MDRC in the News

Winning the Lottery: Enrolling in Success Academy Produces Math Gains for Students, New Study Shows

Chalkbeat

08/2017

Enrolling in Success Academy boosted test scores for some of its earliest students, according to a new study conducted by research firm MDRC.

The analysis, funded by Success as part of a federal grant, found that the network’s third- and fourth-graders showed about a year to a year and a half of additional learning in math compared to similar students who also applied to the school, but lost the lottery. In reading, the gains are “positive,” though researchers caution they would need a larger sample to make a more definitive statement.

“The enrollment effects in math put Success Academy towards the top of what’s been estimated for charter schools,” said Rebecca Unterman, the author of the report.

The study is good, if relatively unsurprising, news for New York City’s largest charter network, which prides itself on sky-high test scores. When the state released test scores last week, Success Academy far outpaced the city, achieving an 84 percent pass rate in English and a 95 percent pass rate in math. Citywide, 40.6 percent of students passed English and 37.8 percent passed the math exam…..

…..Rather than celebrating this study, Moskowitz said the results actually understate the network’s impact.

MDRC studied Success results from students who entered our schools in 2010, seven years ago,” Moskowitz said in an email statement. “Our results are even better now.”

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