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Report: Charter Schools not as effective as originally thought

Published On: Jan 23 2013 11:20:25 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 24 2013 07:09:45 AM EST
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If students were to take a lesson out of Wednesday night’s Salisbury Township School Board meeting, it would be to select your words carefully because sometimes they come back to haunt you.

The day before the United States Department of Education issued a report that found the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Education Department was grading charter schools too easily, and hence, their measures of success were inflated. The recalculated criteria showed a marked decline for bricks-and-mortar and cyber charter schools.

The report was a blow for Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ron Tomalis, who has been a critic of the public school system and suggested “cheating” by some of them in obtaining successful Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks, according to Salisbury Township School Board President Russell Giordano.


“Well, Mr. Tamalis, who is cheating now?” said Giordano on Wednesday night.

Citing an article which appeared in Wednesday’s Morning Call newspaper, Giordano said that the federal report showed that only 28 percent of cyber schools made AYP after the adjustment compared to 49 percent under Tomalis’ system.

“I think it (the report) speaks for itself,” he added.

In other business, the board approved a resolution designating a new millage rate for Salisbury Township School District following a Lehigh County-wide reassessment of real estate values.

“Lehigh County’s reassessment requires districts set a new rate now valued at 100 percent of assessed value,” said Giordano.

The rate approved Wednesday night was 16.5076 replacing the rate of 48.754.