Six eighth grade students at Eva Moskowitz’s charter chain Success Academy passed the examination for New York City’s elite high schools. This is the first time that any student from Success Academy has passed the rigorous exam in the three years that she had students in this grade.

Moskowitz offered this information in a meeting with the New York Daily News editorial board.

Six students out of 54 Success Academy eighth-graders who took the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test were offered seats in 2016 at one of the elite high schools that rely on the test, like Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech or Bronx Science, Moskowitz said in a wide-ranging interview with the Daily News Editorial Board.

That’s up from zero kids who gained seats in 2014 and 2015.

The performance is below the city average acceptance rate of nearly 19%. However, all of the Success Academy kids who took the test and gained acceptance are black or Hispanic, making her acceptance rate of 11% about twice the citywide average for students of color. Only 4% of black students and 6% of Hispanic students who took the test got offers in 2016.

“It’s a rigorous test, and the kids have to prepare for it,” Moskowitz said. “Truth be told, our kids, most of them did not study for it. They took it cold.”

Students who pass the difficult test often practice for months, and there’s a cottage industry of prep firms that train kids specifically for the exam.

But Moskowitz said the Success Academy kids who got in did so without the drilling.

“I’m very proud of the fact that our kids are flexible thinkers,” Moskowitz said. “They have read a lot and done a lot of mathematics.”

Just under a quarter of Success Academy eighth-graders took the test, roughly the same as the city average for black and Hispanic kids.

Moskowitz says that the kids didn’t take any practice tests, didn’t drill, didn’t need any extra help to get ready.

She makes it sound easy because all of her students are “flexible thinkers” who have done a lot of reading and mathematics.

But if this is so, why did only six of 54 students who took the test pass it? Why not all 54? The 54 are “just under a quarter” of the charter chain’s eighth graders. Why didn’t all 220 or so take the test and pass it? Aren’t they all flexible thinkers who have done a lot of reading and mathematics? Shouldn’t they all be able to sit for the exam without any preparation?

Bear in mind that the 220 who finished eighth grade are about 40% of those who started, reflecting a 60% attrition rate. With their “grit” and the academic prowess learned at SA charters, why were only six students able to pass the exams?

Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby wrote a study in 2009 that was widely hailed by charter advocates, claiming that students in NYC charters nearly closed the “Scarsdale-Harlem” achievement gap. The implication was that attendance in a charter school for eight years would raise the achievement of all charter students, not just six of 220, or even six of 54.