“Early Achievement Impacts of the Harlem Success Academy Charter School in New York City”
Students attending the Harlem Success Academy are outperforming peers who applied to the same school but failed to win a seat in the lottery, a new study says.
Launched in 2006, the K-4 school that the researchers studied is one of four existing Harlem Success Academies run by the Success Charter Network. Besides providing a longer school day and year, the schools aim to focus on encouraging college-going and on mathematics and literacy. Students also learn chess in order to strengthen critical-thinking skills.
Researchers Jonathan A. Supovitz, and Sam Rikoon of the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate school of education studied nearly 200 students whose families applied to win their children seats in the lottery for the school’s 2006-07 1st grade class.
By 3rd grade, the study found, the Success Academy students performed an average of 48 scale-score points higher in mathematics than peers who ended up in regular public schools after failing to win a seat in the lottery. In reading, the Success Academy students’ edge over lottery-losing peers was 35 points.
Compared with a group of 545 demographically similar 3rd graders from nearby public schools who never applied to the charter school, the Success Academy students had an even bigger advantage. They scored an average of 58 points higher than that group.
A version of this article appeared in the June 16, 2010 edition of Education Week as Charter School