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Success Academy Posts 98% Pass Rate on State Math Tests and 91% on ELA — and Closes Racial And Economic Achievement Gaps


Contact: Anne Michaud, 914-712-8693 [email protected]org Brian Whitley, 510-495-5542 [email protected]


A Record Number of Teachers Achieve 100% Pass Rates in More Than 250 Classrooms

NEW YORK, NY — In classrooms from the Bronx to Bed-Stuy, Harlem to Hudson Yards, Springfield Gardens to Washington Heights, some 210 Success Academy teachers proved what’s possible for kids. In 192 classes, 100% of test-takers passed the state math exam, and in 63 classes, 100% of scholars passed English Language Arts. Among them, 45 teachers had 100% of their students pass both math and ELA exams.

Now educating one in 60 of New York City public school students, Success Academy had 91% of students pass the English Language Arts exam and 98% pass math, across 37 schools with a total of 6,800 test takers. The size of the state’s seventh-largest school district in enrollment, Success Academy had a combined math and reading score that topped every other district in the state.

This year’s test results show that Success Academy has eliminated achievement gaps across all demographics — racial and economic — and among special education scholars and English language learners, a problem that has plagued New York City’s district schools for decades.

“Children from all backgrounds can achieve exceptional results when given access to great schools,” said Eva Moskowitz, CEO and founder of Success Academy Charter Schools. “When you focus on the whole child, you develop a passion for excellence, whether it’s in the classroom, on the soccer field, or at chess and debate tournaments.”

This year, Success scholars posted an increase of 7 percentage points over 2017 scores in ELA and a 3 percentage point increase in math. In math, 85% of Success test-takers received the top score, a Level 4, and 41% scored a 4 on the ELA.

District schools across the city and state saw large increases in scores compared to years past, which may mean the exams have become less rigorous this year. For the past five years, since tests were first aligned with more rigorous Common Core standards, Success Academy has consistently ranked in the top 1% in math and top 3% in ELA.


At seven Success Academies, 100% of students passed math: SA Bergen Beach, SA Bronx 1, SA Bronx 2 Middle School, SA Cobble Hill, SA Harlem 2, SA Harlem 3, SA Harlem 4.

These test-score gains come even as the network has expanded, with 17% more test-takers in 2018 than in the previous year. Over the past five years, the number of test-takers has more than tripled. While strong performance on state tests is an important and necessary metric, it is not our ultimate goal. We are aiming for attendance at and graduation from selective four-year colleges, which means that we are preparing scholars in K-8 for the rigors of a college-prep high school experience and all that it entails: Copious reading and writing, advanced problem-solving, and independent work habits. The work SA scholars are engaged in reflects these standards and expectations, which are far higher than those of the state tests. Importantly, these results have not come at the expense of other subjects and students’ co-curricular interests. Last year, hundreds of Success scholars competed in regional and national chess and debate tournaments, dance competitions, and sporting events, all within weeks of taking state exams.


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 in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 17,000 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. Success Academy schools received more than 17,700 applications for 3,288 open seats this year.

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