Tribune-Review: Pa. Charter Schools Are Struggling To Meet Standards, But Keep Growing

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When Ron and Tina Gamble’s twin daughters, Jessica and Lauren, considered leaving public school for cyber school after sophomore year, several factors influenced their decision. The family from Murrysville liked the flexible cyber school schedule and lack of “busy work.”

Standardized test scores and state requirements did not factor into the decision.

“They don’t seem that important to me,” said Lauren Gamble, 17.

Since the charter school movement began in Pennsylvania nearly 15 years ago, most of the state’s charter schools continue to struggle to meet state standards. Yet, charters in Western Pennsylvania keep growing.

More than 90,000 students are enrolled in 142 public charter schools, including 12 cyber charter schools, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools. An estimated 30,000 students are on waiting lists.

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