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Success Academy Releases Middle School U.S. History Curriculum


Contact: Liz Baker (646) 902-4200 [email protected]

Ann Powell (646) 894-6407 [email protected]org


A Three-Year Sequence of American History Is the Latest Addition to the Education Institute, Success Academy’s Free Online Resource for Educators

New York, NY — Today, Success Academy released its 3-year sequence of middle school U.S. History curriculum on the Success Academy Education Institute, making these resources available for free for superintendents, principals, teachers, and school districts across the country. Significantly, this curriculum revives an approach to history that has almost disappeared from American K-12 classrooms: the deep study of primary source documents and artifacts. At Success Academy middle schools, students have four years of history (the first year of World History is not part of this release); each unit focuses intensively on diverse primary sources. Students learn geography and understand the historical forces, from economics to social and cultural history, that led to the political changes that dominated American History.

The release signals the continuation of Success Academy’s commitment to share its intellectual property, including curriculum, teacher and leader training, and school design, in order to accelerate school improvement and reform across the country. Since the launch of the Ed Institute in 2017, where Success Academy’s K-8 literacy curriculum, school virtual tours, and educator training eCourses are also available, more than 50,000 visitors have come to explore and download the materials (register at the Ed Institute for free access). All reading materials and student workbooks are available for download, along with lesson guides and planning tools.

“We have to move fast to solve the crisis in public education in this country,” said Eva Moskowitz, Founder and CEO of Success Academy. “We hope that by making high quality, rigorous, classroom-tested materials available for free, educators won’t have to spend valuable time cobbling together lesson plans and can instead focus their time and energy on delivering outstanding instruction.”

The American history curriculum is designed to give children the foundational knowledge and analytical skills they need to be informed, insightful, and incisive consumers of information and news. Centered on primary sources and artifacts, each lesson dives into the great events and ideas in American history and invites scholars to investigate, evaluate, and change their minds based on what they determine about context, motive, perspective, and bias. For example, after studying and discussing whether or not the Declaration of Independence was a call to liberty, scholars read correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Banneker, an African-American surveyor and naturalist, in which Banneker upbraids Jefferson for the hypocrisy inherent in the Declaration of Independence while slavery persisted. They also study a letter by Abigail Adams to her husband, John Adams, in which she exhorts him to include rights for women in the new government the founders are envisioning.

“Scholars will learn by reading and analyzing primary sources through a curriculum that is designed with a profoundly inclusive lens,” said Moskowitz. “The materials we are sharing on Ed Institute have been developed over nine years through painstaking trial and error in the classroom — we know they get results for kids.”

To celebrate the release, the Robertson Center at Success Academy will host a history workshop next week, with almost 100 educators gathering from as far as Texas, California, and Tennessee. Participants will dive deeply into our inquiry-based, student-centered approach to teaching history.

Educators across the country have sought to learn from Success Academy due to its record of academic achievement: Its 47 schools perform in the top 0.3% in New York State for math, and the top 1% 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 particularly high degree of interest in its approach.



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 17,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. Success Academy schools received more than 17,600 applications for 4,100 open seats for the 2019-20 academic year. For more information about Success Academy, go to and

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