Thursday, August 29, 2013
NY's Success Academy Charter Network Accused of Using Zero Tolerance Policies to Push Out Special Needs Students
Success Academy charter schools in New York suspended nearly twice the number of students suspended by public schools in the same districts during the 2010-11 school year. In an article today in the New York Daily News, parents allege that the Success Academy's zero tolerance policies are pushing out special needs children who commit minor infractions. At Success Academy Harlem, 22% of students were suspended at least once, and the average suspension rate in Success Academy schools was 14%. Over the same period, only two of the traditional elementary schools in the same districts had suspension rates over 9%; the other schools had 7% and 6% rates. Earlier this year, the organization that evaluates and monitors New York’s charter schools, SUNY’s Charter Institute, noted inconsistencies in the Success Academy network’s providing instruction to students with discipline problems. The Success Academy network operates several K-5 charter schools in Harlem and the Bronx and is recognized for outperforming city schools on proficiency tests. This year, 82% of Success’ students met state proficiency standards in math and 58% in English. New York City’s school test scores this year were otherwise dismal with fewer than 30% of city school students showing proficiency in math and 26% in English. Read more about Success Academy and its suspension rates here.