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Success Academy Educators Call on Mayor to Stop Normalizing Tragic Academic Failure of Nearly 200,000 Students of Color

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUGUST 24, 2017** Contact: Ann Powell (646) 894-6407 [email protected] Brian Whitley (510) 495-5542 [email protected]


Three Out of Four Minority Students Are Failing Basic Math and Reading Mastery. Where Is the Outrage?  

2017 Test Scores Show Success Academy Eliminates Racial Achievement Gap, Yet Opponents Continue to Obstruct Growth and Deny Access to Space

New York, NY — Today, Success Academy educators and parents, joined by CEO Eva Moskowitz, slammed Mayor de Blasio for the monumental failure of the city’s school system to address the educational racism that keeps three out of four minority students from achieving their full potential. With 193,000 students of color unable to pass math and 179,000 unable to read, the impact is undeniable. Success Academy educators, whose minority students passed the exams at triple the rates of district students of color, condemned the city’s record on educating poor children of color, as well as its refusal to support a proven solution to this crisis: public charter schools. “We call on the mayor to stop defending a deeply segregated and unequal school system that is profoundly broken,” said Eva Moskowitz. “It is not a ‘good news day’ when this many black and brown children have their futures robbed. The mayor pours more and more money into a broken system while denying space and resources to successful public schools. ” The utter failure of the city in educating children of color can be seen in the data, comparing percentages of minority students scoring a level 1 (lowest possible score) and a level 4 (most advanced score). In ELA, 33% of district school students of color scored a level 1; in math, 44% got the lowest score. Only 8% of kids of color achieved a level 4 in math or ELA. In other words, more than a third of NYC’s minority kids are not just below grade level in either math or reading or both — they are hopelessly failing and may never catch up. “Three out of four black and brown children are not learning to read and do math,” said Kiah Hufane, superintendent at Success Academy. “That’s not a statistic, it’s a crime.” Students of color at Success Academy demonstrate a different story — 72% of them scored at the advanced level in math and almost a third did so in ELA. In contrast, only 1% of Success Academy’s students scored a level 1 in ELA, and less than 1% — 0.6% —  in math. Among thousands of SA test takers, this level of achievement demonstrates solid preparation and a fundamentally rock-solid education; this is not the result of test prep. “It is simply not acceptable for the city to abandon children of color when there is a proven solution staring them in the face,” said Malik Russell, founding principal of SA Hudson Yards Middle School, and previously principal of SA Cobble Hill MS. “We cannot wait years for a solution. We have one now — we need the Mayor to embrace it.” “It is a tragedy that only 8% of children of color score advanced in math. At my school, 87% scored advanced. It breaks my heart that we condemn children to failure when we show right down the street it does not need to be this way,” said Rishabh Agarwal, principal of Success Academy Bed-Stuy Middle School. “I wish you would stop wasting human potential in the name of politics and do what’s right for kids.” “100% of my scholars passed the ELA exam — one of only three schools in the entire city to do so — and yet we do not have space for our middle school,” said Regina Loftus, principal of Success Academy Bergen Beach, in Brooklyn. “I cannot fathom how the City can deny us space when they see our data, and yet many of our families wake up every day not knowing where their kids will go to school next year.” “My school is the second-highest performing school in Queens, and yet we almost did not exist,” said Christina Danielsen, principal of Success Academy Rosedale, in Queens. “The City reversed our co-location before we ever opened, and we had to fight to get new space.” While touting the incremental gains by district schools — black district students, for example, increased proficiency in reading by 2.3 percentage points and in math by 0.7 percentage points — the mayor ignored the accomplishments of black and Hispanic charter students — not just those at Success Academy. Children of color at charter schools outperformed their district peers by wide margins in both math (51% to 24%) and ELA (48% to 33%). Overall, charters saw gains of 2.6 points in math and 5.3 in ELA; Success had gains of 1 point in math and 2 points in ELA.
Pass Rate 38% 95% 41% 84%
Percentage Minority Kids Scoring Level 4's 8% 72% 8% 31%
Percentage Minority Kids Scoring Level 1's 44% 0.6% 33% 1%
Black Pass Rate 21% 94% 29% 83%
Hispanic Pass Rate 25% 96% 30% 84%
Students of Color Pass Rate 24% 95% 29% 83%
Asian Pass Rate 68% 100% 61% 97%
White Pass Rate 59% 99% 61% 93%
Economically Disadvantaged 31% 94% 34% 83%
ELL Pass Rate 15% 90% 6% 53%
SPED Pass Rate 12% 82% 11% 60%
Homeless Pass Rate 19% 97% 21% 84
  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 15,500 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 95% are children of color, 15% are children with disabilities, and 8.5% are English language learners. Success Academy schools received more than 17,000 applications for about 3,000 open seats this year. For more information about Success Academy, go to and On Twitter at: @SuccessCharters #InsideSuccess

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