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Classroom Success

Harlem_Success Academy
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never miss viewpointsKerby Anderson

We know that many of our public schools are failing. Therefore, it is encouraging to hear a success story. That is what John Stossel brings in a recent video. Although the public schools in his home state of New York are producing kids with below average scores, he points to one exception.

The school is aptly named the Success Academy. It succeeds, he explains, where government-run schools fail. The chain of 50 schools is run by a former Democratic City Councilwoman. On math scores, they outperform every school in New York State, even though the kids mostly come from low-income families.

They also do things differently. At Success schools, principals spend time in every classroom, giving tips to teachers. Some teachers may not like being watched, but a principal will be able to point out things a teacher may not see. Schools get better and the students improve and are more successful.

Another difference is the school day. Success Academy students typically stay until 4:30pm. Some may stay even longer. You can accomplish much more with the longer school day. John Stossel was surprised that the students said they “look forward” to school.

Lots of parents are desperate to get their kids into Success Academy. Almost 13,000 more families apply than there is space. The schools hold a lottery, and the video shows the sadness on the faces of parents and kids who don’t get into the school.

One last point is cost. The government gives charter schools like Success Academy $18,000 per student. Government-run schools get almost $36,000. In other words, Success Academy does better with half the money.

If we want to have an educated citizenry, we need more success stories from the public schools like this one. viewpoints new web version

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