My response to:
Excellent Public Education — at Scale. It Can Be Done.
Published on June 16, 2017
By Eva Moskowitz
CEO and Founder at Success Academy Charter Schools
As with most of my replies I like to know the educational background of the authors I critique. She has a BA and a PhD in History and an MA as well. As with most of the education reformers she does not have a degree in education.
She taught Civics at a Prep for Prep school (Middle school?) for no more than 6-7 years and taught college history for about 3 years. So this makes her qualified to run schools K-12?
Dr. Moskowitz stated, “Earlier this week, Success Academy launched the Success Academy Education Institute, a wide-ranging, free online platform that gives thousands of educators around the country — and the world! — unprecedented access to our curriculum and school design.“
Forgive me if I think that this a wee bit premature.
“Over the past decade, Success Academy has reimagined public education, building a bold new approach to K–12 schooling. Our teaching and learning model, now tested and scaled across nearly 50 campuses, has proved extraordinarily effective. With scholars admitted by random lottery from many of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods, our schools have achieved the highest standing in our state.
Now, through our Education Institute, we are providing open access to the broad architecture and singular components of the Success Academy model. We are sharing best practices, resources, and training with educators across the nation to help many more children gain access to great schools.”
Now tested and scaled? You have not seen any students go through K-12 yet. You have not been around long enough. So, insofar as tested I question that claim. Scaled may have a problem too. You are at 50 (actually 41) schools.
Again, you claim to make kids college ready. I see no evidence of this. You have only one high school out of 41 schools. Some schools are K-1 and some are K-3 or K-4 or K-2.
Judging by your map you have mostly Elementary Schools. It is easiest for kids, any kids, to do well in Elementary Schools. It gets harder in Middle School/Junior High School and harder yet in High School.
Most so-called claim to fame for charter schools are in Elementary School level schools.
According to the map those that show a Middle School, either alone, or with an Elementary School, are 5th grade for the Middle school. So far as I can tell you have no Middle school grades at all (6-8) and only one high school,
You want to educate the whole child/ Why? Personally, I do not want schools raising my kids for me. Just teach them the three Rs.
According to << http://www.successacademies.org/about/#history>>, you’ve been around since 2006 and have 41 schools and 14,000 students. This may be a bit outdated or the other was just rounded off. I will go with 50 schools and 15,000 students for now.
With almost ¼ of a million students in NYC, 15,000 is 6% of New York City’s K-12 students! What scale are you talking about? This is a very small minority of kids. If we use 14,000 students then we get 5.6% of New York City’s K-12 students. This is even less of the total. Just think about the millions of students across the country. This is not even a drop in the bucket. Maybe it is a drop in the ocean. So, this is at scale?
Dr. Moskowitz wrote, “To start, we are sharing our elementary school THINK literacy curriculum, because reading is the foundation of all learning. I wrote at length about why the Ed Institute is so important in a Huffington Post Article on Wednesday, but here’s the short version: Over the past eleven years we have built a network of 41 high-performing schools serving 14,000 mostly low-income students of color. In that time, we’ve figured out what really works and what can be scaled in education, and now we are sharing it with the world — in the first 24 hours we had educators from 15 other countries and 42 states register. Our dual mission is to build world-class public schools in New York City, but also to reimagine public education for all children. The Ed Institute is a major step forward for Success Academy to execute on that mission.”
Yes Reading is Fundamental – a slogan that goes back at least to the 1970s.
Again, I have never claimed that poverty causes an inability to learn. So, the fact that most of these kids are in or near poverty is not as impressive to me as it might be to others. Also, saying students of color is the same as saying colored kids, so why say it? Are whites people of no color? All people have some color. Human beings are not transparent!!!!
How does one determine world-class at the K-5 grades? There are not any international tests to compare students at that age. Even if there were any, so what? These tests are pretty much meaningless. The countries that do well on the PISA test, tend to be small and homogeneous populations. Their economies are puny. Again, the relationship between the ability to education one’s young and a country’s economy is almost non-existent. I do not know where people got the idea that there was or is a direct relationship!!! Look at our economy. We have a hard time educating our young and yet we have the biggest economy on Earth and have had for almost 140 years. This is long before we even tried to educate all of our young.
According to << http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/creating-great-schools-at-scale_us_593eeb2ae4b014ae8c69e300>>, “The truth is, our nation is facing an educational emergency. The recent introduction of more rigorous standards, and the commensurate steep decline in proficiency rates across the country, laid bare a stark and persistent reality: our schools are failing to prepare students for the challenges of college, careers, and citizenship.”
If there exists a steep decline in proficiency rates then it is of your own doing. Your meaning education reformers. Education reformers wanted CCSS and therefore the need for new tests. What they got was the PARCC test among some others.
The PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test is a brand new test aligned to the CCSS (Common Core State Standards). As with any new test there is no trend data, short term or long term.
Plus anytime you introduce a new test scores usually go down for many reasons. But a truly fair test should not matter!
Maybe CCSS does not matter and therefore anything that it measures is also unimportant.
Now the bogus report, A Nation at Risk, published in April 1983, ushered in the so-called need to be college and workforce ready.
This report has done more to harm education than anything else. Please see the Sandia Report, published in 1990.
It is ironic that back before that report came out we did prepare kids for college or the workforce, in that, if one did well in high school one went to college, if not, one went to work!
Again, it is the progressives that want school to have some utility – prepare one for work, instead to just impart knowledge. This causes many problems.