A letter from Patricia Rossetti, CEO of PA Distance Learning Charter School:

Dear PA Distance Staff and Families,

From time-to-time there are people who express misinformed judgement of cyber schools and the students who attend our public schools of choice.  Normally, I shrug the statements off as being uneducated of the value our students and staff experience each day.  One person crossed the line of acceptability, Mark Miller, President of the School Boards Association.  Mr. Miller found it acceptable to send a tweet with a monkey on a computer and verbiage indicating our students do not deserve to be funded for their public education.  When challenged with referring to our students as monkeys, Mr. Miller stated that he meant cyber schools were run by monkeys.  On behalf of our students and staff, I encourage you to contact your local and state representatives, the Department of Education, as well as Mark Miller indicating that it is unacceptable for anyone to refer to a student or highly qualified and dedicated educator as monkeys.  We expect Mr. Miller to issue a formal apology to all students and staff in public cyber charter schools immediately.

For your reference, I have included the tweet and a press release from Bob Fayfich, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools.  Mr. Fayfich included the response below in the Coalition newsletter this morning.  He is also sending it to all education reporters in Pennsylvania as well as the national wire services, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times. The Coalitions lobbyist is distributing the information to legislators and staff in Harrisburg.

Thank you in advance for any efforts you make in requesting action be taken in Harrisburg to protect our students from this intolerable behavior.

UPDATE: Mr. Miller has since deleted the tweet.  “Taking down a Tweet does not mean it was not posted, nor does it excuse bad behavior.”

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