Success Academy Shares Its Pathbreaking Literacy Curriculum and First E-Courses with Thousands of Educators
Success Academy – June 28, 2018
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JUNE 28, 2018**
Anne Michaud, 914-712-8693
Anna Miroff, 646-650-5201
SUCCESS ACADEMY SHARES ITS PATHBREAKING LITERACY CURRICULUM AND FIRST E-COURSES WITH THOUSANDS OF EDUCATORS
The new release makes SA’s complete K-8 literacy program — which has led to exceptional reading achievement for kids — available for free to educators
New York, NY — On Thursday, Success Academy published its complete middle school literacy curriculum, along with its first e-courses for educators, sharing these resources with thousands of superintendents, principals, teachers, and school districts. The release continues Success Academy’s commitment to accelerate national school improvement by sharing its curriculum, school design, and approach to training via the Success Academy Education Institute (register at the Ed Institute for free access).
Educators across the country have sought to learn from Success Academy due to its record of academic achievement: Its 46 schools perform in the top 0.3% in New York State for math, and the top 1.4% for English. Given the particularly stubborn gaps in reading performance for disadvantaged students, the ELA achievement of Success Academy’s mostly low-income student body has provoked a high degree of curiosity about its approach.
“Great content, curriculum, and training are essential foundations to effective schools,” said Success Academy CEO and Founder Eva Moskowitz. “The materials we are sharing on Ed Institute have been developed over 12 years through painstaking trial and error in the classroom — we know they get results for kids.”
Michele Caracappa, Success Academy’s Chief Academic Officer, called reading “the ultimate gap-closer” for disadvantaged students. “Teaching our kids to read, and read well, opens up tremendous possibility,” she said. “We take seriously the responsibility to develop proficient, thoughtful, and engaged readers — and we are so excited to share the tools and resources that have helped us do just that.”
The Success Academy network launched its Ed Institute in June 2017, sharing the elementary school THINK Literacy curriculum. Since then, 30,000 visitors, from virtually every state and more than 90 countries, have come to the site to explore and download the curriculum. The new middle school curriculum and e-course releases make the network’s comprehensive approach to K-8 reading available for free to educators.
Success Academy educators say the secret to their literacy program is its intense focus on understanding, discussing, and writing about the powerful ideas in great works of literature and nonfiction. With this approach, students from the youngest ages are immersed in the advanced literary analysis and writing they will need to excel in high school and college humanities courses. The four e-courses released along with the curriculum offer a deep dive for principals into key aspects of instruction, planning, and school culture that support this approach.
“Too many literacy programs focus on skills and strategies, which is not only boring for students but misses the reason why we read in the first place,” said Jessica Sie, Success Academy’s Director of Literacy and History. “Ideas are what engage us as readers — it’s what makes us fall in love with reading! Uncovering the big ideas by thinking critically is what we focus on in every aspect of our literacy instruction.”
The curriculum offers a complete suite of materials for strong middle school reading instruction, including overviews of the central themes in each text, rigorous seminar questions to guide purposeful discussion and debate, and daily writing prompts to hone students’ thinking and writing. The Ed Institute website includes videos of model instruction for each component of the curriculum, demonstrating best practices that can be used by instructional leaders as powerful tools for teacher training.
Later today, Success Academy is marking the new release locally with a Read-a-Palooza, a public event for New York City families at the Robertson Center, which serves as the main headquarters of the Ed Institute. A festive celebration featuring New York Times best-selling author Kwame Alexander — along with refreshments, giveaways, a library card sign-up booth, and a chance to “drop everything and read!” — the event embodies SA’s core belief that cultivating a love of reading is the single most important thing that schools and parents can do to open up educational opportunity for children.
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 46 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls more than 15,000 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are children of color, 16% are children with disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. Ranked in the top 0.3% in math and the top 1.4% in English on 2017 state proficiency tests, Success Academy schools received more than 17,700 applications for 3,288 open seats this year.