Eva Moskowitz calls Success Academy's high school the startup within the startup. And, as at any startup, there’s been a lot of chaos in its first few years. Magic five--it’s no longer working. The kids are questioning authority. Teachers are leaving. And parents want answers. But this year also marks Success Academy’s first graduating class. We’ll find out if Eva’s grand experiment comes with a big collegiate payoff.
Success Academy 6: The Fights
Over the years, Success Academy has faced many existential threats. Eva has had to battle the most powerful man in New York City to fight for space for her schools. She has also had to defend her organization when a controversial video featuring a Success teacher was leaked to the New York Times. Today on the show, we watch Eva battle these setbacks, meeting both with a single-minded defense.
Success Academy 5: Expectations
It’s no mystery that Success Academy has high expectations — not just for its teachers, but also for its parents and students. Having a high bar is the key to Success’ amazing results. But the charter network’s expectations can make life hard for families and kids who don’t quite make the mark. In this episode, we will hear from two families who ran headlong into Success Academy’s high expectations. -- Thanks to our sponsor, Cole Haan. You can hear more of Lisa and other Gimlet hosts in conversation at , produced in partnership with Cole Haan.
Success Academy 4: Growth
Success Academy has grown quickly — in just 12 years, the network has gone from one school in Harlem to 47 schools across New York City. In order to do this, Success has had to hire many inexperienced teachers, and move them up the ranks quickly. Amidst all this growth, there is a lot of pressure on the staff to continue performing at incredibly high levels. And Success has managed to keep crushing the state tests. In episode 4 of the series, we examine how growth has changed Success for better, and for worse. -- Thanks to our sponsor, Cole Haan. You can hear more of Lisa and other Gimlet hosts in conversation at , produced in partnership with Cole Haan.
Success Academy 3: The Test
Success Academy’s state test results are truly remarkable — their students score in the top one percent in New York State, often beating out kids from the wealthiest districts. And the network's reputation is built on these results — it’s a big part of how they attract new students, win over donors, and get approval to open school after school. To find out how Success gets these scores, we go inside their test-taking machine. There are puppies and toys, “pump-up” songs, and a crazy event at the 19,000-seat Barclays Center called Slam the Exam. And, of course, there’s lots of test prep. We’ll hear from students and teachers who’ve grown skeptical of all the time devoted to getting good scores. We’ll see how significant passing the state test can be for a student who’s struggled. And we’ll hear Eva Moskowitz defend her school’s intense focus on test prep, which she prefers to call “mastery.”