Some charter schools are scams or flops that should be defunded; many are well-intentioned but nothing to write home about; but some — like the Success Academy schools that friends of mine have donated millions of dollars to launch and grow — should be replicated as far and wide and as fast as possible.
What they’re accomplishing is enormously important because they help not just each student that succeeds — which is to say, almost all of them — but thereby, for all the generations that will follow them, break the cycle of poverty and despair, of teenage pregnancy and crime, that so drag our society down. Imagine if almost all America’s kids succeeded?
Long-time readers know I’ve been doing my best to boost Success Academy — and help clarify some misunderstandings — for some time now. (Use the search box at right to Google “Success Academy” if you oppose charter schools but are open to considering a different point of view.)
Their latest report:
Last week, New York State test results were released, and Success Academy scholars performed exceptionally well. I am proud to share the remarkable achievements of our scholars, teachers and leaders. These results are important, but they are not the only measure of a child’s success—or our schools’ achievements. We celebrate these results as we celebrate spelling bee winners or chess tournaments or art shows. These are accomplishments that make our entire school community proud. (More details on the test results here.)
A few highlights:
- 93% of our scholars passed math, compared to 35% of students citywide, and 68% scored at Level 4 (advanced).
- 68% of our scholars passed ELA, compared to 30% of students citywide.
- Success Academy scholars scored in the Top 1% in math and the Top 3% in English among all 3,560 schools in New York State. If the network were a single school, it would rank 11th in math and 90th in English.
- Students with disabilities at Success Academy were twice as likely to pass math as New York City’s students without disabilities (72% vs 35%).
- In math, 5 of the top 10 schools across New York State are Success Academy schools: SA Bed-Stuy 1, SA Williamsburg, SA Upper West, SA Harlem 4/SA Harlem Central, and SA Bronx 2/SA Bronx 2 Middle School.
- In ELA, 3 of the top 20 schools across New York are Success Academy schools: SA Upper West, SA Cobble Hill, and SA Bed-Stuy 1.
- Success Academy Bed-Stuy 1 was #2 in math in the state, with 99.3% of scholars passing and 97% achieving a level 4.
- Success Academy African American scholars outperformed NYC white students by 35 percentage points in math and by 14 percentage points in English.
We are very proud of our leaders, teachers, parents and scholars for their hard work and strong performance. Thank you for your support and encouragement and all that you do to give our scholars the opportunity to achieve!!!
Bear in mind, these scholars reside in New York’s most difficult neighborhoods, chosen at random from near unanimity of inner-city parents who enter the lotteries for their children’s admission to charter schools. Yet as noted above, the schools, taken as one, rank #11 out out of 3,560 in math and #90 out of 3,560 in English. (And if you don’t like testing, don’t blame Success Academy: they didn’t design the tests or have any special advantage in taking them — they’re just stuck with them like everybody else.)
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR . . .
. . . and share it with any local educators, parents, PTA members, and politicians — or social media groups — whom you think it might interest.
It takes you on . . .
. . . an immersive, multimedia journey through all aspects of our school design, from math, literacy, and science to parent investment and pedagogy. In a series of never-before-seen videos and interviews, you’ll hear from leaders, teachers, and scholars as you experience an interactive tour through classrooms, science lab, art studio, the main office, and much, much more!
Success hopes people from around the country will borrow as many of the ideas here as could prove helpful.
Writes founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz: “This week, Success Academy opens its doors to 11,000 scholars in 34 schools across New York City. Our schools are transforming what is possible for children, regardless of their zip code or skin color. Yet so many other children are being denied their basic right to an education that should prepare them for college and career. In NYC, only one in five African American students is reading at grade level, and 70% of all students failed to pass the state’s recent proficiency exams. Unless we act, our education crisis will continue to deny our most vulnerable children the hope and opportunity to escape poverty. I believe that the Virtual Tour will be a powerful example and resource for educators, parents and others, demonstrating that a new education model can make a difference.”
This is a big deal.
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The art of acting consists of keeping people from coughing.~Sir Ralph Richardson
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