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Students of much-touted Success Academy charter school score too low on entrance exam for top city high schools

Ed Notes Online Comment: The longer Success Charters are in business, the more they get exposed. This one is big. I'm sure the remaining 32 kids out of the 73 who began 8 years ago are fine. Does anyone know what happened to the 41 kids who were not there to graduate? Would a study of those kids be worthwhile as a check on Success claims of success? They will argue that kids move around in public schools too -- but most end up in other public schools. Did the missing 41 end up in other charters or mostly public schools? And how about this? If Eva's schools are so great an attraction -- and we know people choose places to live based on schools -- why did they just disappear? We also know that she is allowed wide leeway in the neighborhoods they can draw from. One would expect if parents really found Success such high quality you would see more than 44% stay around. Eva can answer some of these questions by making the data on the missing available -- names and number please. (Can someone FOIL this given their claim they are public schools?)

Ohanian Comment: The other possibility is that Success Academy dumped these kids.

Reminder: In 2013, the New York Daily News reported Eva Moskowitz salary: $475,244.

by Juan Gonzalez

The founding class of Harlem Success Academy 1 graduated on Friday. The class started with 73 enrolled first-grade students in August 2006, but 32 students were at graduation. And none of the students, who are either black or Latino, got high enough scores test for top high schools.

There was Eva Moskowitz, head of this city's fastest-growing and most controversial charter school network, giving a fiery commencement speech Friday morning at the first graduation of her chainĂ¢€™s flagship school, Harlem Success Academy 1.

"As the founding parents of the founding school, you have made history," she told the audience of beaming eighth-graders in their caps and gowns and their cheering relatives.

Days earlier, Moskowitz had stunned many in this town by asking the state to grant her 14 new charter schools, thus potentially catapulting her network to 46 schools.

The first Success graduating class, for example, had just 32 students. When they started first grade in August 2006, those pupils were among 73 enrolled at the school. That means less than half the original group reached the eighth grade. And just 22 of Friday's grads will be moving on to the new Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts, which is set to open this fall, while 10 opted for other high schools.

None of the 32 grads, however, will be attending any of the city's eight elite public high schools, even though Harlem Success Academy 1 ranked in the top 1% on state math tests this year and in the top 5% in reading -- a fact Moskowitz herself proudly highlighted.

"We are incredibly proud of our eighth-grade graduates . . . who are proving that zip code does not have to determine destiny," Moskowitz said in a written statement.

A network spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that 27 eighth-graders took the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test last fall, but none scored high enough to be offered a seat at one of the elite high schools that rely on the test, like Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech or Bronx Science.

Citywide, some 26,000 eighth-graders took the specialized high schools test in the fall of 2012, and 20% were offered a seat. So you'd expect a minimum of five or six students from Success 1 to score high enough to get into one of the elite schools.

That test, though, has long come under fire for the low number of black and Latino students who make the cut each year -- and all of the Harlem Success graduates are blacks and Latinos.

Still, if Harlem Success students had matched even the 12% admission rate for black and Latino students who take the test, you'd expect at least three of the Moskowitz students to have been admitted.

"We were shocked that none of our students was offered a seat in a specialized high school," one parent told the Daily News.

Asked about those results, a network spokesman said:

"Our eighth-graders had challenging coursework in math, history, writing, science, humanities and drama, robotics and debate. They also had to take the challenging state tests this year. . . . We are proud that 22 are going to Success Academy's highly rigorous high school and 10 are going to other schools, among them highly selective schools."

— Juan Gonzalez
New York Daily News





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