Months ago, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association drew attention to a change in the way the state education department had calculated AYP for charter schools on the last round of PSSAs – treating the charters as districts rather than schools.
PSBA had said the method overstated charter schools’ performance.
The state had made the change without federal approval, however. The federal education department eventually rejected the state’s request to amend the way it calculates AYP for charter schools, saying they must recalculate 2011-12 AYP for charter schools, treating them as traditional schools, according to a letter from the federal department. (The federal department said in the letter the state could use both methods.)
The result of the recalculation, according to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, is that about 28 percent of charter schools met AYP instead of the 49 percent that had been reported through the previous calculations. Also noted by PSBA is that no cyber charters made AYP when the method of calculation was changed back.
See the organization’s explanations here.
When AYP data was released in the fall, we reported that the four charter schools in York that were measured – Helen Thackston, Lincoln, New Hope Academy and Crispus Attucks YouthBuild – did not make AYP. So their statuses have not changed. (Students from around York County attend cyber charter schools, however.)
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the state education department will soon post both the school and district calculations for charter schools.