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Harlem Charter School Beats The Odds

NEW YORK -- Even after New York State dramatically raised the "cut scores" needed to pass key math and reading exams, one public charter school in Harlem continued to show strong academic results due to the combination of hard work, effective teacher-parent partnerships, innovative school design and a top-to-bottom commitment to quality classroom instruction.

At Harlem Success Academy 1 Charter, 34 West 118th Street, in Manhattan:

  • 97% of third-graders and 93% of fourth-graders passed the 2009-10 state math test.
  • 89% of third-graders and 86% of fourth-graders passed the 2009-10 reading test.

"Like everyone else in New York State, we saw a difference in the way the tests were scored this year," said Eva Moskowitz, CEO of the Success Charter Network, which manages the school. "But the work our students, teachers, and parents put into their schooling gave them a solid academic base, and the new scores continue to reflect that."

In particular, Harlem Success Academy saw continued strong performance among economically disadvantaged students. Among those students who qualified to receive free or reduced-lunch, 88% of third graders passed reading and 98% passed math, while 88% of fourth graders passed reading and 93% passed math.

Moskowitz attributed the strong showing to Harlem Success' innovative design model, which includes:

  • Saturday classes for students.
  • 3-hours of reading each day for students.
  • Longer school day and school year.
  • Investments in enhancing parent-school partnerships, so that families can be active and effective partners in their child's learning.
  • Four weeks of intensive professional development for teachers before students even show up for school each year.

"Running any kind of school is incredibly hard work," Moskowitz said. "Our commitment to our teachers and parents is that we will give them the absolute best conditions we can so that we can collectively concentrate on teaching all of our students at the highest possible levels. Those kinds of supports can do wonders for the academic life of a child," she added.

Moskowitz continued, "Harlem Success will continue to fight so that all schools, whether public charter schools or zoned district schools, are able to go the extra mile and provide these kinds of supports so that teachers can effectively teach, and students can experience the joy of learning."

About Harlem Success Academy Charter School

Harlem Success Academy Charter School, which opened in August 2006 on 118th Street and Lenox Avenue, was the first of four Harlem Success Academies founded by Success Charter Network (SCN).  SCN will open three more in 2010, for a total of seven schools in New York City. Success Charter Network plans to open a total of 40 high-performing charter schools in New York City over the next ten years.



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