Guess what?  One of New York’s Success Academy public schools now has an 11th grade whose students have just taken their SATs.

These are kids from tough New York City neighborhoods, chosen by lottery.

Their mean SAT score was 1230!

None scored below 1000; one hit 1440.

That put the class in the 84th percentile nationally and in the 94th for students of color.  They’ve won more than $100,000 in scholarship money for summer programs at places that include MIT, Cornell, and USC.

Statewide in 2016, these 41 charters — up from one in 2006 when I first started writing about them, now serving 14,000 kids! — scored in the top 1% in math, 2% in English, and 5% in science.

All five of the top five schools in math (out of thousands) were Success Academy schools.  Two of the top five in English.

Their ELA students (English as a second language) and their students with disabilities outperformed native English speakers and students without disabilities.

Success Academy — an entirely nonprofit operation which costs New York City not a dime more than any of its other public schools — would like nothing better than to be replicated.  They welcome other schools and school systems around the country to steal their methods.  Let’s make every kid a success.  Think how this would impact the cycle of poverty and the nation’s long-term well-being.

(And yes: some teachers do burn out and move on to easier assignments.  So what?  We should honor them for their service and they should be hugely proud of the impact they had.  What matters more than the teachers are the kids — if only because there are so many more students than teachers — a dozen or more to one — because and the leverage is so much greater when you’re six than when you’re 26.)

WheelTug / Borealis enthusiasts: Did you happen to catch “The correlation between airline ground time and profits“?

It appears that for every minute an airline saves; operating margins increase 0.43% in Europe.

If that’s true, once WheelTug is cutting gate time by 20 minutes a flight (by not having to wait for a tug to back out; by not having to pad the schedule with extra time in case the tug is late; by being able to board and deplane from both front AND rear doors), an airline currently operating at a 5% margin (say) might one day operate at a 13.6% margin — nearly triple the profit.

Except that WheelTug’s letters of intent with 20+ airlines call for annual lease payments of half the savings.

And, of course, it will never be as simple as — bang, you have WheelTug and then, bang, all the savings fall into place the next day.  Still miles and miles to go before we reap.  If ever.

But five years from now?  Let alone 10? Why should we passengers have to waste 20 minutes a flight?  Especially those awful minutes once we’ve landed but are stuck in 28E and have to wait — and wait — instead of just walking out the rear door.

The FAA pre-certification agreement has been signed; the work toward full approval continues; IATA’s second E-Taxi Conference convenes in Singapore this month; WheelTug parent Borealis remains (in my view) a terrific lottery ticket, to be purchased only with money you can truly afford to lose (and only with “limit” orders, lest your 500-share buy order double the price of the stock).



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