Success Academy is a New York-based charter school network that has made quite a name for itself since it was founded in 2006. The organization was recently awarded the $250,000 Broad Prize in recognition of its success in improving the educational performances of the students it serves.
Why was Success Academy founded, though, who founded it, and how many New York City children does it now serve?
Why was Success Academy founded? — CEO and founder Eva Moskowitz spent years working in the New York City educational system.
As a teacher, parent and chair of a city educational board, she saw first-hand how so many of New York’s children from low-income families, as well as children of color, were never given the opportunity to succeed in education that other children were.
Moskowitz founded Success Academy to give them those opportunities. She believed it does not matter what type of background a child is from, or what their ethnicity, every child has the ability to learn, and every child should be given the opportunity to do so.
How many children does Success Academy serve? — The organization has been in existence for just 11 years but, in that time, has grown to such an extent it now has 41 schools in its network and over 14,000 students being educated in them.
Any child can apply, and children are accepted every new school year through a lottery system. Ninety three percent of current students are Hispanic or African American.
Once in the school, each child is given a high-quality education through both instruction and from hands-on learning. An emphasis is placed on reading, math and science, and critical thinking.
With these skills, Success Academy believes any child’s educational advancement can be boosted, and every child will find it fun to learn.
Since the program’s inception, students’ scores on state tests have improved every year to the point that, in 2016, every elementary and middle school in the network was rated in the 90th percentile for the entire state.
Moskowitz now plans to carry her success over into new charter schools in the state, with the goal of reaching more than 50,000 children in just a few years.