Eva Moskowitz: Hero of NYC’s Under-served Students
Sometimes the world of education needs a hero, and it appears that Eva Moskowitz may be that hero for NYC’s charter schools. NYC has been experiencing something of an educational crisis in recent years, and Eva Moskowitz saw this as an opportunity to rise to the challenge by founding Success Academy Charter Schools nine years ago. During her more than 100 hearings while she was chair of the City Council Education Committee, she became increasingly aware of just how bad the situation was, and just how hard NYC’s education system was failing the children of the city.
From this experience, she determined that the system is so broken that there is no hope for solutions from within, and instead hope lay in high-quality public schools. Founded in 2006, Moskowitz’s Success Academy Charter Schools has the distinction of being both being the most successful public charter school in NYC, as well as being free. No students are left behind in this system, with both special needs students and those learning English language being accepted.
Understanding that the demand would be huge, the Success Academy uses a lottery system to find out who will be admitted to one of their 41 schools, and they are presently serving 14,000 students throughout the cities boroughs. As a parent, she is intimately aware of the fact that recess is necessary for schools, and that boredom can be one of the greatest challenges a student faces, especially among younger students. Improving engagement and a rigorous curriculum were necessary elements.
Eva’s work for the city has been a lifelong ambition, and she has put everything on the line to improve the performance of the schools. Her passion for improving the cities educational opportunities was no doubt a result of her time spent growing up in Harlem’s public schools. Her personal experiences proved to her that the school system there was ineffective, and since she couldn’t improve the circumstances from within the political system, she set out to change it herself.