Saturday, April 2, 2016

Moskowitz Hearts the BS Test

“I really believe in the tests – I seem to be the only one left standing,” Moskowitz said Friday afternoon, immediately after addressing roughly 2,300 Success Academy students who gathered for a “slam the exam” pep rally at the City College of New York in Harlem.

Alex Zimmerman at ChalkbeatNY talked to Eva Moskowitz about her love of testing and the horrible horridness of opting out, and what ensued was a quick medley of testocrat talking points. Let's see how many she can check off the list.

Achievement gap. The rich kids have to take the test so that we can tell if the poor kids are doing as well on the test. This assumes that the test is measuring anything worth measuring, and that getting poor students to score as high as rich students will somehow erase the effects of their poverty. This seems unlikely.

Preparation. Moskowitz wants you to remember that if your child will not be able to opt out of the SAT or the Common Application. Of course, the Common Application is not a test. And you can already opt out of the SAT by applying to one of 850+ colleges and universities that don't require SAT or ACT scores. Beyond that, does anyone seriously think that taking the Big Standardized Test in elementary school is preparation for the SAT?

Zimmerman notes that Moskowitz's Success Academies have been noted for a text-centered culture as well as "draconian" discipline and pushing out of students. Moskowitz said that SA is absolutely not a test-centered culture, but making that point in the middle of a massive pep rally for testing is a long reach. SA is famed for its high BS Test scores; less widely noted (and Zimmerman doesn't note it, either) is that SA grads don't do well enough on placement tests to get into NYC top high schools.

Moskowitz needs test scores because they remain the top marketing pitch of Success Academy. She certainly can't sell the school as a school that your child may or may not be allowed to finish, or as a place run by the highest paid school administrator in NYC-- including the head of the entire NYC school system.


  1. I think that Moskowitz is paid the maximum allowed for a school official under NY State law, the same as that of the head of NYC public. In addition to her salary, Moskowitz has additional sources of income (through donations to SA) as does the head of NYC public (Chancellor Farina receives $212,626 annual pension from the NYC Teachers Retirement System in addition to her salary)

    1. Moskowitz draws a $450,000 salary. I have no idea what her other benefits are, but there are no state laws that in any way affect what she can be paid. Farina's salary is $227,000, so even with pension thrown in, she still is paid less to run the entire NYC school system than Moskowitz gets for managing her 11,000 students.