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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another Anti-Cyber Assault by School Boards

School boards continue to attack public cyber schools and call for limiting their spending (you never hear anyone calling for school districts to limit their spending) in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The PSBA and others continue to argue that public cyber schools are not accountable, but as we point out in the Edifice Complex, cyber schools complete every accountability requirement that school districts do, including having students take the PSSA test, reporting the results, and measuring up to state AYP standards (you can find their results here). In fact cyber schools have higher accountability standards - they have to renew their charter every three to five years, and can be shut down for not performing. Additionally, they have to face the highest standard - parental satisfaction. Cyber schools only get funding when parents choose them (and parents can choose from among district schools or any of the cyber schools in the state).

Instead of trying to defund cyber schools, we should make school districts follow the cyber model. Parents should be able to choose their child’s school and schools should compete for students. Funding should "follow the child" and, schools should only get money when they can attract students. And every school should have a charter; when they fail to perform adequately, they should be shut down.

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