Success Academy: Civil Rights Violators

Mar 6, 2019 by

New York State’s recent report about Success Academy reinforces what parents and teachers have been saying for years: the charter chain treats special education students  and their families as second class citizens.  

A state investigation has concluded that Success Academy charter schools are violators of civil rights. Special education students were denied services, their parents refused consultation to which they were entitled, and directives that were handed down at administrative hearings were defied.  

What is most amazing is not that Success Academy’s record is so abysmal in this and other areas, but that this fact is still not universally recognized. Some critical faculties are immune to penetration. But there’s good news: Success Academy will now be subjected to government oversight to ensure that obey the law going forward.  

Can Success Academy be rehabilitated?  A thorny question. Unfortunately they have never admitted their mistakes and they are not breaking with that pattern now.  

They dispute the conclusions of the investigation, dismiss the mountain of evidence that they failed to provide testing accommodations, small group instruction or parental participation when modifying disabled children’s instructional programs, nor did they respect “pendency orders”.

Success Academy cushioned the weight of the finding by arguably finessing the truth. They insist that the inquiry highlighted the need for better documentation, not a failure to  provide services to children.   Success Academy is the charter school network most often extravagantly praised by private school sympathizers. In view of what has come to light, the case grows even stronger that they are over-rated as educational institutions and leaders of positive reform.    

Success Academy is the charter school network most often extravagantly praised by private school sympathizers. In view of what has come to light, the case grows even stronger that they are over-rated as educational institutions and leaders of positive reform.    

By filing the complaint last November that triggered the state investigation, Advocates for Children is to be commended for its public service.      
Ron Isaac

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