Advice | August 24, 2017 9:18 am

Test Results Show How Charter Schools Are Transformative

Black and Hispanic students in Harlem outperformed city's white pupil by double digits.

The results of the 2017 New York state tests were recently released. Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools, says that the scores demonstrate how “transformative” charter schools have been for Harlem residents.

Today, almost half the students in Central Harlem attend a charter school, and about a quarter of student in East Harlem attend one.

According to Moskowitz, in an op-ed written for the Wall Street Journal, the number of students meeting rigorous, Common Core math standards has more than double since 2013, from 1,690 to 3,703. Ninety-six percent of that growth comes from students attending a charter school. She says that the results for the English language are “similarly inspiring.”

Moskowitz also writes that the highest performing charter schools, like her own Success Academy, have “actually reversed the achievement gap.” She reports that Black and Hispanic students from Central Harlem’s seven Success Academy schools outperform white students by 33 points in math and 21 points in reading across the city. Meanwhile, low-income students outperform the city’s affluent students by 38 and 24 points in math and reading respectively.

Moskowitz writes that given the “incredible academic progress evident among Harlem’s charter school students,” accusations against charter schools are “breathtakingly cynical.” She is referring to recent comments by the NAACP, who called for a moratorium on charter schools because it creates a system that is “separate but equal” and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who said that school-choice and charters were the “polite cousins” to Jim Crow segregation.

Critics of charter schools often say that the success of charters come at the expensive of traditional school districts. Moskowitz cites a recent study that found improved academic performance and student engagement at district schools with charter schools nearby or in the same building.