Success Academy 'zero tolerance' disciplinary policy comes under fire

Friday, August 30, 2013

Success Academy, the charter school chain that boasts sky-high student scores on annual state tests, has for years used a “zero tolerance” disciplinary policy to suspend, push out, discharge or demote the very pupils who might lower those scores — children with special needs or behavior problems.

State records and interviews with two dozen parents of Success elementary school pupils indicate the fast-growing network has failed at times to adhere to federal and state laws in disciplining special-education students.

At Harlem Success 1, the oldest school in the network, 22% of pupils got suspended at least once during the 2010-11 school year, state records show. That’s far above the 3% average for regular elementary schools in its school district.

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