The Empire State’s top public-school system is no longer in Scarsdale or any other suburb; it’s right here in New York City — the Success Academy Charter Schools network.
With 11,000 students in schools across four boroughs, Success is a system in its own right. And it romped in the latest state exams: 93 percent of Success scholars passed the math test, against 35 percent for the city as a whole and 75 percent for Scarsdale.
In English, 68 percent of Success kids passed, vs. 30 percent citywide and 64 percent for Scarsdale.
The Success test-takers couldn’t get more inner-city: 65 percent African-American; 27 percent Hispanic. Yet they did better than white and Asian kids in the city’s regular public schools.
[And students with disabilities were twice as likely to pass math as New York City’s students without disabilities (72% vs 35%)!]
These scholars didn’t start off as the cream of the crop: The only thing that set them apart from any other child in the city public schools is that their families applied and won the lottery to enter Success.
The different results come because these children benefit from good-to-great teachers, a sound curriculum and a genuinely supportive school staff in every class and extracurricular, year after year.
“English-language learners” in the regular public schools tend to stay that way. At Success, they become “former ELLs” — because they actually learn English.
What Success doesn’t have is the “benefit” of the phone-book-thick teachers-union contract, or the deals that give other unions so much control of the city’s regular public schools — all at the kids’ expense.
That’s why the unions and their ally, Mayor de Blasio, are at war with the charter network.
Funny, that: For all the mayor’s talk of inequality, Success Academy is doing more to raise up the city’s disadvantaged than the entire de Blasio administration.
It’s so encouraging! A roadmap to eliminate “the underclass,” or most of it anyway, over the next few decades, and make our society ever so much more . . . successful.
As noted yesterday, if this interests you, you can “visit” one of the schools and take a virtual tour.
And/or see more detail on the Success Academy results here.
Quote of the Day
A penny saved may be a penny earned, but it's one boring penny. A penny invested, on the other hand, bounces around. It gets bigger one day, smaller the next. A bit player in the drama of global finance, that penny buys a guy a balcony seat in the theater of macroeconomics.~Susan Stewart
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