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News and Updates

9.26.18 - Success Academy Posts 98% Pass Rate on State Math Tests and 91% on ELA

In classrooms from the Bronx to Bed-Stuy, Harlem to Hudson Yards, Springfield Gardens to Washington Heights, some 210 Success Academy teachers proved what’s possible for kids. In 192 classes, 100% of test-takers passed the state math exam, and in 63 classes, 100% of scholars passed English Language Arts. Among them, 45 teachers had 100% of their students pass both math and ELA exams.

Now educating one in 60 of New York City public school students, Success Academy had 91% of students pass the English Language Arts exam and 98% pass math, across 37 schools with a total of 6,800 test takers. The size of the state’s seventh-largest school district in enrollment, Success Academy had a combined math and reading score that topped every other district in the state.

This year’s test results show that Success Academy has eliminated achievement gaps across all demographics — racial and economic — and among special education scholars and English language learners, a problem that has plagued New York City’s district schools for decades.

“Children from all backgrounds can achieve exceptional results when given access to great schools,” said Eva Moskowitz, CEO and founder of Success Academy Charter Schools. “When you focus on the whole child, you develop a passion for excellence, whether it’s in the classroom, on the soccer field, or at chess and debate tournaments.”

This year, Success scholars posted an increase of 7 percentage points over 2017 scores in ELA and a 3 percentage point increase in math. In math, 85% of Success test-takers received the top score, a Level 4, and 41% scored a 4 on the ELA.

District schools across the city and state saw large increases in scores compared to years past, which may mean the exams have become less rigorous this year. For the past five years, since tests were first aligned with more rigorous Common Core standards, Success Academy has consistently ranked in the top 1% in math and top 3% in ELA.

At seven Success Academies, 100% of students passed math: SA Bergen Beach, SA Bronx 1, SA Bronx 2 Middle School, SA Cobble Hill, SA Harlem 2, SA Harlem 3, SA Harlem 4.

These test-score gains come even as the network has expanded, with 17% more test-takers in 2018 than in the previous year. Over the past five years, the number of test-takers has more than tripled.

While strong performance on state tests is an important and necessary metric, it is not our ultimate goal. We are aiming for attendance at and graduation from selective four-year colleges, which means that we are preparing scholars in K-8 for the rigors of a college-prep high school experience and all that it entails: Copious reading and writing, advanced problem-solving, and independent work habits. The work SA scholars are engaged in reflects these standards and expectations, which are far higher than those of the state tests.

Importantly, these results have not come at the expense of other subjects and students’ co-curricular interests. Last year, hundreds of Success scholars competed in regional and national chess and debate tournaments, dance competitions, and sporting events, all within weeks of taking state exams.

9.24.18 - Farmingdale State proposes new $53M academic building

'Farmingdale State College has proposed a new $53 million academic building, a critical step as it struggles to house its rapidly growing student population.'

'The building, for applied sciences, would require an investment from the state and take three years to construct, college President John S. Nader said.'

'In the interim, the more than 10,000-student institution is considering recommendations from the space utilization task force — formed by Nader last winter — that include converting conference rooms into classroom space, adjusting its academic schedule and increasing support for online and hybrid courses, he said.'

Read the full Newsday article here (subscription required)

9.24.18 - JPMorgan files for air-rights transfer to boost new Midtown East tower

'JPMorgan Chase filed plans this month to apply development rights from the landmarked Grand Central Terminal to the company's new tower planned for Park Avenue. The transfer of around 668,000 square feet of air rights indicates progress on the project, which was announced earlier this year.'

Read the full Crain's New York article here

09.14.18 - ​Con Ed doesn’t play favorites

To the editor:

'We were surprised by the op-ed calling for preferential treatment in Con Edison’s sale of land in northern Brooklyn (“What worked and what didn’t on Brooklyn’s waterfront,”). We seek to sell land when we no longer need it for energy operations. We see this land, which we bought in 1984 and remediated in 2011, as suitable for sale and want to get the best price possible—which benefits our customers.'

'It is not Con Edison’s role to dictate land-use or “good design” policy on behalf of the city. And it would be inappropriate for us to ask our 3.4 million customers to subsidize a specific use, such as parks and waterfront esplanades, through their energy bill. It is up to the city to determine land-use policy and how tax dollars are used.'

'Con Edison has a long history of supporting environmental initiatives. In 2017 our shareholders gave more than $2 million in charitable support toward protecting the environment and maintaining green spaces.'

'Developers interested in our properties often ask us to deal exclusively with them. Our response always is: We can sell only through a transparent, equitable process that provides opportunity to all potential buyers. We do not and cannot give preferential treatment. We owe that to the hard-working residential and business customers who rely on us for affordable energy service.'

Kyle Kimball is the vice president of government relations at Con Edison.

Read the full Crain's Letter to the Editor here

09.12.18 - Delta partners with Habitat for Humanity NYC in Jamaica for borough’s first ‘stick-build’

'Habitat for Humanity New York City joined longtime partner Delta Air Lines to start the first-ever ground-up housing project in Jamaica on Wednesday.'

'Twenty Delta volunteers started building a four-bedroom, single-family house on Sept. 12. It’s the first time that Habitat NYC has started a small home in the city from scratch.'

'“While ‘stick builds’ are commonplace for Habitat affiliates around the nation, they are unusual to us in New York City,” said Karen Haycox, CEO of Habitat for Humanity NYC. “While many of our larger multi-family projects are ‘new construction,’ the single-family homes in our inventory are most often revitalized without starting from scratch.”'

'Haycox expressed gratitude to Delta for their longtime partnership and excitement that they were volunteering for this project.'

'Chuck Imhof, Delta’s Vice President for New York and East Sales, said that Delta was proud to be a part of this historic build. Many Delta employees volunteer their time with Habitat NYC and “are honored to help their fellow New Yorkers achieve the dream of home ownership,” Imhof said.'

'Delta Air Lines has partnered with Habitat for Humanity since 1995. In the years since, the airline’s volunteers have helped build over 80 homes in New York City. Around the world, Delta volunteers have built or restored 259 houses in 12 different countries.'

Read the full QNS article here

09.12.18 - ​U.S. Cities Will Be Able to Compete for Funding From JPMorgan

'JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to unveil a $500 million project Wednesday geared toward boosting economic growth in as many as 30 cities across the U.S.'

'The five-year initiative, “AdvancingCities,” includes a competition for funding. JPMorgan plans to invest, through public-private partnerships, in places where it can address employment barriers, financial insecurity and neighborhood disinvestment, said Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility for the New York-based bank. Its request for proposals, going live Wednesday, will close at the end of November. It plans to announce winners in the spring.'

'In January, JPMorgan announced a $20 billion, five-year investment across its businesses based largely on benefits from the U.S. tax overhaul. At the time, the bank said it planned to boost philanthropic giving by 40% to $1.75 billion over five years.'

'JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said that although investing in cities often has no immediate impact on the bank’s bottom line, over time it could boost consumer and small-business banking.'

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here

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