MDRC in the News

Innovating Education

U.S. News & World Report


For the high-performing New York City-based Success Academy Charter Schools, 2017 has been a banner year.

The network of 46 schools across four boroughs, which enrolls more than 15,000 students, serve primarily low-income students of color in historically disadvantaged neighborhoods who consistently outscore their whiter, wealthier peers. On the most recent slate of New York state proficiency tests, students enrolled in Success Academy schools ranked in the top 1 percent in math and the top 1.5 percent in English.

Over the summer, researchers at Stanford University’s CREDO found that over the course of three years, Success Academy students made 228 more days’ worth of math gains than district school students with comparable demographics, as well as 120 more days’ worth of gains in reading.

And another study published this summer, from MDRC, which compared the academic performance of students who enrolled in Success Academy as kindergartners or first graders in 2010 with that of those who entered the admissions lottery but did not receive a seat, showed that Success Academy students were between one and 1.5 academic years ahead of their district school counterparts in math

To say the schools are in demand would be an understatement: This year, more than 17,000 students applied through a random lottery for just 3,000 open seats.

But the network has also sparked a tenacious debate about K-12 education and school choice in the Big Apple and beyond – as has its hard-charging and polarizing founder, Eva Moskowitz…..

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