Gary Rubinstein read an account by a recently fired teacher at Success Academy, and he was alarmed. He says that Success Academy should be investigated to determine if her allegations are true.

He writes:

The brave blog post by teacher Livia Camperi was titled ‘The Cruel Dystopia of Success Academy’and I highly recommend you stop reading my analysis and read the actual source for yourself and then come back here, assuming you’re not already sick to your stomach.

Of all the atrocities Camperi reports, the one that stuck me as the most worthy of a formal investigation was this one:

“SA is a data-driven institution, just like the entire rest of the American education system. This is not a surprise. What was a surprise, though, was the lengths the school goes to attain its desired data. For nearly three months leading up to the NY State English and Math tests (January to March), the students are not learning anything. I feel the need to emphasize that again before I explain: for three months, students attending a school are not learning anything in their time there. What they are doing, instead, is practicing taking multiple-choice tests, day in and day out. This is, ironically, called “Think” season.
“During Think, the students take practice tests for the state exams in every single English and Math class, every single day. For the last two years, halfway through February, when they realized the data was not good enough yet, the network canceled Science and History classes to do more English and Math practice tests. Those are their only four content classes. I say again: students are not learning anything during that time. All they are doing is practicing test-taking skills and hating every minute of it. This is not education. This is callous data-chasing.


If this description is accurate, this, in terms of education, is a crime. To have students do mainly test prep for three months at the expense of all else is a type of cheating. Remember that these middle school students have been part of Success Academy since they were in Kindergarten. So if these middle schoolers need that much test prep in order to get 3s on the state test, then the ‘success’ of Success Academy is the mirage that I always have claimed.

In the comments of the blog post, this teacher has gotten a lot of support from her former students. If students are willing to corroborate her allegations about the test prep for three months, this could be a very big story.

Please open the link and read the rest of this alarming story.