• parent010203

    Here is a question that no reporter has asked yet: The SUNY Charter Institute has been approving new Success Academy schools by the droves. As Leo Casey notes, not ALL Success Academy schools have these kind of suspension rates, but the ones that do are often the ones serving 90% low-income and primarily African-American students. There are much lower suspension rates in some of the newer Success Academy schools where over 50% of the students may be middle class and the percentage of white students is significantly higher (sometimes half of the students at those more affluent Success Academy schools are white).

    Despite the suspension rates of 20% or more in many of those low-income Success Academy ELEMENTARY schools, the SUNY Charter Institute has expressed little concern. On the contrary, since “high test scores” are what the SUNY Charter Institute board always praises when granting Success Academy more schools, and attrition rates aren’t mentioned, the SUNY Charter Institute is not simply ignoring charter schools with high suspension rates of 5 year old students, but creating a reverse incentive to encourage it. If high suspension rates mean that the children who don’t “fit” your educational program leave, the charter school’s test scores will, by definition, be higher. Obviously, a child who responds well to it will do well, but a charter school that is supposed to serve at-risk kids should be scrutinized to make sure ALL of the at-risk children are being served. Not just the ones who “fit”, because once you open that door, and make high test results the goal, what kind of incentives are you creating? The incentive to get rid of the 5 year olds who aren’t responding well to your system.

    So, where is the SUNY Charter Institute’s oversight in all this? If they don’t care how many 5 year olds Success Academy suspends as long as the 3rd and 4th grade test results are good, why should the charter school itself not continue its practice? This is a failure of oversight more than anything. Will SUNY Charter Institute go on record supporting Eva Moskowitz’ defense of her high suspension rates of the youngest students? And if not, why have they allowed it to continue for so long without question?

    • Steve

      Dude – ever hear of Don Quixote?

  • Ainslie

    Eva Moskowitz won’t change her practice. First, she deeply believes she is right; just look at the correspondence between her and PBS. Second, people love the concept of “no excuses” without understanding what it means because they have been told public schools & teachers are failing children left and right. Third, Moskowitz has been mentioned as a potential future candidate for NYC mayor. She’s not going to change her ways now.