A charter school is a publicly funded school that is independently accountable for curriculum and values. While the public schools of America struggle greatly due to constricting policies and muddied curriculum, charter schools are free from this red tape and this freedom allows them to soar. Because they are not bogged down by bureaucracy, the leaders of charter schools are able to make decisions that are based on a clear vision. The Success Academy is network of Charter schools in New York City which exemplifies the potential for success that charter schools hold.
The Success Academy charter schools’ success can be seen clearly when you look at the math and literacy proficiency rates of Success Academy students in comparison to surrounding public school’s rates. Success Academy students have almost 100% proficiency, while nearby public school systems have proficiency rates in the teens or lower. There is clearly a large difference in the way the students of each system are learning, growing, and retaining information.
The Success Academy approach to education is based on a commitment from the leadership that each graduate will succeed in college and in life. The network is arranged so that students who enter into an elementary school will be transitioned smoothly into middle school and then high school. Thought towards college preparation begins at a young age. The students academic life as well as social and emotional life is considered when preparing a student for success. This holistic and long-term vision is coupled with a dress code, motivational role models, a discipline of success, and rigorous curriculum.
Many public school models fail to provide a high quality education because of interference and input from many organizations and agencies. As a government funded operation, a public school is accountable to a wide range of people, all with different agendas and purposes. In contrast, a charter school’s leadership is independent from political affiliations and may make decisions based solely on what is best for the students. Success Academy has been steadily growing since it was founded, which is an indication of the networks high regard. Once a student enters the Success network, they continue within the network until they reach college age. New high schools have recently been added to the network in order to house the up and coming students. The future of charter schools is bright.