New York Charter School Success Academy Turns Former Prison Quarters into Learning Academy

Earlier this week, New York-based Success Academy announced their plans to build their 2nd charter high school site in the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse in Melrose.
The new site, to be named the Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts, becomes the second secondary school site to be offered by the state’s public charter school program.
A spokesperson for the Success Academy stated that the additional high school is necessary because the network’s [only] other high school is located in mid-town Manhattan.
The Academy has received recent recognition for their academic achievements of high English and math proficiency rates, approaching 100 percent. This is contrasted with the adjacent traditional public schools that score in the low-mid teens on the same tests. The charter school attributes their success to an authoritative approach consisting of consistent rule-enforcement and discipline and hard work that often includes long days and challenging curriculum.
When compared to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in Southern California, the Success Academy’s exceptional performance really stands out. The LAUSD’s Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools cost taxpayers $578 million, has an aquatic center and an auditorium that has been compared to exclusive night clubs in the area. Yet, the school maintains a ranking placing it in the bottom 30 percentile of comparable school sites.
Another similar situation exists with the LAUSD’s Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, with a $377 million price tag, dance and theater studios and the school site even has underground parking. Disappointingly though, the school’s math proficiency rate is a meager 17 percent.
Earlier this year the Success Academy received the Broad Prize for Charter Schools Award. Presented by the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation, the award recognized the Academy’s transformation of the landscape of New York’s public education and in the process altered the formerly negative perceptions about the prospects available to the state’s disadvantaged students.
About Success Academy
Founded by former councilwoman, Eva Moskowitz, the charter program began with a single school site in Harlem in 2006. Today  the Success Academy operates 41 separate school sites statewide.
The Academy’s leadership received recognition from President-elect Donald Trump, who considered the program’s founder for appointment to his cabinet as Secretary of State.