School Choice & Charters

Success Academy Teacher Disciplines Student in Video Leaked to N.Y. Times

By Arianna Prothero — February 12, 2016 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

UPDATED

A 1st-grade girl sits next to her teacher in a circle of students, who are arranged in cross-legged positions with hands folded in their laps.

As the teacher tells the girl to try counting again, this time correctly, the girl breaks formation, shifting from side to side.

“Count,” the teacher orders in a low voice.

Barely audible, the girl counts to two before looking back at her teacher. The teacher grabs the girl’s paper, rips it in half, and, with a raised voice, tells her: “Go to the calm-down chair and sit.”

The scene unfolds in a little over a minute-long video recorded secretly by the assistant teacher and leaked to the New York Times.

The teacher, Charlotte Dial, works at a school that is part of the Success Academy charter school network, a political lightning rod in the New York City education debate, as well as the broader debate over charter schools. Dial has been held up as a model teacher at the network and helps with training other teachers, according to the Times.

Success Academy spokeswoman Ann Powell told the Times that Dial had been suspended from the classroom while the network investigated the incident. She has since returned to the classroom, the Times reports.

“We can’t get a fair shake from the so-called paper of record,” said Success Academy founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz during a press conference Friday. She said that Dial had made a mistake, but had apologized to her students and undergone a week of additional training.

“I’m not going to throw Charlotte Dial under the bus. She has helped hundreds of children thrive and be successful.”

Although Moskowitz has repeatedly called the interaction portrayed in the video an anomaly, the incident has further stoked an ongoing debate over discipline in charter schools—especially those that serve mostly minority and low-income students.

Most Success Academy students are black and Latino and come from poor families. They regularly perform significantly better on state standardized tests than their peers in the New York City public schools. On the one side, critics of the network say that academic achievement comes at too high a cost and accuse Success Academy of using discipline to inflate its test scores by pushing out low-performing students. On the other side, supporters of Success Academy see a union-led witch hunt targeting a success story in the charter movement.

This is the second time in five months that Success Academy has come under scrutiny as a result of a New York Times article. In October, the Times published a story about a Success Academy principal who drew up a “got-to-go” list of disruptive students.

Moskowitz has also been locked in a high-profile standoff with New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, over co-locating Success Academy schools in the city’s district schools. After de Blasio rescinded four co-location agreements in 2014 with the fast-growing network, Moskowitz responded by rallying thousands of supporters in Albany.

For more reaction to the video from Moskowitz, the teacher, Charlotte Dial, and Success Academy parents, read the New York Times story here.

Related stories:


Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)
School Choice & Charters Opinion Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools
Rick Hess speaks with Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on charter schools turning 30.
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters In Fight Over Millions of Dollars for Charter Schools, a Marijuana Tax May Bring Peace
The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind a polarizing lawsuit settlement, pending certain stipulations.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
Money bills cash funds close up Getty
Getty