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wellarmedsheep t1_j9ggra8 wrote

I'll name and shame. I have a friend who works for Agora Cyber Charter. From what he tells me, he usually has only about two or three kids actually active in class. Nearly all of his "students" log in and ignore him. Their software tells him that they don't even have his screen active on their computer.

He was recently reprimanded for saying this in a PLC, suggesting what they are doing is illegal.

Because it 100% is. These charters cost taxpayers obscene amounts of money to educate habitually absent students who graduate after literally doing nothing.


loganwachter t1_j9hxifo wrote

My mom stuck me in agora for a single school year many years ago. I didn’t do a damn thing that whole year except scroll through the internet and sleep all day. Agora is absolutely useless for an actual education.


troylight54 t1_ja7afzc wrote

Let's be perfectly frank here. Cyber Charter schools are a huge source of campaign contributions for Republicans politicians in Pa.


kormer t1_j9h7ygo wrote

> These charters cost taxpayers obscene amounts of money to educate habitually absent students who graduate after literally doing nothing.

And that's different than many other public schools how?


wellarmedsheep t1_j9haxo3 wrote

Its much different.

I certainly have my issues with public education, particularly social promotion, but the difference in engagement is not comparable.

Quite literally you can log into a cyber charter, walk away, and get counted as present. Counting those kids as present is fraud. You cannot do that at public school.


kormer t1_j9hbsnj wrote

> Quite literally you can log into a cyber charter, walk away, and get counted as present. Counting those kids as present is fraud. You cannot do that at public school.

I went to school in the hood, you have no fucking clue what you're talking about.


SirShrimp t1_j9j53di wrote

Ok, and? That's still bad, that's still an issue.


drxdrg08 t1_j9gj0n4 wrote

> These charters cost taxpayers obscene amounts of money to educate habitually absent students who graduate after literally doing nothing.

Tom Wolf got rid of state mandatory testing to graduate.


theavengedCguy t1_j9gre74 wrote

Confidently incorrect. Senate Bill 1095 that was signed into law 10/14/2018 provided four alternatives to only the Keystone exam deciding a high school student's fate. Not everyone performs well on tests, especially ones that are as high stakes as the Keystone exam and Bill 1095 simply added alternatives to that one test as a requirement for graduation. Those alternatives are all based on either passing the Keystone exam outright or having high enough grades in your regular education with supplemental proof of post-high school education readiness.


drxdrg08 t1_j9gsvmb wrote

> Not everyone performs well on tests

Bullshit logic that is failing kids.

> or having high enough grades in your regular education

And creates a path for schools to teach nothing and still grant diplomas. Tests is how you test how well a charter school is working.


theavengedCguy t1_j9gxb5d wrote

Nope, not bullshit logic at all. Test/performance anxiety is a very real thing and is very well documented. People shouldn't be punished for their inability to perform under pressure, especially not kids.

Also, this Bill did NOT create pathways for schools to teach nothing and still grant diplomas. You're thinking of No Child Left Behind which ROYALLY fucked up the education system in the US. This created the "teach to the test" doctrine as a means of ensuring funding for the school which leaves kids with abilities to solve the problems on the tests they're taught, but no critical thinking skills to apply them to anything of value.

Furthermore, if you want to throw shit about political bullshit regarding the Department of Education and how it operates, Republicans are trying to literally abolish the Department of Education entirely. And it isn't the first time they've proposed this idea either. There have been multiple instances of these asshats trying to cripple the education system in the US, even if just for show. Trump, Rubio, Massie, MTG, and more have all shown support for this and DeVos did her best to hamstring it to make it easier to privatize. Oh and Reagan tried to get rid of it, or at least wanted to get rid of it, back in like the early 80s.


drxdrg08 t1_j9he4k8 wrote

> Nope, not bullshit logic at all. Test/performance anxiety is a very real thing and is very well documented. People shouldn't be punished for their inability to perform under pressure, especially not kids.

We've been doing it wrong for hundreds of years. Tests have been a thing for a very long time.

It's dishonest to even say that it's about "anxiety". It's a recent movement linked to "equity".


Zenith2017 t1_j9lgoq8 wrote

Education research for the last 40+ years would disagree heavily with you. Standardized testing primarily reflects the ability to repeat rote information you've memorized, and is especially useless on question types like multiple choice or mix and match columns. We also know there are plenty of students who have inhibitions to standardized testing including executive function, attention, and learning disorders - and that most of those kids are not being put into an IEP or special needs program that can fit their needs.

I know it makes sense on paper (heh) that if you can't put it on a test you don't know it. But that's not really an accurate reflection of what a student knows or how they think, there's better ways for us to go about this with evidence-based learning science


WearySeaTurtle t1_j9h6t4f wrote

The state exams are bullshit. At my school, we did not give a single f, just guessed and put down whatever. The school tried to bribe us with ice cream to care.

All I cared about was passing classes, not some dumb state exam.

For those who have to pass these to graduate, God bless.

What I was being teach before the exams barely pertained to it. Teachers just rush taught a review before.

You're so out of touch if you think passing state exam means you got a quality education.


SuggestAPhotoProject t1_j9g7k9u wrote

Yeah, no shit. This is what happens in literally every single instance of privatization, it’s the entire point, and republicans fall for it over and over and over again.


nalgene_wilder t1_j9g9ldt wrote

Republicans don't "fall for it," it's exactly what they want


Finrodsrod t1_j9geabp wrote

The rich Republicans don't fall for it. As you said, it's exactly what they want. They send their kids to top end prep/boarding schools, and pay for top tier tutors.

The poor Republicans are complete morons that fall for it, hook line and sinker, via the reasons above so that culture war bullshit propagated by OWN, FoxNews, and Breitbart propaganda networks keeps the good times rolling.

Rich people need the "have nots" in order for out of control Capitalism to keep working.


111victories t1_j9heh94 wrote

Don’t rich Republicans care about their property tax bills skyrocketing due to this?


Finrodsrod t1_j9iaiwa wrote

lol, why do you think they're all so adamant about abolishing property taxes? Ties right back to why Republicans spread propaganda against public schools. A lot of states fund public schools via property taxes. They want to kill off public schools for private charters to both unload property taxes and have their rich buddies make profit, AND pump out more idiot 'poors' that'll vote against their own interests driven by propaganda, fear, and racism because they have absolutely no education to counter it.


Open_Veins_8 OP t1_j9g665k wrote

Taxpayers don’t have a choice when it comes to their money funding a largely unregulated and underperforming industry at the expense of public schools. A new bill could change that.


DisciplineShot2872 t1_j9g98vq wrote

I worked for a charter school in California in the late 90s. The "education" was a joke, all xeroxed packets the kids read at home before taking a 50 question multiple choice test. Meanwhile, the founders paid themselves fat salaries, including paying their teenage daughter six figures as the CFO while she was studying art in Paris. So I learned early that for-profit schools are a farce.


TrashApocalypse t1_j9gichz wrote

Tax payers do have a choice if they stay active and informed about how is running for elections and what they actually stand for.

Not sure how to prevent another George santos though 🤷


kormer t1_j9h8mkp wrote

> Parents don’t have a choice when it comes to their money funding a largely unregulated and underperforming industry known as public schools. A new bill could change that.

Fixed that for you


nayls142 t1_j9gckwb wrote

Taxpayers don't have a choice with their money funding highly regulated, underperforming public schools. Anything that gives options to poor parents stuck living in these school districts is a net win.


Hopeful_Scholar398 t1_j9gicb6 wrote

You should read the article. Cyber charter schools underperformed compared to public schools by every metric.


kormer t1_j9h90f1 wrote

Only when you compare all charters to all traditional public schools.

The flaw in that analysis is that the students going into charters are not coming from all schools, but highly concentrated from the worst schools. Additionally there are a multitude of socio-economic factors that contribute to those students underperforming anywhere they attend, but the comparisons are always made against a broader set of students.


AnotherUser297 t1_j9habmu wrote

Except that the kids who leave “bad” schools and go to charters often perform worse than the kids who stayed at the “bad” school. Charters are often selective in who they admit, have parents who care (enough) to try to get their kid in, and still don’t perform better than the neighborhood school. It’s not always the case - there are some good charters - but so many perform worse than the schools they’re pulling kids from.


kormer t1_j9hbn76 wrote

Stop the lies

>> Charters are often selective in who they admit

>A charter school shall not discriminate in its admission policies or practices based on intellectual ability or athletic ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, status as a person with a disability, English language proficiency, or any other basis that would be illegal if used by a school district. Further, a charter school may not use achievement tests, entrance examination tests, enrollment forms, admissions interviews, or other means of testing a student’s intellectual ability, disability status, English language proficiency or other basis that would be illegal if used by a school district to grant or deny admission. A charter school also may not require a student to obtain or maintain a particular grade point average to be admitted to the charter school. The chartering school district may conduct periodic audits of the school's applicants, accepted students, and enrolled students.


AnotherUser297 t1_j9hdsxo wrote

Unfortunately the law and the reality are different.

Charters kick kids with IEP needs out or don’t admit them under the guise of not having resources for them. They kick kids out for behavior, or don’t admit them for truancy issues at a previous school. They hold their admissions lotteries at one specific location in one specific neighborhood for one hour one night per year.


ewyorksockexchange t1_j9hw3np wrote

You are mostly correct here, but your comment about kicking out IEP kids is somewhat inaccurate. Charters actually thrive on admitting low-need IEP kids because they receive the funding boost that comes with them.

Generally low-level IEP students are less costly to host for charters than the average IEP kid across all classifications, and charters get the funding for the IEP average kid in a given district when they bring them in. So a charter is taking low need kids and getting more in funding from the public school than what it actually costs to educate them, meaning the public schools are getting crushed on higher level IEP students when the lower level ones go to the charters.


AnotherUser297 t1_j9hy38o wrote

Right, a kid with an ADHD diagnosis and an IEP gets full sped funding but it’s not costing the school much more than a kid without an IEP. He or she might go to a learning support teacher part of the day, or might have a paraprofessional working alongside. A nonverbal kid with autism, or severe emotional disturbance, or extensive physical needs is going to cost a lot more to educate, but may also be turned down by the charter because they don’t have the staff or programs or facilities to educate the student. A lot of the time, the school honestly doesn’t have the resources to properly educate those students, but they absolutely do take full advantage of the higher funding for students with documented needs.


IIIIIIVIIIIII t1_j9hwv8i wrote

If only the school districts had some kind of council where the citizens could vote for people to oversee the school. 🤔


Flimsy-Lie-1471 t1_j9h3pjx wrote

Are you telling me that for profit schools are more worried about profit than education? I just can’t believe that.


Ok-Competition-3356 t1_j9leh7p wrote

I'm not sure if that's an honest question or sarcasm. And that's my honest question. Anything that's for profit is only about profit. It is also obvious to me that that's what's going on with the prison system right now since it has gone to a for-profit system. You just need bodies and the money rolls in.


MajinSkull t1_j9gjfud wrote

I work at an online Charter school. I keep it on the DL that I hate the idea behind charter schools. Schools shouldn’t have a CEO. Students really get out what they put into it. If the student isn’t motivated to do the work, they are going to fail horribly


MildlyInfuria8ing t1_j9h9xgo wrote

A prime example of why certain people pushed so hard to get charter school vouchers covered by state funds. It's a financial scheme disguised as education. It's in the same vein as most for profit prisons; your population is always there legally, and it makes it so easy to make 'legal' kickbacks especially when everyone involved is looking out for each other's backs instead of those populations they serve.


Blexcr0id t1_j9t1i8h wrote

Certain people is carrying a lot of weight here. You are 100% correct.


crispydukes t1_j9gn5ik wrote

This is what I was thinking when everyone was praising the 9 year old who "graduated high school."

What kind of education did he really receive? Was it truly worthy of the diploma?


drunkmonkey176 t1_j9g9z93 wrote

That's how you manufacture an obedient proletariat.


A_lunch_lady t1_j9h2ru9 wrote

I just have to admit I had a very good experience with PALCS cyber school as a parent. The curriculum was rigorous and there was good communication. A lot of resources to help the students do better. It was my goal as a parent to take full advantage of the system, and it took a lot of work on my part.


AnotherUser297 t1_j9hak4m wrote

The reason you had a good experience is because you were an involved parent. It IS a lot of work, no matter what kind of school your kid is in.


lynny_lynn t1_j9ht8av wrote

I put my 16 year old son in PA Cyber last fall and he has excelled. His grades are stellar and he participates in discussions and classes. He was bullied relentlessly and suspended for "behavior" reasons in our local high school. This is a very financially and educationally poor district with little parent communication and poor student/teacher performance. There was no hope for him to succeed there. Cyber school was the best thing I have done for him.


drxdrg08 t1_j9hyl8x wrote

Well I'm a 16 year old and I've been to two Antifa meetings this month and you are totally wrong. Charters are literally fascism. Case closed.


lynny_lynn t1_j9i27ki wrote

If this program is helping my child then so be it.


professorwhiskers87 t1_j9gq7gv wrote

Well, who in their damn minds thinks this is a good idea?


Patiod t1_j9h0air wrote

people who own cyber charters, obv


PPQue6 t1_j9imv8i wrote

People who don't want to see an educated public.


Ok-Competition-3356 t1_j9lfkhh wrote

I also think there are a lot of parents out there that are overwhelmed with bad children for a very large number of reasons that none of us really need to address here. Charter schools are an answer to their prayers because they get fined if their kids are not attending school. I don't have kids and all that literally blows my mind but I do know plenty of people who in theory think this is a good idea but when you really look at it beyond scratching the surface it's obvious this is a huge scam. It doesn't matter if it's democrat or republican, poor or rich this is a fucking scam.


Guntcher1423 t1_j9h1tly wrote

Is this something favored by the GOP? Then you are telling us something we already knew.


tyrael459 t1_j9glypq wrote

No way. I’m so shocked.


imagranny t1_j9h6d6a wrote

That the PA legislature lets this continue is a disgrace. But they will complain about "waste" in government. And it also helps in the Republican plan to privatize education, along with the EITC program.


mikeyHustle t1_j9hjodn wrote

For-profit scam schools. Gee, who knew . . .

I still can't believe how effective the propaganda was in Beaver County when they first started. I had family members telling me to transfer out of a decently funded public school to get a "better education."


WearySeaTurtle t1_j9h71ho wrote

Can't you just take a test to get your ged too?

Our education system is a fat joke.


tehmlem t1_j9h42ch wrote

That's what they're designed to do!


AbsentEmpire t1_j9hk29g wrote

We've known online only cyber-schools were bullshit for years. We knew they were shit prior to the 2020 lockdowns, and we especially know they're shit now.

It's just another classic conservative tactic to take public funds and pocket them at the expense of society.


BartlettMagic t1_j9hpitc wrote

i can't see how anyone is shocked or surprised. IMO, the cyber charter system is the educational equivalent to WalMart or McDonalds. crank out those graduates cheap and easy. the quality of the product isn't a concern, it's the numbers you can show on the other side of the process.


Jmich96 t1_j9iyzhq wrote

I'm not going to lie; I always thought PA Cyber was a state founded online school (not a private school).

If I don't know, how many PA residents do?


Ok-Competition-3356 t1_j9lh12c wrote

I hadn't. Until Donald Trump got elected by Pennsylvania I also had no idea what a shit show my home state was. The one good thing for me personally is it made me start to pay attention and better educate myself on FACTS. I realized if some of the things that I saw happen during his presidency are the reality for the country, that I had to become a better citizen and a better person and more involve myself. Privatizing schools and prisons is a horrible idea for almost the entirety of the population. These things will come back to haunt us.


worstatit t1_j9jvauz wrote

Charter Schools are an expensive joke on Pennsylvania taxpayers (particularly"cyber"). Yet we still fall for it.


wooferstee t1_j9geyh7 wrote

We spend more on education per student then most all countries and we are still falling behind, it can’t be spent more money and it can’t be the same old same old.


susinpgh t1_j9gn4bu wrote

Here's a good overview of comparisons to other countries and also within the US

We're 12th when comparing to other peer countries and we are below benchmarks for education spending by some measures. At one time, what you are saying here was true. But it isn't so much true anymore.


wooferstee t1_j9h7txi wrote

Your article shows we are 7 th out of 38 countries 16900 per student that’s quite a large sum and they still can’t read or do simple math


susinpgh t1_j9hf69v wrote

Peer countries is a more important consideration. Also, the education budget isn't keeping up with GDP. It also doesn't meet UNESCO’s benchmark of a 15.00% share of total public expenditure on education.

These are some of the reasons that our education system isn't working at the level that it should.


drxdrg08 t1_j9hxsj0 wrote

> and they still can’t read or do simple math

Who's they? You need to be more specific.

US is very unlike most countries. The population is not homogeneous.

We have an obesity problem. But if you look at people of German ancestry in the US, their rates of obesity are similar to Germans living in Germany.

Education is no different. Some groups have problems. Some do not. Even when they go to the same school.


Joe18067 t1_j9jaimz wrote

The only reason we have charter schools is because it adds money to the pockets of politicians.


pekepeeps t1_j9msnby wrote

Exactly and the strip mall DeVos charter school for mega profit and Pearl clutching thanks you


No-Setting9690 t1_j9ko3o1 wrote

Exactly what I expected. When education, housing, healthcare if for profit, this is what you get. It's all about profit, and nothing to do with the service being provided.


Ok-Competition-3356 t1_j9lieaq wrote

I read an article today that said 70% of the US economy is based on our own spending. If we have shit education and we MAKE money in the prison system, what is our future? Because yes healthcare is also a crazy system here. So if you fight enough to get an education and you can stay out of jail and you make it too where you believe you've done pretty good with the world and you're a decent person, then the country kills you because you can't afford health care to keep yourself healthy and live as an example.


No-Setting9690 t1_j9lt4dz wrote

It's a designed rat race. They will never let the little man all get rich at once, or nothing would get done. We have designed a pyramid scheme into our entire economy.


behls16 t1_j9mztm7 wrote

Buddy teaches at commonwealth charter academy or whatever it is. It’s total fuckin bullshit.


300blakeout t1_j9hhxoe wrote

We’ve all received poor education. I don’t care how much you’ve paid for it either.


Pa17325 t1_j9i76ql wrote

Didn't they get charged with fraud a few years ago?


webauteur t1_j9jzkga wrote

The appropriate response to this article should be, how do I set up my own cyber school? Joking aside, I do a lot of online tutorials and I have a few certificates for completing courses. It would be nice if some of this counted for college credit.


AvidChurchGoer t1_j9gcbni wrote

Idc what you think. The nation’s education system needs a make over


raven4747 t1_j9ggqc2 wrote

yeah, privatization is not the route to get there, unless you want to make the issues 100x worse.


AvidChurchGoer t1_j9ggyiv wrote

Public school isn’t really all that great either. It’s outdated.


raven4747 t1_j9ghcc8 wrote

yes but there are actual checks and balances in place that enable school district residents to hold their schools accountable, even if these processes aren't always effective or efficient. the important part is that with public schools, those processes are there and they can be improved upon. in a private education system, the amounts of checks and balances are drastically reduced.