Free, Open-Source Access to “THINK Literacy,” Success Academy’s Highly Effective Curriculum for Elementary Schools

SUCCESS ACADEMY LAUNCHES NATIONAL EDUCATION INSTITUTE, SHARING LITERACY CURRICULUM WITH EDUCATORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Free, Open-Source Access to “THINK Literacy,” Success Academy’s Highly Effective Curriculum for Elementary Schools

New York, NY — After more than a decade of reimagining every aspect of public education and successfully scaling its innovative school design across more than 40 campuses, Success Academy formally launched a new enterprise on Wednesday, sharing its model with more than 15,000 teachers, principals, superintendents, and policy makers from across the country.

The Success Academy Education Institute is a free, open source for new ways of thinking about public education and a rich resource for planning, managing, and executing the work of schooling. Available through a robust digital platform, the Ed Institute gives teachers and principals in every state free, open access to the curriculum, tools, and  training that are the foundation of Success Academy’s proven school design. The Ed Institute can be accessed at www.successacademies.org/edinstitute.

“We are sharing exactly what has made our schools so effective, so that others can be faster and better at replicating that success,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “Our Ed Institute is designed to help educators all across the country give children the opportunities that only a great education can provide.

Because reading is foundational to all learning, the Ed Institute is launching with the release of Success Academy’s much sought-after THINK Literacy curriculum for elementary schools. THINK Literacy has achieved extraordinary outcomes for thousands of students. Enrolling primarily low-income, minority children through a random lottery, Success Academy has consistently ranked at the very top of all New York schools in both math and English Language Arts. Last year, the network’s 28 testing schools — with more than 4,000 test-takers — ranked in the top 1.5% in ELA on state exams. SA scholars passed state reading exams at more than twice the rate of district students, and three times the rate of New York City’s black and Hispanic students.

THINK Literacy provides teachers with instruction on what and how to teach, sequenced in units that emphasize student engagement and develop a love of reading, while also building essential critical thinking skills aligned with Common Core standards. How-to videos by master teachers, planning templates, and ample reading lists of the best in children’s fiction and nonfiction are incorporated into the curriculum and available on a beautifully designed, easily navigated digital platform. Units are also downloadable.

The Ed Institute was developed to enable the network to expand while maintaining the highest standards. Success Academy’s school design is founded on the premise that well-trained and well-equipped teachers and principals are key to educating children. Over the next decade, Success plans to expand to 100 public schools serving 50,000 children in grades K-12, making it the size of the Atlanta or Boston school system. This year alone, Success Academy will train some 2,000 school-based staff, a number that will rise dramatically in the years to come.

THINK Literacy has been enthusiastically received by a number of leading educators from across the country who previewed the curriculum:

“Educators across the country have struggled to identify a rich, engaging, and rigorous curriculum that will help them support students in meeting dramatically higher expectations,” said John E. Deasy, former superintendent of Los Angeles public schools. “Success Academy’s THINK literacy, made available via their new Education Institute website, is a vital resource for addressing these challenges.”

“I have long admired Success Academy’s rich, rigorous, standards-aligned, K-4 literacy curriculum,” said Andres A. Alonso, Harvard Graduate School of Education professor and former CEO of Baltimore public schools. “So I applaud that it is now available to others, so that other schools can benefit from all the work that went into its proven results.”

“The game has forever been changed! One of America’s most effective schools has made its curriculum open source,” said Dr. Steve Perry, Head of Capital Preparatory Schools in New York and Connecticut. “I can assure you that Capital Preparatory Schools will use it and I would suggest others consider doing the same.”

“The Success Academy Education Institute is filling an important need by sharing their teaching and learning model that has so positively impacted their students,” said Michael Milkie, CEO and Superintendent, Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago.

“It’s time to stop constantly reinventing the wheel. As a field, we must share effective practices so that students everywhere can get better, faster,” said Dacia Toll, Co-CEO and President of Achievement First. “Success Academy’s Ed Institute will accelerate the work of all schools who are trying to do right by kids.”

“It’s clear that the Ed Institute was created by educators for educators,” said Veronica Conforme, CEO of UP Education Network in Boston. “It doesn’t just provide a carefully crafted curriculum; it includes a range of tools to help teachers deliver that curriculum with maximum power and precision.”

“Success Academy’s THINK literacy is aligned with our vision for excellent instruction at Roots and provides the tools our teachers need to implement a rigorous, engaging ELA program that builds knowledge, cultivates critical thinking, and fosters a deep love of reading,” said Jonathan Hanover, founder and executive director of Roots Elementary in Denver.

The Ed Institute was funded through generous support from prominent philanthropic organizations across the country. Major funders include: the Robertson Foundation, the Hertog Foundation, the Kovner Foundation, the Kern Family Foundation, the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund, and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation.

A national leader in education reform — and recent winner of the Broad Prize for best public charter school network in the country — Success Academy has long been committed to advancing education reform nationally by sharing its content and approach, and inviting others across the country to access and adapt what we teach and how we teach it. Hundreds of educators — from as nearby as Brooklyn and as far away as China — have come to Success for tours, workshops, and conferences.

The Ed Institute supports a blended approach to professional development, combining sophisticated e-learning with robust in-person training programs. This fall, the Ed Institute will open a new state-of-the-art training facility and lab school in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan. Over the next several years, Success plans to continue codifying, digitizing, and testing curriculum and training within its own schools, and then adding to the public site. The Ed Institute will offer specific training and talent development around THINK Literacy as well as training in school operations, school management, and developing student talents.

ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS

Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K through 12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 41 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 14,000 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are children of color, 15% are students with disabilities, and 8.3% are current and former English language learners. Ranked in the top 0.3% in math and the top 1.5% in English among all New York State schools on 2016 state proficiency tests, Success Academy schools received more than 17,000 applications for fewer than 3,000 open seats this year. By August, Success Academy will operate 46 schools serving 15,500 children.

For more information, go to Successacademies.org.

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