Despite progressive NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s best efforts to stop the spread of charter schools, the school year is ending on another high note for NYC’s Success Academy Charter Schools, Jason L. Riley informs readers in the WSJ. Here’s why the waiting list for Success continues to swell with more than 17,000 applications for about 3,000 openings next year–the third straight year the waiting list has exceeded 10,000.
On Monday Success Academy was awarded the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. A press release noted that the Success schools “demonstrated the best overall academic performance while closing achievement gaps and serving low-income students and students of color.” Liberals insist that the learning gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers stems primarily from poverty and racial segregation, but the track record of Success Academy challenges both notions.
Students at Success schools, the first of which opened in 2006, are chosen by lottery. Detractors complain that charter schools teach more-motivated students, but random-assignment studies that control for self-selection bias have found that charter students tend to outperform their counterparts in traditional public schools and are more likely to finish college. Today, there are 41 Success schools serving 41,000 K-12 students—76% of whom are poor and 93% black or Hispanic. In 2016, for the eighth consecutive year, Success schools were among the highest performing in New York state. Ninety-four percent of Success students eligible to take state tests were proficient in math, and 82% were proficient in English—both more than double the statewide average.
Mr. Riley credits Eva Moskovitz, Success Academy’s tireless leader, for bringing high-quality education normally found in affluent suburban communities to urban ghettos.
(Ms. Moskovitsz) is proving that children reared in the most difficult circumstances—engulfed in chaos and exposed daily to all manner of antisocial behavior—are capable of not merely learning but thriving academically. And we know that children who succeed in school have a better chance of escaping those circumstances and leading productive lives.
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