Pa. cybers still falling short of York County schools on state standards

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, December 19, 2013

School performance reports might be on a new website and in a different format, but Pennsylvania cyber schools still fall short of the standards set by their public school counterparts in York County.

In the past, public schools and cyber schools received proficiency scores based primarily on results from PSSA testing. This fall, the Pennsylvania Department of Education rated each school building on a scale from 0 to 100 based on multiple factors, including Keystone Exams, PSSA tests, graduation rates and other factors. The scores are listed on a new website created by the department.

The Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School scored 67.9, the highest among cyber schools enrolling York County students. Other cyber schools scored between 35 and 60.

Of the 102 York County public schools, 92 scored a 70 or higher. State officials say a score of 70 or higher is satisfactory; high school and middle school results were just finalized last week. Cyber school officials contend the new profiles show raw data that is more accurate than reporting PSSA scores alone. But they say the new method doesn't account for factors such as the transient nature of cyber school enrollment or the initial abilities of incoming students. The scores, they say, don't show the progress they're seeing in their students.

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