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What Is A Charter School and Why Are They Working in PA?

The Pennsylvania Department of Education constitutes a charter school as one that “operates free from many educational mandates, [and] offers alternatives in education using strategies that may save money and improve student performance.” Charter schools in PA have benefited student learning because they are awarded the flexibility to cater to different student learning styles. They do this by piloting different learning models, which work to find innovative delivery of instruction.Research suggests that some models are more effective than others.

But what is the charter school movement actually achieving? The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools recently released data suggesting that Pennsylvania state’s charter schools are outperforming district schools across the commonwealth. In October of this year, the organization reported, “Statewide, 49.85 percent of traditional school districts made AYP, compared to 58.97 percent of Pennsylvania’s charter schools.” 105,056 students are currently enrolled in charter schools throughout Pennsylvania and that number is climbing. There are waiting lists for several charter schools, and enrollment has doubled over the last ten years.

Pennsylvania has seen first hand that charter schools are helping children to achieve, and they’re doing it one school at a time. There are presently 167 charter schools in PA and that number continues to increase. Also increasing are the number of cyber schools. The 2012-2013 school year will see the opening of four new cyber charter schools. The standardized test scores speak for themselves, but what’s more important are the increasing demands of students. They want educational options. They want learning alternatives, and they want to succeed.

For a list of new charter schools opening across the state, check out PCPCS’s posted article here.