If the proof is in the pudding, then perhaps the educational system as a whole should have a look at the recipe devised and executed by Success Academy. Leading the charge is Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools. The first school opened in 2006 and has since grown to 32 locations.
The results that Success Academy has achieved are undeniable.In 2014 students in New York scored a 29 percent rating in English proficiency and a 35 percent rating in Math. While Success Academy posted 64 percent in English proficiency and 94 percent in Math. If we look at those numbers through a competitive lens, that’s a blowout victory for all the scholars and staff at Success Academy, over all of the privileged and well-funded suburban schools.
A look at some of Success Academy’s practices should provoke more than a bit of thought. For instance, students are not referred to as “students” but as “scholars.” Not only in a conversation among adults but also in addressing the young scholars. In name alone, being called a scholar rather than a student is empowering and should serve the much-needed self-esteem young minds need, especially those from poor and humble backgrounds. Each morning the hungry young minds are greeted by the principal with a handshake and a “Hello.” Being greeted by a figure of importance with eye contact and a handshake offers further experience children need. Various studies have shown the drastic drop off of social skills in millennials. Mostly attributed to hyper-connectivity via the internet and interactions dominated on social media rather than in person.
At Success Academy, the scholars have a longer school day and a longer school year, allowing teachers to focus on each of the scholar’s needs and goals; Is more education and mental stimulation a bad thing? It appears Success Academy challenges conventional education practices. Considering many of those practices have led the United States to its current atrocious rankings in the international community, bucking those trends and shaking things up to get results can’t be a bad thing. After all, shouldn’t we strive to give parents broad choices and children a solid foundation to build on?