Philanthropy Magazine Does An Interview With Educational Reformer, Eva Moskowitz

Eva Moskowitz is a major educational reformer at the K-12 grade level. Mrs. Moskowtiz has managed to establish a massive network of charter schools in her hometown of New York City in just over a decade. It includes over 34 schools that have a student population of over 11,000 and growing. The name of her now famous charter school system is Success Academies.

The success of the Success Academies network is truly astounding. Five of the top 10 schools ranked highest in the state proficiency exam for mathematics come from Success Academy Charter Schools. In English, three Success Academy schools are in the top 20 for proficiency. While this may not seem all that impressive to some, you should consider this. The majority of Success Academy students come from poor families that live in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Eva Moskowitz grew up in Manhattan and successfully completed her K-12 schooling at the city’s Harlem Public School District. Her parents were both involved in academia and taught as professors. Eva Moskowitz herself has a PhD. degree which she completed at John Hopkins University.

Mrs Moskowitz recently ran for public office when she threw herself into the race for New York City councilwoman. Her main agenda was to improve the failing public schools of New York City which are some of the worst in the country. Eva Moskowitz is now viewed as a tough educational reformer who wants to hold teachers and administrators accountable for failing to perform. She also wants to raise the standards at the public schools.

Eva Moskowitz created the first Success Academy school in 2006 right in Harlem where she grew up. It was after she unsuccessfully managed to reform and change the existing educational status quo, that Moskowtiz decided to start her very own charter school system. Her Success Academy project was started and is being funded not by public money from the city and state, but mostly through philanthropists and other donors who want a better educational outcome for needy students.

The success of Eva Moskowtiz’s success academies has brought her fame and praise. It has also brought her the ire of the teacher unions of New York City and the wrath of Mayor De Blasio, who is a strong backer of the teacher unions. Moskowtiz shows not signs of stopping her educational reform crusade and despite opposition from public figures and unions is continuing to expand her charter school network.

Success Academy and the Joyful Rigor of Learning

Success Academy is changing the landscape of school systems. This topic is increasingly relevant in the United States. As public schools continue to fall behind the learning curve, it is imperative that new ideas and experiments with  learning be taken seriously. Success Academy schools very well may be the answer we have been looking for. New techniques in learning, teaching, communication with parents, and even down to location of schools has already returned amazing results.

 

Success Academy is so much different than that. Success Academy focuses on the student and how they are able to learn. When a student is at Success Academy, he or she is referred to as a scholar and is held to a very high standard compared to those who go to public school. This can be a great challenge for some students but the administrator of the school refers to it as a joyful rigor. They focus on learning through play and other diverse methods. It has allowed them to truly teach the students instead of just train them to take tests.

 

The success of students at Success Academy is something that has proven to be the best opportunity. The competency rate of students who come from Success Academy is about twice the rate of students who come from public schools. This is evidence that the academy is doing something that is working and that students are actually learning as much as they can with the curriculum that was created by the academy. The students will continue to be this successful as Success Academy continues to grow and to open up schools in other areas.