Eva Moskowitz, a long-time Harlem resident and mother of three, is founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools, the highest-performing charter school network in New York City. In 2006, Ms. Moskowitz launched her first school in Harlem, and in just nine years, her network has grown to 32 schools serving more than 9,000 children in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Success Academy schools serve a high-poverty population, yet they consistently outperform New York’s most affluent school districts. The flagship Harlem school was chosen as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2012 (one of 219 across the country) by the U.S. Department of Education.
Ms. Moskowitz’s leadership in education reform began with her service as a member of the New York City Council. As chair of the Council’s Education Committee, she visited hundreds of city schools and was known for her investigatory hearings. No aspect of public education – from lighting quality to teacher practice – was too insignificant or too controversial to be explored. Success Academy’s distinctive school design, teaching, and curriculum grew out of those experiences, as did Ms. Moskowitz’s forceful advocacy for national reform. After completing her B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in American history at Johns Hopkins University, Ms. Moskowitz was a history professor and taught civics at Prep for Prep, a program for gifted minority students.
“Thousands of kids are now going to failing schools, where they have few opportunities to learn and fewer opportunities to stretch their minds in chess, debate, math clubs,” says Ms. Moskowitz. “We fool ourselves into thinking that this is an inner-city problem or a poverty problem or an African-American problem. The reality is that mediocrity is a pandemic in American education.”