Portfolio Member Spotlight

Redefining what’s possible in public education.

Success Academy Charter Schools

“At my school, my teachers encourage me to dream big. My dream is to become a lawyer one day and advocate for people all over the world whose voices are not being heard.”

– Juliana, 7th grade student at Success Academy Harlem East

“As parents, we have been blown away by the love, nurturing, and hard work of Success Academy teachers who took the time to get to know our son as a person from day one—and set bar for rigor high.”

– Drs. Caitlin and Leo Trasande, parents of two Success Academy Upper West scholars

“By setting the bar high and empowering them to succeed, we are proving that disabilities do not have to be impediments to learning.”

– Ms. Axelband, special education teacher at Success Academy Bronx 3

“We have proven beyond a doubt that race, poverty, and neighborhood need not stand in the way of academic achievement.”

– Ms. Lineham, middle school teacher at Success Academy Harlem West

On August 20, 2006, as 165 kindergarten and 1st grade New York City students became Success Academy’s inaugural class, founder Eva Moskowitz made a promise. “Success Academy will never intellectually underestimate its students.”

Nearly ten years later, Moskowitz and her schools enroll over 11,000 students and still stand by this promise.

Success Academy will never intellectually underestimate its studentsIgnoring grade-level expectations typically placed on students, Success Academy schools challenge students beyond traditional learning requirements. Kindergarteners study physics. Third graders read like middle schoolers. High schoolers write college-level research theses. Teachers are trained to ask challenging questions and allow students to “puzzle through” these questions, teaching them to reason and think critically.

Five times a week, Success Academy students engage in exploratory-based sciences classes designed to provide hands-on learning experiences. They deepen their language skills and ignite their imaginations through an hour and a half of classroom reading every day. Electives like chess, debate, ballroom dance, and art offer students opportunities to explore new talents and interests throughout the week.

Increasing student engagement and curiosity drives all decisions at Success Academy. “When you engage kids and encourage them to fall in love with schooling, the results are radically different,” Moskowitz explains.

Success Academy’s results are radically different, indeed. In 2014, its students scored in the top 1% of all New York students in math and in the top 3% in reading. 29% of New York City public school students passed the 2014 statewide reading tests, and 35% passed the 2014 statewide math tests. At Success Academy, 64% did so in math, and 94% did so in reading.

The network plans to expand Success Academy to 100 schools across New York City“Across the Success Academy network, our students are shattering expectations and stereotypes,” Moskowitz says. “We believe every child can achieve at the highest levels if given access to a great school.”

Success Academy received more than 22,000 new student applications for fewer than 2,300 available seats for the 2015-16 school year. The network plans to expand Success Academy to 100 schools across New York City to meet this growing demand for high-quality public schools.

Visit Success Academy's Website

Success Academy

Year Founded


CSGF Portfolio Member Since



New York, NY

Number of Schools

2016: 41
End of CSGF Growth Plan: 34


74% Low Income
94% Minority

CSGF’s Financial Support of Success Academy

CSGF has made two multi-year commitments to Success Academy to help the organization add 14 new schools in New York City and serve more than 17,000 additional students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

“The Charter School Growth Fund has been an engine of our growth and a valued thought partner as we have scaled our schools. We are proud to be part of their mission to bring educational justice to all kids.”

–Eva Moskowitz, Founder & CEO