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Philly charters see yearly progress benchmarks downgraded

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

by Paul Socolar and Dale Mezzacappa

Twenty Philadelphia charter schools that had been previously listed as meeting the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress standard in 2012 have now been graded by the state as not making AYP.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education was ordered by the federal government to recalculate and publish [Excel spreadsheet] AYP status for charters using the same standard used for traditional district schools.

Before getting federal approval, Secretary of Education Ronald Tomalis had treated charters as districts rather than as individual schools. Charter advocates argued that this was fair because some charters are larger than small districts in the state.

The district standard is not as strict as the individual school standard. A district can make Adequate Yearly Progress if only one grade span (3-5, 6-8, 9-12) hits the targets as opposed to every single grade.

On its main website for finding school achievement ratings, the state is still displaying AYP status for the charters using the district-level standards. PDE spokesman Tim Eller said that this site would be updated in early February.

Using the school standard, 23 out of 80 Philadelphia charters met the state’s AYP standard in 2012, compared to 43 under the standard Tomalis originally applied. That is a success rate of 29 percent. That is still better than the rate for District-run schools.

Only 33 District schools, or 13 percent of the total, made the state standards, which became significantly tougher last year.

In all, more than a quarter of the city’s charter schools had their status downgraded. Three of six charters that were originally listed as "making progress" using the district-level standard were also downgraded.

Only one of 13 Renaissance charter schools, Mastery at Mann, met the AYP standard.

Among those downgraded were Belmont, Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures, Franklin Towne, the two KIPP schools, Mariana Bracetti, Mastery Shoemaker, Math, Civics and Sciences, and MAST Community Charter.

According to the Allentown Morning Call, statewide, using Tomalis’ method of treating them as districts, 77 charters, or 49 percent, met the AYP standard. Under the standard that treats them as individual schools, 43 made the yearly progress standard.

(For the schools whose status was changed to reflect the now-recalculated standard, the school’s original status is shown in the rightmost column.)

School Name Updated Status (school-level) Original Status (district-level)
Ad Prima CS Made AYP
Alliance for Progress CS Warning Made AYP
Antonia Pantoja Community CS Warning Made AYP
Arch and Design CHS Corrective Action 2 (second year)
Arise Academy Charter HS School Improvement 2
Aspira Bilingual Cyber Charter School School Improvement 1
Belmont CS School Improvement 1 Made AYP
Birney Prep Acad Warning
Boys Latin of Philadelphia CS Warning
Christopher Columbus CS Made AYP
Comm Acad of Phila CS Corrective Action 2 (sixth year)
Delaware Valley CHS Warning
Discovery Charter School Made AYP
Eastern University Acad CS Warning
Eugenio Maria De Hostos CS Made AYP
First Phila CS for Literacy Warning
Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures CS Warning Made AYP
Franklin Towne Charter Elem School Warning Made AYP
Franklin Towne CHS Made AYP
Freire CS Warning
Frontier Virtual CHS Warning
Global Leadership Academy CS Warning Made AYP
Green Woods CS Made AYP
Hardy Williams CS Warning Made AYP
Hope CS Corrective Action 2 (sixth year)
Imani Education Circle CS School Improvement 1
Imhotep Institute CS Warning
Independence CS Warning
John B Stetson Charter School School Improvement 1
Khepera CS Made AYP
KIPP Philadelphia Charter School Warning Made AYP
KIPP West Philadelphia Prep CS Warning Made AYP
Laboratory CS Made AYP
Mariana Bracetti Acad CS Corrective Action 2 (second year) Made AYP
Maritime Academy CS Made AYP
Mast Community CS Warning Made AYP
Mastery Charter School Harrity Campus School Improvement 1 Made AYP
Mastery Charter School Mann Campus Made AYP
Mastery Charter School Smedley Campus School Improvement 1
Mastery CS – Clymer Elementary Warning
Mastery CS – Gratz Campus Warning
Mastery CS – Lenfest Campus Made AYP
Mastery CS – Pickett Campus School Improvement 1
Mastery CS – Shoemaker Campus Warning Made AYP
Mastery CS – Thomas Campus Warning
Math Civics & Sciences CS Warning Made AYP
Multi-Cultural Academy CS Warning
New Foundations CS Made AYP
New Media Technology CS School Improvement 2 Making Progress: School Improvement 1
Northwood Academy CS Made AYP
Nueva Esperanza Acad CS Corrective Action 1 Making Progress: School Improvement 2
Olney Charter HS Warning
Pan American Academy CS Made AYP
People for People CS School Improvement 2 Made AYP
Phila Elec & Tech CHS Warning
Philadelphia Acad CS Corrective Action 2 (second year) Made AYP
Philadelphia Harambee Inst CS Making Progress – in School Improvement 1
Philadelphia Montessori CS Corrective Action 2 (first year) Corrective Action 1
Philadelphia Perf Arts CS Made AYP
Planet Abacus CS Made AYP
Preparatory CS of Math Science Tech & Careers Made AYP
Richard Allen Prep CS Made AYP
Russell Byers CS Made AYP
Sankofa Freedom Academy CS Making Progress – in School Improvement 1
Southwest Leadership Academy CS Made AYP
Tacony Academy Charter School School Improvement 1
Truebright Science Academy CS Made AYP
Universal Audenried CS Warning
Universal Bluford CS School Improvement 1 Made AYP
Universal Daroff CS Corrective Action 2 (second year) Making Progress: in Corrective Action 2
Universal Institute CS Warning Made AYP
Universal Vare CS Warning
Wakisha CS Making Progress – in Corrective Action 2 (third year)
Walter Palmer Ldrshp Learning Prtnrs CS Corrective Action 2 (fifth year)
West Oak Lane CS Made AYP
West Phila Achievement CS Corrective Action 1
Wissahickon CS Warning Made AYP
World Communications CS Warning
Young Scholars CS Made AYP
Young Scholars Frederick Douglass CS School Improvement 1 Made AYP