Harlem kids win big in school lottery

Winning the lottery to get into the Harlem Success Academy charter school is a very big win indeed, concludes a University of Pennsylvania study by Jonathan Supovitz and Sam Rikoon, education professors.

Students who won the first-grade lottery were compared to students who applied but lost out and stayed in district-run schools. By third grade, the HSA students performed 48 points higher in math and 35 points higher in reading than the lottery losers. That’s roughly 13 percent higher.

HSA students scored 19 percent higher than similar third graders in neighborhood schools.

Harlem Success Academy is featured in two new documentaries, The Lottery and Waiting for Superman, notes Education News.

Both films view the enrollment lottery from the eyes of parents who believe that winning a spot in the high performing public charter school is the key to their child’s future.

Which may be true.

Last year, 7,000 students applied for 1,100 spaces at Success Academy schools in Harlem and the South Bronx. That means there are a lot of motivated parents whose children lost the lottery.

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