Ridge Administration Kicks Off Charter Schools Week in York

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Education

    YORK, Pa., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom
 Ridge, Acting Education Secretary Charles B. Zogby today visited
 Lincoln-Edison Elementary School to kick off Charter Schools Week in
 Pennsylvania.
     "After much hard work and effort, Lincoln-Edison made history last year as
 the first traditional public school in Pennsylvania to be converted to a
 charter public school," Zogby said.  "Now today, the entire Lincoln-Edison
 community can join other charter schools in Pennsylvania and across the nation
 in this celebration of charter schools in action -- unique, custom-designed
 schools that put children and families first."
     Zogby was joined by the Rev. Oscar Rossum, Chairman of the Lincoln-Edison
 Board of Trustees; teachers; parents; and students.
     "This time last year we were fighting just to get these doors open,"
 Rossum said.  "Today, our doors are open, our children are learning, and the
 future is bright for Lincoln-Edison and the York community.  With the help of
 our parents, teachers, staff and community, will continue to open the doors of
 opportunity to the children of York for generations to come."
     During a Charter School Week academic pep rally, the Lincoln-Edison
 students celebrated their latest reading test scores, which showed an
 improvement of 4 percent over the last eight weeks, the third consecutive
 improvement since September.  Teachers and staff asked the students to strive
 for another 5 percent improvement before the year is out.
     When the school opened its doors last fall, 32 percent of its students
 were reading at or above grade level.  As of today, 41 percent of the students
 are now reading at that level.
     Later today, Zogby also will visit with second-grade students from the
 Sylvan Heights Science Charter School in Harrisburg.
     Charter Schools Week will be celebrated in communities throughout
 Pennsylvania.  Other activities include special assemblies; concerts; parent
 and grandparent open houses; student community-service activities; and poster
 contests.
     In March, the state Education Department announced that a study of
 Pennsylvania charter schools conducted by the University of Western Michigan
 showed that Pennsylvania charter public schools are successfully helping some
 of the state's lowest-performing students dramatically improve test scores and
 raise academic achievement.
     Researchers from the evaluation Center at Western Michigan University
 found that charter schools, for which sufficient data was available, posted
 gains on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) of more than 100
 points in just two years, out-gaining their host school districts by 86 points
 over the same period of time.
     Students from a sample of charter schools also posted gains on
 commercially available tests, such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and SAT-9,
 which are administered on a more frequent basis.
     The study also found students who choose to attend Pennsylvania charter
 public schools score, as a group, approximately 50 points lower on the PSSA
 than their counterparts in a charter's host school district and traditional
 public schools with similar demographic characteristics.  The finding reflects
 the fact that Pennsylvania charter schools are reaching out to low-performing
 students and making great strides at helping them achieve greater success.
     Gov. Ridge signed Pennsylvania's charter-school law in June 1997.
 Currently, 65 charter public schools serve nearly 21,000 students.  Seventeen
 new schools are slated to open next fall.
     A list of Charter School Week activities in communities throughout the
 Commonwealth is available on the Department of Education's website, which can
 be accessed through the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at
 www.pde.state.pa.us.
 
     CONTACT:  Al Bowman of the Pennsylvania Department of Education,
 717-783-9802.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X20565457
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education
    YORK, Pa., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom
 Ridge, Acting Education Secretary Charles B. Zogby today visited
 Lincoln-Edison Elementary School to kick off Charter Schools Week in
 Pennsylvania.
     "After much hard work and effort, Lincoln-Edison made history last year as
 the first traditional public school in Pennsylvania to be converted to a
 charter public school," Zogby said.  "Now today, the entire Lincoln-Edison
 community can join other charter schools in Pennsylvania and across the nation
 in this celebration of charter schools in action -- unique, custom-designed
 schools that put children and families first."
     Zogby was joined by the Rev. Oscar Rossum, Chairman of the Lincoln-Edison
 Board of Trustees; teachers; parents; and students.
     "This time last year we were fighting just to get these doors open,"
 Rossum said.  "Today, our doors are open, our children are learning, and the
 future is bright for Lincoln-Edison and the York community.  With the help of
 our parents, teachers, staff and community, will continue to open the doors of
 opportunity to the children of York for generations to come."
     During a Charter School Week academic pep rally, the Lincoln-Edison
 students celebrated their latest reading test scores, which showed an
 improvement of 4 percent over the last eight weeks, the third consecutive
 improvement since September.  Teachers and staff asked the students to strive
 for another 5 percent improvement before the year is out.
     When the school opened its doors last fall, 32 percent of its students
 were reading at or above grade level.  As of today, 41 percent of the students
 are now reading at that level.
     Later today, Zogby also will visit with second-grade students from the
 Sylvan Heights Science Charter School in Harrisburg.
     Charter Schools Week will be celebrated in communities throughout
 Pennsylvania.  Other activities include special assemblies; concerts; parent
 and grandparent open houses; student community-service activities; and poster
 contests.
     In March, the state Education Department announced that a study of
 Pennsylvania charter schools conducted by the University of Western Michigan
 showed that Pennsylvania charter public schools are successfully helping some
 of the state's lowest-performing students dramatically improve test scores and
 raise academic achievement.
     Researchers from the evaluation Center at Western Michigan University
 found that charter schools, for which sufficient data was available, posted
 gains on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) of more than 100
 points in just two years, out-gaining their host school districts by 86 points
 over the same period of time.
     Students from a sample of charter schools also posted gains on
 commercially available tests, such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and SAT-9,
 which are administered on a more frequent basis.
     The study also found students who choose to attend Pennsylvania charter
 public schools score, as a group, approximately 50 points lower on the PSSA
 than their counterparts in a charter's host school district and traditional
 public schools with similar demographic characteristics.  The finding reflects
 the fact that Pennsylvania charter schools are reaching out to low-performing
 students and making great strides at helping them achieve greater success.
     Gov. Ridge signed Pennsylvania's charter-school law in June 1997.
 Currently, 65 charter public schools serve nearly 21,000 students.  Seventeen
 new schools are slated to open next fall.
     A list of Charter School Week activities in communities throughout the
 Commonwealth is available on the Department of Education's website, which can
 be accessed through the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at
 www.pde.state.pa.us.
 
     CONTACT:  Al Bowman of the Pennsylvania Department of Education,
 717-783-9802.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X20565457
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Department of Education