Rep. Virginia Foxx Blows Smoke About Success Academy During National Charter Schools Week

National Charter School Week

The following press release was just sent out by the U.S. Education and the Workforce Committee regarding National Charter Schools Week.  U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina and also the Chairwoman of the Committee, praises Eva Moskowitz and  Success Academy as if they were the greatest schools on the planet.  I would love to see these 15 out of 16 “independent studies” that state charter schools outperform traditional school districts.  If they are anything like certain Delaware charter schools, that statement is false when you look at the demographics of those schools with students with disabilities, minority students, ELL students and low-income students at much lower percentages than those charter schools.

This is what happens when corporations want to privatize education.  Smoke and mirrors at the highest levels!  We should all get down our knees and bow to the almighty charter school empire as the savior of education.  With discrimination lawsuits against Success Academy piling up over the past decade, I would not use this McCharter chain as a shining beacon of anything.

Charter Schools: Providing Hope and Opportunity

Parents should determine which school is best for their children — not zip codes. With the rise of charter schools across the country, more students are able to escape underperforming schools and receive the high-quality education they deserve. In fact, the success and popularity of the charter school movement during the last 25 years is truly remarkable.

  • What started as one school in Minnesota has grown to nearly 7,000 charter schools located across the country.
  • More than three million students are enrolled in a charter school today.
  • 15 out of 16 independent studies found that charter school students perform better academically than their district school peers.
  • More than 1 million student names are on charter school waiting lists, waiting for the opportunity to receive a great education.

To commemorate National Charter Schools Week — and the hope and opportunity charter schools provide — Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, spoke about her recent visit to a charter school that’s successfully serving the children of Harlem in New York City:

Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate National Charter Schools Week, I want to highlight my recent visit to Success Academy Harlem 1 — 1 of 41 charter schools in the largest and highest performing public charter school network in New York City.

Success Academy currently serves 14,000 students and has more than 16,000 families on its waitlist. Founded in 2006, Harlem 1 is Success Academy’s first school and founder Eva Moskowitz served as its first principal.

With a focus on developing the whole child, Success Academy aims to make its schools joyful places of learning and I’m here to tell you these schools are getting results and they are joyful. Five of the top five schools in the state of New York in math and two of the top five schools in English are Success Academy schools.

Every student in every school deserves an excellent education. But unfortunately we are falling far short of that goal as a nation.  Thankfully, innovative charter schools like Success Academy Harlem 1 are providing thousands of families with new hope and opportunity.

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East Side Charter & NYC Success Academy Benefit Immensely From Attrition & Proficiency Scores

Proficiency & Attrition

On Diane Ravitch’s blog, she wrote an article today based on an editorial in the Wall Street Journal about the attrition rate at the Success Academy in Harlem.  The editorial, by Michael Mulgrew, the President of the United Federation of Teachers in NYC, pointed out Success Academy 13 in Harlem has very high attrition rates and high-needs children frequently leave the school.  This puts the school at an advantage in terms of proficiency scores on standardized testing.

Two months ago, Nelia Dolan pointed out that in one year, East Side Charter in Wilmington had 62 children in one grade, and their scores were lower on DCAS.  The scores dramatically improved the next two years, however that same group of kids was reduced to 29.  This illusion of improvement plays out constantly in Delaware and across America.  Success is only as great as the true story, and the story by Mulgrew gives some startling facts:

“While Ms. Moskowitz cites a recent report from the city’s Independent Budget Office about student attrition in charters, she neglects to mention an earlier IBO report that found that it is the less successful students who tend to leave New York City charters. And as Princess Lyles and Dan Clark note “Keeping Precious Charter-School Seats Filled,” op-ed, Feb. 3), failure to fill these seats allows a school to maintain “the illusion of success,” as the percentage of proficient students rises.”

As Governor Markell continues to compare the six priority schools in Wilmington to East Side Charter and Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Dover, he forgets these types of facts.  Booker T., I recently found out, also holds the district’s gifted and talented program for elementary schools in the district.

To read the full story on Mulgrew’s editorial response to Success Academy’s Eva Moscowitz, please go here:

Say, didn’t one of Delaware’s biggest charter supporter also write an editorial about the myth of cherry-picking in Delaware charter schools?  I seem to recall that….