Bache-Martin is a K-8 District-run public school in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia with about 400 students. People for People is a K-8 charter school with just over 500 students not too far away in lower North Philadephia.

If state Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis had had his way, these two schools would have been judged by different standards in determining whether they met federal achievement goals.

But earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education shot down Tomalis' rule change for calculating so-called adequate yearly progress (AYP) for charters. The federal department's action will have an impact in Philadelphia, where more than half the state's charter schools are located.

For one thing, it will allow parents to make more of an apples-to-apples comparison between charters and District-run schools -- at least when looking at test scores.