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Jersey Jazzman: The Secrets of Success Academy

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Most of you who have been reading this blog over the past five years know the secrets of Success Academy’s “success.” Careful selection of students. Exclusion of those unlikely to succeed. Lots of outside money.

Jersey Jazzman has done us the favor of documenting these strategies.

He found exactly what you would expect:

“Schools like Success Academy almost always have structural advantages — advantages that have nothing to do with their governance — over the schools against which they compare themselves:

“Different student populations.

“Resource advantages.

“A less-experienced, less-expensive faculty.

“A longer school day/year and/or smaller class sizes and/or tutoring, made possible by #2 & #3 in combination with free-riding on the public district schools.

“Strict disciplinary codes which encourage students who do not thrive in a “no excuses” environment to leave.

“In the minority of cases where “successful” charters out-perform expectations, I have seen no compelling evidence that freedom from teachers unions and public district school regulations, curricular innovations, or parental “choice” are what lead to “success.” Instead, some combination of the five factors above almost always provide the most reasonable explanation for the difference in outcomes.”

Eva Moskowitz pretends that she has cracked some secret code and that her methods could be applied on a large scale.

But what she has done is not replicable for an entire district. If you exclude and kick out the kids you don’t want, where will they go?

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