Cyber-Charter-School students are isolated from the real world, have limited opportunities to socialize, and are deprived of an important part of their educational experience.
The following is a letter written by a fifth-grade student at PA Leadership Charter School. This letter is unedited, unabridged, and shared with permission from the student and parents.
January 25, 2014
Dear Senator Casey and Senator Toomey,
My name is Julia Crenshaw and I am a 5th grader at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School (PALCS). I would like to tell you why cutting the funding to cyber schools is not the right decision.
Having the opportunity to learn in my home environment has taken away any intimidation that some children feel when being in a classroom. I can make mistakes and learn from them without feeling embarrassed by my fellow students. I have the opportunity to take my time and review as needed in order to succeed in my classes.
Another reason you should reconsider your thoughts about cyber school funding is the fact that the they offer more subjects than most public schools. Just one example is that I have been learning French for the last two years and love it.
PALCS has a range of activities and field trips that occur monthly. For example, we have a monthly feature called “Book Buddies” where we do numerous activities based on a story or specific subject. In January, we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service. We contributed with donations to a local food bank, the ASPCA, made cards for the elderly, and made blankets for the needy. It’s special gatherings like this that give my fellow students and me the opportunity to meet and socialize, while spending time with our teachers.
By the way, our teachers are awesome! My family has lost two pets and my grandfather within the last two months. The support and caring that came from my teachers was a huge comfort to me and my mom. My homeroom teacher Mrs. Griffel and my guidance counselor Mrs. Bittner were just a few who reached out to me daily. It made us so aware of how wonderful and dedicated our teachers are.
I hope I was able to show you a different view than you may have had before reading my letter.
Pennsylvania Cyber-Charter Schools isolate students from real life and do not give them the opportunities to develop social skills necessary to life in a fast paced 21st Century society.
As reported on Chalk and Talk complied with information from Philly.com’s Assault on Learning series:
“Consider these facts: From 2005-06 through 2009-10, the district reported 30,333 serious incidents. There were 19,752 assaults, 4,327 weapons infractions, 2,037 drug and alcohol related violations, and 1,186 robberies. Students were beaten by their peers in libraries and had their hair pulled out by gangs in the hall. Teachers were assaulted over 4,000 times.”
Philadelphia Schools: 2005-2010 (five years)
- 19,752 assaults
- 4,327 weapons infractions
- 2,037 drug and alcohol related violations
- 4,000+ Teachers were assaulted
“Reported in “Chalk and Talk,” written by Philadelphia public school teachers, in the Philadelphia schools, from 2005-2010, there were 19,752 assaults. During that same time there were 0 assaults in all the cyber charter schools combined. Safe education with high SAT scores. Hard combo to beat.”
Pennsylvania Cyber Charter Schools: 2005-2010 (five years)
- 0 assaults
- 0 weapons infractions
- 0 drug and alcohol related violations
- 0 Teachers were assaulted
MYTH / TRUTH prepared by:
Dr. James Hanak, CEO, PA Leadership (Cyber) Charter School