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Debunking the Harlem Village Academy ‘Miracle’

Harlem Village Academy is currently enjoying some media attention thanks to founder Deborah Kenny’s new book, Born to Rise. At the Teach For Us blog, Gary Rubinstein looks at the school’s most recent numbers and finds high student attrition (as we did two years ago) and alarming staff turnover.

When a school is truly great, teachers want to keep teaching there year after year.  So it should be telling that in this school over the past three years the amount of staff turnover was 2007-2008 53%, for 2008-2009, 38%, and for 2009-2010, a whopping 61%.  By comparison, the teacher attrition for the entire district in 2009-2010 was just 19%.

He also posts a letter from an outspoken former HVA teacher who writes, “No school with a 60% teacher turnover rate should be praised in the press as the model for other schools to follow.”