Eva Moskowitz was not a fan of high school. So much so that in interviews she claimed many of her teachers were “incompetent” and that she did not learn anything during those four years.
Whereas most would make those complaints and move on after receiving their diploma, Moskowitz decided to do something about what she saw as a problem. She ultimately became a teacher herself. Moskowitz taught classes at the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, City University of New York, and Columbia University. The subjects she taught varied; women’s studies, communications, mass culture, history, and American Studies.
In 1999, Eva Moskowitz decided to affect change on a larger scale than the classroom. She ran for a seat on the New York City Council and won. As chair of the Council’s Education Committee, she held hearings on a variety of issues, from teacher contracts to facility repair to even a lack of toilet paper in school bathrooms. In 2005, Eva Moskowitz ran for Manhattan Borough President. She lost in that bid to State Assemblyman Scott Stringer.
Out of politics, Moskowitz set up her own charter school. In 2006, the Harlem Success Academy opened its doors. Since its inception, it has grown into a network of 41 schools throughout New York City, except Staten Island. More than 9,000 students are taught in what is now the Success Academy Charter Schools. Test scores from Success Academy students are generally higher than those of their contemporaries in the city’s public schools.
Eva Moskowitz also caught the eye of President Donald Trump before and after his campaign. Trump, a Republican, considered Moskowitz, a Democrat, for the position of Secretary of Education. She did not get the post, and continues to run Success Academy.