So much of our country’s future is tied up in the education of its kids — especially those at-risk kids most likely to become unwed teen parents, perpetuate a cycle of poverty, and generally drain rather than enrich the social weal.
Whatever flaws there may be in testing, it’s handy in real life to be able to read and multiply. What’s more, the discipline and commitment required to excel at whatever tests are set probably carry over to broader life skills. (Success Academy schools have nothing to do with developing the tests. They’re just subject to taking them like all the other schools.)
And so . . . behold the highlights of the 2014 New York State exam results. Remember: their students come from the tough neighborhoods that usually bring up the rear in any ranking.
The Success Academy network ranks in the Top 1% of all 3,560 New York State schools in math. If the network were a single school, it would rank 7th.
Four of New York State’s top 10 schools in math—including the #1 and #2—are part of Success Academy.
Success Academy ranks in the Top 3% of all New York State schools in English.
In math, the network outperformed two of the city’s four gifted and talented programs that serve students from across the city — where admission depends on acing an entrance exam.
At Success Academy Bed-Stuy 1, where 95% of scholars are African American or Latino, the math pass rate was 98%—with 80% receiving an advanced, Level 4 score. The ELA pass rate was 81%.
At Success Academy Upper West— one of the city’s most diverse schools—100% of scholars passed the
math exam. The test takers are 32% white, 20% multi-racial, 18% African American, 14% Hispanic, and 5% Asian.
96% of scholars at Success Academy Harlem Central — the school that lost its co-location last February — passed math and 63% passed ELA.
At Success Academy Bronx 2, located in the nation’s poorest Congressional district, 99% of scholars are proficient in math. They rank second in the state.
Success Academy eighth grade scholars — who were first graders when the network’s first school opened in 2006 — excelled on both exams: 97% passed math and 94% passed ELA — more than triple the citywide average for eighth graders (30%).
93% of Success Academy scholars eligible for free or reduced-price lunch passed the math exam, compared to 35% of all students citywide.
Success Academy (82% poverty rate among test takers) outperformed schools such as PS 6 on the Upper East Side (6% poverty), PS 87 on the Upper West Side (12% poverty), and PS 321 in Park Slope (11% poverty).
62% of Success Academy scholars eligible for free or reduced-price lunch passed the ELA exam, compared to 29% of all students citywide.
In ELA, Success Academy outperformed schools such as PS 3 in the West Village of Manhattan (17% poverty) and PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights (22% poverty).
English Language Learners at Success Academy not only far exceeded their peers statewide, but also outperformed non-ELLs across New York
English Language Learners at Success Academy were more than 8 times as likely to pass the math exam than ELLs statewide (91% vs. 11%).
ELLs at Success were nearly 14 times as likely to pass the ELA exam than ELLs statewide (41% vs. 3%).
ELLs at Success Academy outperformed the state’s students who have never been ELLs by 53.5 percentage points in math (91% vs. 38%) and 8 percentage points in ELA (41% vs. 33%).
Did I mention that 82% of these young Success Academy scholars qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (because they come from low-income households)? . . . that 11.4% are students with a disability? . . . that 10% either are or were learning English as a second language? . . . that 71% are African-American and 19% Hispanic? . . . that all are chosen at random from anyone who enters the admissions lottery? . . . and that in Harlem 90% do enter a charter school lottery (80%, the Success Academy lottery)?
Bad charters should be closed; mediocre ones, improved or closed. But the ones that actually work — like these 22? Full speed ahead! This is public education at its best. We don’t have a child to waste.
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The art of acting consists of keeping people from coughing.~Sir Ralph Richardson
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