In the United States, Boston started the first public high school in 1821. Public secondary schools outnumbered private schools by the close of the 19th century. In the 2015–2016 school year, there were about 6,800 public charter schools in 42 states and the District of Columbia. At the time, this represented a sixfold increase in the number of charter schools, as measured over a 15 year period.
In 2006, Eva Moskowitz was the Founder and CEO of the Harlem Success Academy. The name was changed to the Success Academy or the Success Academy Charter Schools. Moskowitz received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.
Success Academy had 11,000 students in 34 schools in every NYC borough except Staten Island. There is a waiting line to be admitted to Success Academy charter schools. Success Academy, which is the largest operator of New York City’s charter schools, admits students by random lottery. Moskowitz, as a practice, locates the charter schools in the same areas as poor performing public schools.
Success Academy has taken advantage of occupying closed public schools which save public funds. For instance, in 2014 Mother Cabrini High School closed, and the City issued the building to Success Academy, which is now Success Academy Washington Heights.
The public schools and Success Academy share resources and more public school spaces are provided to Success Academy. These activities are a boon to communities, and neighborhood centers are being revived.
Based on standardized tests scores, the more of the black and Hispanic students at Success Academies outscored similarly situated urban public schools and wealthy suburban schools in the New York City area. For instance, in New York City, 29% percent of public school students passed state reading tests, and 35% passed math tests. At Success schools, 64% passed reading tests, and 94% passed math tests.
The fact is that parents are choosing to bring their brightest children to Success Academy. The myth destroyed that only poor minorities who are failing, attend Sucess Academy. Though, there is no question that a successful academic program, begets successful students.