Wednesday, May 06, 2015

At Success Academy Charter Schools, High Scores and Polarizing Tactics

Charles Sahm, education policy director at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, just published a lengthy article on Success that I think presents a far more balanced picture. It doesn't shy away from tough issues like teacher turnover, the amount of test prep, student suspensions and attrition, and lack of backfilling (see more on this below), but it also focuses on the many incredible things Success is doing right, that every school and educator can learn from. Here's Eva's note with a link to it:
To our Friends and Supporters: 

As I wrote to you last week, Success Academy can expect continued interest and scrutiny from journalists. This week brings another in-depth report, one that was also months in the works, but which comes to rather different conclusions about the "secret to our sauce." In "What Explains Success at Success Academy?" the writer (Charles Sahm, Director of Education Policy at the Manhattan Institute) particularly credits our curriculum and the excellence of our teachers and leaders:  We know there are many factors that go into creating world-class schools, but I share his appreciation for the extraordinary teaching and learning that is happening across all our schools. I was also happy to note that he noticed and reported on the many joyful aspects of our schools!

We are not perfect, and certainly Mr. Sahm does not gloss over the views of our critics — but we are constantly looking out for what we can do better, how we can help more kids learn and succeed. That is what sets us apart.

Thank you for all that you do for kids,

Eva Moskowitz
Founder and CEO 

At Success Academy Charter Schools, High Scores and Polarizing Tactics

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