Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another Blogger Slams Eva's Success Academy Charter Scam

Owen Davis at The Commonal follows up on Gary Rubinstein's analysis of the Eva Moskowitz charter scam which we reported on the other day: Rubinstein: Success Academy Scores Based on High Attrition Plus Other Factors.

Davis takes Gary's work a bit further:
It’s true that Success owes its success to more than just general student attrition. But Rubinstein only examined the overall numbers. When you look at specific student demographics, even more troubling patterns emerge. I’ve been dissecting the student data of prominent NYC charters since Democracy Prep and I sparred over its unmistakable pattern of steadily losing students with disabilities and students learning English. (They promised a “debunking” of my post. I’ll assume it’s still forthcoming.)
At Success, the pattern is similar, if not more stark. Not only do its classes contain disproportionately few students with disabilities and English language learners (ELLs), but their numbers almost invariably decrease with each passing year. This should have no uncertain effect on test scores.
 I actually get hot thinking about a slam at the arrogant Democracy Prep crowd which for some reason annoy me even more than Eva's crew. (I admit to having had some great discussions with some Success parents and officials -- we have been sparring for so many years.) Democracy Prep recently pushed out a program for GED students.

But how much fun is it to see Eva jump so far ahead that there will be intense scrutiny? Even her usual trolls have toned it down.

Owen concludes with:
What’s sad about this is how unsurprising it’s become. High-achieving charters, with no exceptions that I’ve found, enroll fewer needy students, witness substantial attrition of these students, or both. These patterns could reflect some implicit policy, or they could result from the extraordinary behavioral demands charters impose on students. The proximate cause doesn’t matter so much when it comes to test scores, though. Scores resting on high-needs student attrition shouldn’t withstand even the mildest scrutiny, yet they garner unreserved praise from the likes of Mayor Bloomberg and the Post. 
It’s just an added irony that one of Moskowitz’s Success expansions literally pushed at-risk students out of an existing school.
I need not dwell on how disturbing all this is. Any notion of success should be predicated on serving the neediest students right alongside those who make “no excuses.” Anything less is reprehensible.
Read it all, with charts:

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