New York City’s Success Academy is a network of charter schools that has been high-performing since its inception over a decade ago. In that time, it has instituted some of the best education in New York City, and has students in elementary and middle schools that are now testing in the top 10 percent of students state-wide.
Success Academy schools also do not have the same problems other New York City public schools have. Namely, their students behave better, work harder and do better on tests than almost any other public school in New York.
So how have things like Success Academy’s science program helped them avoid the problems other public schools face every day?
Success Academy’s science program is excellent — Success Academy schools spend a lot of time teaching their students core subjects like English, math and science.
Their science program is one of the best in the country and, along with other programs they run, has gone a long way to making sure Success Academy schools do not face the same problems of other public schools. It has done so by the way science is taught and how students are involved.
Science at Success Academy schools is a hands-on subject. That means students are taught by being involved in group projects like putting together a computer, dissecting a squid or programming a working robot.
This type of instruction begins even in elementary school, with Success Academy’s youngest students understanding and being able to do things students in high school at other public schools cannot.
That is because Success Academy knows students perform best when they are taught critical thinking and problem-solving, and are allowed to actually work on the things they talk about in class rather than just watching from the sidelines.
Discipline is also essential — The other part of Success Academy’s success is discipline and hard work.
Students are expected to adhere to a strict set of rules, and to work hard. If they do not, there are consequences.
Hard work is looked at as essential for anyone to succeed, but failure is also looked at as not failure at all, but instead just another opportunity to learn.
No wonder Success Academy students learn so well.