Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Strong Scores for Hispanic Students Helps NYC’s Success Academy Win Charter School Prize

Success Academy Charter Schools, a network of 41 schools in New York with a high Latino student enrollment, was awarded the 2017 Broad Prize for charter schools this month along with $250,000 in prize money.

The prize, awarded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, recognizes a public charter school management organization that has demonstrated high academic achievement, particularly for low-income students and students of color. The foundation announced the award during the National Charter Schools Conference held in Washington, D.C.

Success Academy students have been among the highest performing in math and English in New York for several years running. According to Success Academy Charter Schools:

  • In 2016, 94 percent of Hispanic students at Success Academy schools passed the math exam compared to 24 percent of Hispanic students citywide. In English Language Arts, 82 percent of Hispanic students at Success Academy passed the exam while the number citywide was 27 percent.
  • English-Language Learners at Success Academy were seven time more likely to pass math and 15 more times likely to pass English than their student peers citywide. About 8.5 percent of the nearly 14,000 students enrolled in Success Academy Charter Schools are English-Language Learners.

Nationwide, the number of Hispanic students in charter schools has been growing steadily. Hispanics comprise roughly 30 percent of charter school enrollment, up from 21 percent in 2004, according to a report released late last year by the National Alliance for Public School Charters. Stanford University’s Center for Education Reform and Outcomes also studied charter schools in 41 urban regions in 2015 and concluded that students who are both low-income and Hispanic or who are both Hispanic and English-Language Learners gain more learning days per year: 48 extra days in math and 25 extra days in English.

The Broad Prize for charter schools has been awarded since 2012. Eligibility requirements included: five or more schools in operation as of 2014-2015, 2,500 students or more enrolled each year since 2014-2015, at least 40 percent of students were eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch in 2014-2015, and at least 33 percent of students were students of color.

Marilyn Garateix, a freelance journalist, has been an education editor at The Boston Globe and The Tampa Bay Times. You can email her at mgarateix@gmail.com.