What approach to education did Success Academy take and how has it solved typical public school problems?
When founder of the Success Academy charter school network, Eva Moskowitz, decided to start public schools that offered a free education to any child, regardless of background, she knew which approach to education she would be taking.
That of instilling strict discipline into the children the schools’ served, while making education fun, so that Success Academy public schools did not face the same problems other New York public schools do.
In the 11 years since Success Academy was founded, it has been proven that Moskowitz’s approach works. Success Academy students in elementary and middle schools test in the 90th percentile for all core subjects, and typical New York city public school discipline problems do not exist.
The Success Academy approach to education — Students in public schools often rebel against authority as classrooms are overcrowded, the way they are taught is dull, and strict discipline is not mandated nor acted upon. Behavioral problems are the result, as well as a high drop out rate.
In Success Academy schools, however, the approach to education and learning is completely different.
Students are only given six to seven hours of formal instruction every week. After that, they work in groups with classmates on a variety of projects, while still learning core subjects like English, math and science.
They also study subjects like robotics, entrepreneurship, chess, art, musical theater and dance so that the children graduate with a well-rounded education and ready for university.
Education at Success Academy is rigorous. Students are in the classroom for more hours than a typical student in a New York public school, yet attendance is much higher at a Success Academy school and students really learn.
Why? That is because Success Academy makes learning fun, and makes students want to come to school every day in case they miss something cool.
Discipline is key — Success Academy schools also focus on strict discipline. Students are expected to arrive at school on time, and wearing appropriate clothing.
They are expected to behave well in class, to participate in all group activities, to follow all the rules and to work hard.
This discipline and a fun approach to learning not only turns out well behaved, hard-working individuals who love to learn and understand the value of pushing themselves to succeed, it also turns out students who thoroughly enjoyed their education.