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Success Academy 8th Graders Ace Algebra 1 Exam

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 18, 2018**

Contact: Brian Whitley, 510-495-5542 [email protected]


Overwhelming majority of Success Academy’s 8th graders score ‘college ready’ on crucial math exam, even as NYC district students’ results decline.

More than half at Success score at the highest possible level.

New York, NY — Success Academy eighth-grade students demonstrated they are on track, and preparing for college-level math, with unassailable scores on the most recent Algebra 1 Regents exam. All 426 eighth graders took the exam, and 99% passed, with 93% scoring at the college-ready level, and 56% earning the highest possible Level 5 on the exam.

These results contrast with those of other NYC public school students: just 60% passed, and only 20% earned a college-ready score of 4 or 5. Among district students of color, the results were worse: just 58% passed, and 13% scored college-ready. The Algebra I Regents test is intended for ninth graders but is also taken by eighth graders who complete advanced coursework. Last year was the first time Success Academy eighth graders took the exam, with 100% of students taking the test, compared with only 34% of eighth graders citywide. SA's ninth graders also took the exam, with 98% passing and 77% scoring at the college-ready level, and 24% scoring at the most advanced level. Disturbingly, the city’s results are declining in an era of renewed emphasis on math by the de Blasio administration. The mayor has promised “Algebra for All” by 2022, an initiative that pledged access for all city students to algebra courses in eighth grade. The administration’s emphasis acknowledged the crucial place algebra holds as a gateway to higher-level math, in an age when math and technology skills are increasingly important to learning, employment and earnings. “I’m proud of our eighth graders,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “They demonstrate that low-income children of color can achieve at the highest level. At the same time, it’s tragic that so few of their peers across the city are learning what is essential for college success.” Among the 426 eighth graders taking the test across seven Success Academy middle schools:
  • 99% passed the exam, earning at least Level 3. That compares with just 60% of NYC test-takers who passed, and who ranged from eighth to tenth grade, or beyond.

  • 93% scored college ready, earning at least a Level 4, compared with 20% of NYC test-takers.

  • 56% earned the highest possible score, Level 5, compared to 10% of NYC district students.

Success Academy eighth graders:

  • Outperformed students at highly selective schools throughout the city: 93% college ready versus 72% at highly selective schools. For Success, 56% scored an advanced level (Level 5) versus 48% at highly selective schools.

  • Some Success Academy middle schools were among the top performers citywide: Bronx 2 Middle School ranked 16th (top 2%), Bronx 1 Middle School ranked in the top 4%, and Harlem North Central ranked in the top 6%.

Success Academy has created a culture and a progressive curriculum that instills a deep understanding of math concepts. Scholars develop an agility manipulating numbers that shows up in their high test scores. One in five scholars at Success Academy’s 14 middle schools participates in Math Olympiad, an annual competition held in more than 100 countries.

Once they reach eighth grade, Success Academy scholars enter MathCounts, a series of contests that take place at the school, chapter, state, and national levels. This year, 105 Success scholars will compete in the rounds that run from winter through spring. Last year, Success had its first-ever team of four from Success Academy Bronx 2 Middle School make it to the state competition in Albany.



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 47 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 17,000 students, primarily children from low-income minority households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are minorities, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. Success Academy schools received more than 17,700 applications for 3,288 open seats for the 2018-19 academic year.

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