Now the Size of New York State’s 7th Largest School District, Success Academy Is # 1 in State for Student Achievement

Now the Size of New York State’s 7th Largest School District, Success Academy Is # 1 in State for Student Achievement

With 46 Schools and 15,500 Students, Success Academy Is Larger than Most Suburban School Districts. Its Students Get Far Less Per Pupil Funding, Yet Its Achievement Tops the Charts

NEW YORK, NY – On this year’s state exams, 95% of Success Academy’s 5,821 testing scholars passed math, with 72% getting the most advanced score. In English Language Arts, 84% of students passed, with 31% getting highest score of 4. Surpassing city and state averages by a wide margin, SA’s closest peers are the state’s richest school districts like Edgemont, Great Neck, and Scarsdale.  Against these districts, SA is the top-performing district in the state, outperforming the second highest by 10 percentage points in math and 3 percentage points in ELA.  This achievement is all the more significant, given that 73% of SA’s testing students are economically disadvantaged and that SA is the size of the next four districts’ combined enrollment.

“These results should inspire the de Blasio administration to immediately support Success Academy and other high-performing charters to serve more students in public space,” said Eva Moskowitz, Success Academy founder and CEO.

Affluent white and Asian suburbs on Long Island and in Westchester County have long had top rank in the state, in both student achievement and per pupil spending. In Jericho, for example, about 30 miles east of New York City, the average household income for families is $151,729 and per pupil spending is $40,832 (2016). The student body is primarily white and Asian with only 5% students of color;  only 6% of students are economically disadvantaged. On this year’s exams, 85% of the Jericho test-takers passed math, and  81% passed ELA. In contrast, Success Academy received only $14,027 in per pupil funding last year  — thousands of dollars less than NYC district schools receive — and has a student enrollment that is 95% children of color; white and Asian students combined make up 9% of all testing students.

The State’s Top-Performing School Districts


Total Enrollment  

Passed Math


Passed ELA

Average Household Income  

Test Takers of Color

Success Academy 14,000 95% 84% $32,191 95%
Jericho 2,999 85% 81% $151,729 5%
East Williston 1,711 84% 77% $161,750 7%
Syosset 6,247 76% 82% $165,360 4%
Chappaqua 3,840 82% 75% $129,375 6%
Scarsdale 4,775 82% 74% $291,542 6%

Parent demand for a seat at one of Success Academy’s 29 high-quality public elementary schools is overwhelming; more than 17,000 families applied last year. Success Academy has grown rapidly in an effort to meet that demand. This year, the number of test-takers increased by 38% over 2016, and at the same time student achievement grew, with gains in both math (1% point) and ELA (2% points) from the previous year.

Now in its eleventh year of operation, Success Academy has set records in student achievement across all subgroups, from students with special needs to its homeless students. A few highlights are below:

Students with Special Needs make up about 15% of all SA students and about 17% of this year’s test takers. Among tested scholars with IEPs:

  • 60% passed ELA, compared with 11% of NYC SPED students (SA increased 9% from 2016)
  • 82% passed math, compared with 12% of NYC SPED students (SA increased 3% from 2016)
  • 32% of SA’s highest needs (12:1:1) scholars passed ELA, an increase of 21% from 2016.
  • 54% of SA’s 12:1:1 scholars passed math, an increase of 4% from 2016.

Economically Disadvantaged students make up about 74% of SA’s total enrollment, and about 73% of the students tested this year:

  • 83% passed ELA, and increase of 4% from 2016.
  • 94% passed math, an increase of 1% from 2016.

Students in Temporary Housing / Homeless: 9% of Success Academy scholars live in temporary housing; 84% passed the ELA exam, which is equal to SA’s overall pass rate.  In math, scholars in temporary housing had a 97% pass rate (higher than the network average of 95%).


Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 46 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 15,500 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 95% are children of color, 15% are children with disabilities, and 8.5% are English language learners. Success Academy schools received more than 17,000 applications for about 3,000 open seats this year. For more information about Success Academy, go to and

Print Friendly, PDF & Email