Cyber School Rewarded for Its Effectiveness

Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has renewed the charter for the state’s first cyber charter school to offer all grades K-12. CEO Dr. Nick Trombetta acknowledged this accomplishment:

Charter renewal is great news for the thousands of Pennsylvania families who depend on our school, and a much appreciated validation of the hard work, expertise and dedication of the hundreds of PA Cyber teachers and other employees. Unlike school districts, we charter schools must demonstrate our effectiveness every five years or we cease to operate.

PA Cyber certainly has been effective. The school met all AYP targets for graduation, participation and academic performance under the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment this past school year.

The fact that PDE recognizes the effectiveness of these schools is a good sign for cyber schools around the state. Despite the benefits of cyber schools (American Idol finalist Aaron Kelly is a prime example of the flexibility of charter schools), Pennsylvania legislators, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, and even the National Education Association have attacked the existence of cyber schools.

These cyber schools must be doing something right, or these attacks might have persuaded PDE to refrain from renewing any of their charters. Now if only we could get the Department of Education to apply these same renewal requirements to public school districts. . .