These movements will help to correct the district’s fiscal position over the next decade. The public will not accept this […] More »

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Cyber schools hope one day the focus will solely be on learning

May02

For the Cribbs family, school is a top priority in their home. For them, home is where the classroom is. “One of my favorite things about cyber school,” commented Tim Cribbs. “I would say is you can sleep in!” 11-year-old Tim and his nine-year-old brother Trenton are cyber school students, both attending Commonwealth Connections Academy. […] More »

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PCPCS Responds to West Shore SD Concerning its Illegal Decision to Ban Cyber Student From the Prom

May02

Throughout last week, PCPCS reported to members a disturbing incident in which the West Shore School District illegally refused to allow a cyber charter school student who resides in the district to attend the prom at Cedar Cliff High School. News of the situation caused quite a backlash as it spread throughout the charter school community and […] More »

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Cyber student not allowed to attend prom

Apr29

Eleanor Lohry, 18, already has the dress and the shoes, but the West Shore School District is not allowing the cyber student to attend Cedar Cliff High School’s prom. The Lemoyne teenager attended Cedar Cliff High School her Freshman year, but after several medical issues caused her to fall behind in classes, her family decided […] More »

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DN Editorial: Disenfranchised: State needs to support crucial business tax

Apr29

WE ALL KNOW the school district is in bad shape. But it could actually get worse, because Gov. Corbett’s assumptions about revenue coming into the state have not panned out. That could jeopardize the $120 million in state aid the schools are counting on to help fill its own $300 million hole. Unlike the schools, […] More »

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Sen. Anthony Williams Op-Ed: Phila. School District on Brink of Collapse

Apr29

By Anthony Hardy Williams The School District of Philadelphia is tipping toward the brink of absolute collapse. That’s reality. Yet that hasn’t jostled most of us from our assumptions about the district’s budgeting process as a Chicken Little-style extortion attempt that will feature a miraculous recovery. That’s unconscionable. Still, the respective corners – City Hall, […] More »

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Phila. schools’ cash crunch may cut charter growth

Apr27

Citing a $304 million shortfall, the Philadelphia School District announced Thursday that it would recommend against expanding any charter schools in 2013-14. “Given our dire financial prospects, we must ask for shared sacrifices from our partners,” Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in a statement Thursday evening. “It would be irresponsible for the district to […] More »

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DEP Awards Spectrum Charter School

Apr23

On Earth Day, Spectrum Charter School was awarded a PA Department of Environmental Protection Education Grant by Governor Corbett.  These funds will be used to teach students about watersheds and related fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  We will be purchasing rain barrels, seeds, gardening tools, mini greenhouses, and water conservation books. Also, in […] More »

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PA Virtual Student: Don’t Cut Cyber Charter Funding

Apr22

I’ve been at Pennsylvania Virtual Charter Schools since kindergarten, and now I’m in ninth grade. My school is considered a public cyber charter school, which is different than homeschooling. In this letter, I’m going to state why I love this school, explain the difference between homeschooling and public charter schools, and why public cyber charter […] More »

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Tribune Review: Student Advocates for Cyber Charter Schools at State Hearing

Apr18

Hattie Henderson, a 2012 Achievement House Cyber Charter School graduate, attended a House education hearing to advocate for cyber schools. “I felt like I was able to put a face on what cyber school was like for some students,” said Henderson, who graduated as valedictorian from Achievement House. “Cyber school…made a huge impact on my life […] More »

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Senator Folmer: Pennsylvania’s education debate must focus on kids, parents

Apr16

Presently, it is parents who decide to enroll their children in cyber schools (or other schools). Parents should make such decisions: They know best what’s best for their children. I don’t think government – any government – should interfere with these rights – ever. This will be my guiding principle whenever the General Assembly deliberates […] More »

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Patriot-News: Charter school reform needs to put students, not special interests, first

Apr03

By Jeffrey Piccola Cyber charter schools are meeting unique needs in public education—needs defined by 38,000 parents who view cyber schooling as the best, and sometimes only, alternative for their children. Parents, better than anyone, know when they see failure and know when they see hope. Cyber charter schools provide that hope, save taxpayers money, […] More »

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Times Observer: Bright Future for Charters

Apr01

Public school districts try to provide new opportunities through varied curricular choices and enhanced programs. But a different model exists charter schools. “The future looks bright,” Dr. Doug Allen, chief educational officer of Tidioute Community Charter School said of both TCCS and the charter movement, generally. “TCCS will prosper because it serves a community as […] More »

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YDR: Time for charter school reform

Mar28

The governor and state lawmakers have a pretty crowded agenda up there in Harrisburg, with pension reform, lottery and liquor store privatization and a number of other issues, but one thing state leaders really need to accomplish this year is reform of the charter school system in Pennsylvania. From funding to authorization and accountability, lawmakers […] More »

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Recap: March 14 House Education Committee Hearing on Devastating Cyber Charter Legislation

Mar17

Recap House Education Committee Hearing on Devastating Cyber Charter Legislation On Thursday, March 14, the House Education Committee held a hearing on proposed legislation that, if passed, will negatively impact the future of every Pennsylvania cyber charter school. Links to the bills and testimony follow:  Committee(s): House Education Committee Meeting type: Public hearing Subject: Cyber charter school […] More »

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House Education Committee to hold Hearing on Devastating Cyber Charter Legislation

Mar13

On Thursday, March 14 at 10 AM, the House Education Committee will hold a hearing in the House Majority Caucus Room on proposed legislation that, if passed, will negatively impact the future of every Pennsylvania cyber charter school. Bills under consideration are: HB 759 (Reese Bill) Pennsylvania School Districts currently take 21 deductions in the […] More »

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Charter Schools Outperforming District Schools in Cities, Statewide

Oct02

After the 2011-2012 results for the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) scores were released, the contrast between traditional district schools and charter schools is striking. A higher percentage of charter schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) statewide. In Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the percentages of charter schools that made AYP were much greater than the traditional district schools in those cities. More »

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PCPCS Announces 2012 Leadership Council

Jul11

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools would like to congratulate the newly elected 2012 Leadership Council. The Leadership Council were nominated and voted on by their peers to represent the diverse geographic regions of Pennsylvania More »

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Pennsylvania charter school movie to be released nationwide in September

Jun06

PCPCS is excited to announce that 20th Century Fox in conjunction with Walden Media will be releasing a feature film about a group of Pennsylvania parents and teachers who work together against the odds and opposition to create a neighborhood charter school. About the film: Once in a great while, a film is made that combines honest, […] More »

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PA Coalition of Public Charter Schools Receives $1.14 Million Grant from Walton Family Foundation

May15

Funding will help drive quality and accountability in Pennsylvania charter schools The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) announced today that it has received a $1.14 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The three-year grant was made with the goal of expanding efforts to drive quality and accountability in Pennsylvania charter schools, and […] More »

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Why Pennsylvania Needs a Statewide Independent Authorizer for Charter Schools

May14

Visit www.ChildrenPA.com and take two minutes to let your legislator know you want to see an independent authorizer in Pennsylvania. After more than 14 years of operation and experience in Pennsylvania and from educators in 39 other states, we know what makes for high-performing charter schools – dedicated teachers, involved parents, individualized attention, exceptional curriculums, […] More »

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Commonwealth Court supports decision to award Walter Palmer Charter School $1.25MM

Apr03

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools is very pleased to report that on April 3, 2012 the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the March 4, 2011 decision of the Secretary of Education which previously awarded the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partner Charters School $1,253,225.82 in its enrollment cap dispute with the School District […] More »

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Making a Difference: Public, charter schools form partnership.

Feb16

Rock Center Special Correspondent Chelsea Clinton visits Central Falls, R.I., where a public school and charter school have formed a unique partnership to better serve their students. Rather than compete with one another, a group of public school teachers are working with teachers from The Learning Community charter school to devise programs that have already raised […] More »

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Protect Charter School Teacher Retirement Funds

Feb13

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued a Proposed Regulation titled “Determination of Government Plan Status.” This regulation would force states to prohibit charter school teachers from participating in state retirement plans. Presently, every single state that authorizes charter schools either requires or permits charter school participation in the state’s retirement system. Therefore, this regulation would […] More »

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Philadelphia Mayor Announces Historic Compact with Charter Schools & School District

Dec21

Joined by Philadelphia education, business and philanthropic leaders, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that he and other education leaders have signed a historic agreement to increase the number of high-performing schools in the City. The Philadelphia Great Schools Compact unites the mayor, school district and charter school leaders in a bold, collaborative plan to focus […] More »

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PCPCS Responds To Inaccurate Reporting On Charter Schools

Dec08

The December 2 issue of the Morning Call contained an article on a “report” announced to have been released on November 25 in which 26 school superintendents from Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton and Pike counties blasted charter schools. We have read the original document, the press release, and the story and have found there are […] More »

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Statewide Poll Indicates Pennsylvanians Support Public School Choice

Oct26

The results are in: The majority of PA residents support public school choice. The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools in partnership with Susquehanna Polling and Research recently conducted a statewide survey to determine how taxpayers view charter and cyber charter schools. The survey results indicate that residents across the Commonwealth recognize the value of […] More »

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PCPCS APPLAUDS SENATE’S ADVANCEMENT OF CHARTER SCHOOL LEGISLATION, SAYS MORE WORK YET TO BE DONE

Oct25

West Chester, PA — The Pa Senate Education Committee voted today to include into a key education bill (SB 1) much of what was in charter school reform bill SB 904, and to move SB 1 to the full Senate for consideration. SB 1 previously contained proposals focusing only on Opportunity Scholarships and Educational Investment […] More »

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PCPCS applauds Governor Corbett for remembering “It’s All About The Children” with public education reform agenda.

Oct11

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools applauds Governor Tom Corbett for addressing the Commonwealth’s need for public education reform. The Governor has made it clear that providing Pennsylvania K-12 students with public school choice is one of his top priorities. The reforms supported by Governor Corbett, which reflect companion bills in the Pennsylvania Senate […] More »

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Pennsylvania Awarded $38 Million for Literacy Initiatives

Oct05

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has been awarded $38 million through the United States Department of Education’s Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program.  The states winning the Striving Readers Grant are: Pending legislative approval, the program is projected to span five years with matching awards each consecutive year. Pennsylvania was one of 35 states that […] More »

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PCPCS President testifies on behalf of Charter Schools before the House Education Committee.

Aug01

The following is a transcript of the testimony of Lawrence F. Jones, President of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Public Charter Schools, given to the the PA House Education Committee in Philadelphia on Thursday July 28th. Good afternoon Chairman Clymer, Chairman Roebuck, members of the Education Committee, members of the legislature, and audience members. My name is Lawrence F. […] More »

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PCPCS urges PA Dept. of Ed. to speed up payments to replace payments from School Districts in default

Jun15

The following is a letter sent to The PA Department of Education Director of Budget and Fiscal Management, Barbara Nelson, concerning a recent development at the May 24th summit between Charter School CEO’s and the PA Department of Education. In the overflowing room, the Department verbally explained to the Charter School community that a charter […] More »

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Pa. Education Secretary Tomalis: School districts can’t blame Charter Schools

Jun08

“I don’t see how the success of a program like this threatens a traditional K-12 district,” Tomalis said. “What you see in this building is what public education should really be about.” The education secretary was at [the Lincoln Elementary Charter School in York] shoulder-to-shoulder with Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, a Republican representing a portion of […] More »

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Gov. Corbett gives commencement to first Boys Latin graduating class.

Jun08

Gov. Corbett and Mayor Nutter headline Boys Latin Charter School first graduation in West Philadelphia this past Monday. “In many ways you – the first graduating class – are the founders of your school,” Corbett told the 79 young men who received their diplomas before a cheering audience of parents, friends, and supporters who packed […] More »

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Michelle Rhee: PA must make it easier for good public charter schools to expand.

May31

by Michelle Rhee As we work to improve our neighborhood public schools, we also have to expand the educational choices available to children and families. Pennsylvania must make it easier for good public charter schools to expand in the state. Charter schools are public schools, but they operate with more freedom than traditional schools and […] More »

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Charter Schools On The Rise

May26

According to the Washington Times and the Washington Post, a new study from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that in the 2008-09 school year, 1.4 million students across the country attended public charter schools, up from 340,000 a decade earlier. NCES Commissioner Jack Buckley called the rising enrollment […] More »

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Gov. Corbett calls Chester Community Charter model for school choice

May02

“What you are doing here needs to be reported to all the people of Pennsylvania so that they can understand what can be accomplished if there’s a vision, if there’s a commitment, and if there’s determination and if there’s choice,” Corbett said to students who filled the bleachers in the CCCS gymnasium. “Because that’s what […] More »

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Senate Bill 904: A tremendous step in the right direction for Charter Schools

Apr12

Senate Bill 904 is a tremendous step in the right direction, not only for charter schools, but for all public education in Pennsylvania. It legitimizes the charter school option as a fundamental part of the fabric of public education in Pennsylvania; removes political shackles from high quality charter school operators; and provides fair, transparent, and […] More »

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PA Supreme Court orders Department of Education to pay $1.3 million to Walter D. Palmer Charter School

Apr12

PHILADELPHIA – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the Department of Education to pay the Philadelphia-based Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School $1.3 million the School District of Philadelphia had previously refused to pay the charter school. Last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Education affirmed that the School District of Philadelphia had no authority […] More »

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