November 9, 2018

Success Academy 1: The Problem

by StartUp

Background show artwork for StartUp

The Story: 

Eva Moskowitz wants to fix a really big problem. There are over a million kids in New York City’s public schools. Most can’t read or do math at grade level. Many won’t graduate on time. And it’s largely poor, black and brown kids who are stuck in the lowest performing schools. Eva’s the founder and CEO of Success Academy, the subject of this season of StartUp. And she’s actually making progress. 

Her school network is growing at lightning speed, and her students get among the highest standardized-test scores in the city, beating out schools in some of the wealthiest districts. And the education world is watching. But not everyone likes what they see. In this season, we ask how exactly Success is doing what it’s doing, and why does it have so many critics?

Today, on the first of our six-part series about Success, we meet a mother, Sherisse, who desperately wants her son to get into Success, so that he can have opportunities she never had herself. And we go inside a Success classroom on the first day of school, to see what parents like Sherisse are clamoring for.

The Facts:

Peter Leonard mixed the episode. 

Our theme song is by Mark Philips, remixed by Bobby Lord. 

Build Buildings wrote and performed our special ad music. 

Additional music by Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord, Hot Moms Dot Gov, Jupyter, Mothica,

Golden Gram and BlueDot.

Where to Listen