• September 19, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

Success students need space

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am

Charter schools have, on the whole, proven to be highly successful in raising up children, especially minority students from difficult neighborhoods, getting them to academic heights many would not have reached in traditional schools.

Among the top-performing charters are the Success Academy schools headed by former Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz. The Success schools in Queens where students take the statewide tests in math and reading were ranked in the top 2 percent all state schools. In just one important metric, 70 percent of black students at the schools scored an advanced grade in math, compared to 11 percent and 15 percent, respectively, of those in traditional schools in the two districts where the Success academies are located. (Eighty-seven percent of Queens Success students are black or Hispanic; only 1 percent are white.)

Now, however, Success is outgrowing its space and needs a new middle school to accommodate all its kids about to finish elementary school. But the Department of Education under Mayor de Blasio, a friend of the teachers union, which is no friend of charter schools, is failing to provide it. And it’s doing that even though there are at least five buildings in the area with at least 500 empty seats. The result, Moskowitz says, is that 200 Success students could be forced back into traditional schools in 2020, in districts where failure is rampant.

The city should stop delaying and give these Success Academy students the space they need to grow, now.

Welcome to the discussion.