Some Regents ask whether Success video calls for more state oversight

Source: Monica Disare, Chalkbeat, February 22, 2016

A roiling debate about charter school discipline reached New York’s top education officials Monday, as members of the Board of Regents indicated that a video of a Success Academy teacher sharply criticizing a young student calls for greater oversight of the charter sector. A couple of Regents condemned the video, published by the New York Times, and Regent Judith Chin wondered aloud if it should prompt censure by the state education department. At the end of the discussion, five members abstained from a vote that included the expansion of four New York City charter schools. …

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At Success Academy School, a Stumble in Math and a Teacher’s Anger on Video
Source: Kate Taylor, New York Times, February 12, 2015

The video was recorded surreptitiously in the fall of 2014 by an assistant teacher who was concerned by what she described as Ms. Dial’s daily harsh treatment of the children. … Success’s own training materials, provided by the network’s leader, Eva S. Moskowitz, say that teachers should never yell at children, “use a sarcastic, frustrated tone,” “give consequences intended to shame children,” or “speak to a child in a way they wouldn’t in front of the child’s parents.” … But interviews with 20 current and former Success teachers suggest that while Ms. Dial’s behavior might be extreme, much of it is not uncommon within the network. Success is known for its students’ high achievement on state tests, and it emphasizes getting — and keeping — scores up. …. She said that, starting in third grade, when children begin taking the state exams, embarrassing or belittling children for work seen as slipshod was a regular occurrence, and in some cases encouraged by network leaders.

At a Success Academy Charter School, Singling Out Pupils Who Have ‘Got to Go’
Source: Kate Taylor, New York Times, October 29, 2015

Success Academy, the high-performing charter school network in New York City, has long been dogged by accusations that its remarkable accomplishments are due, in part, to a practice of weeding out weak or difficult students. The network has always denied it. But documents obtained by The New York Times and interviews with 10 current and former Success employees at five schools suggest that some administrators in the network have singled out children they would like to see leave. At Success Academy Fort Greene, the same day that Ms. Ogundiran heard from the principal, her daughter’s name was one of 16 placed on a list drawn up at his direction and shared by school leaders. The heading on the list was “Got to Go.” … Success Academy is the city’s largest charter school network. It has 34 schools, and plans to grow to 70 in five or six years. …

At Success Academy Charter Schools, Polarizing Methods and Superior Results
Source: Kate Taylor, New York Times, April 6, 2015

… In a rare look inside the network, including visits to several schools and interviews with dozens of current and former employees, The New York Times chronicled a system driven by the relentless pursuit of better results, one that can be exhilarating for teachers and students who keep up with its demands and agonizing for those who do not. … For teachers, who are not unionized and usually just out of college, 11-hour days are the norm, and each one is under constant monitoring, by principals who make frequent visits, and by databases that record quiz scores….