Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz put her mothering where her mouth is.
Rather than enroll her son Dillon Grannis into a private or screened school, the charter leader opted for the system she espouses for others.
Now, Grannis has graduated from Success after 13 years at the network — and will begin classes at the University of Chicago in the fall.
Charter backers stress that many of their loudest critics exercise school choice for themselves — through private or screened public schools — while decrying options for others.
Moskowitz said she doesn’t begrudge parents making decisions that best suit their needs — but argued that all city families, especially low-income New Yorkers with grim public schooling prospects, should have a choice.
“I’ve never been critical of parents making these choices for their households,” she said. “I’m more critical when they don’t want other people to have that same right. That’s where you have the hypocrisy.”
When it came time for Grannis to enroll in kindergarten, Moskowitz said she felt that her Success Academy Harlem location was the proper choice based on its academic and disciplinary emphases.
“I don’t make decisions on my kids based on optics,” she said. “I honestly thought this was the best option for him.”
Grannis said he thought it was important for his mother to have some personal skin in the bruising charter school battle — and that his classmates and their parents appreciated that he learned alongside them.
“They thought it was great my mom sent her kids here because there’s a lot of people in education who don’t invest their own children in the institutions they are creating,” he said. “It’s important to have a personal stake in the institution you’re running.”
His little sister is a year behind him at the network.
Grannis said that his schooling experience forged a comfort with diversity and that his school pals exposed him to new cultures and traditions – and the unique challenges they faced.
The fact that he was the only white student in his graduating class, he said, was of minimal interest to him or his classmates.
“Different cultures have different social things,” he said of time spent with his school friends outside of class. “I think I got to experience more of that than if I had gone to another school. And that was valuable.”
Grannis said he wasn’t surprised at the spiking number of white and Asian applicants to Success Academy and charter schools, most of which are overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic.
“If you provide a good education, and it’s a lottery like Success Academy, you’re going to get applications from everyone,” he said. “Because everyone wants to go to a good school. People aren’t going to investigate the racial makeup. They just want their kid to get a good education.”
Success Academy currently operates 47 schools in every borough except Staten Island and enrolls roughly 20,000 students.
Metro | New York Post