Eva Moskowitz Receives Reason Foundation’s 2016 Savas Award for Public-Private Partnerships

Success Academy Charter Schools founder receives annual public-private partnership award

On May 5, 2016, Reason Foundation presented its second annual Savas Award for Public-Private Partnerships to Success Academy Charter Schools founder and former New York City Councillor Eva Moskowitz at an event in New York City sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation.

The annual Savas Award for Public-Private Partnerships—named for City University of New York Presidential Professor and privatization research pioneer E.S. “Steve” Savas—recognizes an individual or organization whose actions improved the cost-effective provision of public services through partnerships with private organizations.

Eva Moskowitz founded Success Academy Charter Schools in 2006 to tackle the monumental crisis in public education in the largest, most prominent city in the United States. Over the past nine years, Success Academy has become the largest and highest-performing network of public charter schools in New York City.

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2016 Savas Award for Public-Private Partnerships recipient Eva Moskowitz. Image courtesy of Anthony Collins Photography.

A longtime Harlem resident and mother of three, Ms. Moskowitz began her leadership in education reform with her service as a member of the New York City Council. As chair of the Council’s Education Committee, she visited hundreds of city schools and was known for her investigative hearings. Success Academy’s distinctive school design, teaching practice, and robust curriculum grew out of those experiences, as did her impassioned advocacy for national reform. Respected journalists, educators, elected officials and political leaders from across the country and around the world have toured Success Academy schools to see her work in action, leading to her recognition as a national leader in education reform.

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Dr. E.S. “Steve” Savas presents Moskowitz with the 2016 Savas Award for Public-Private Partnerships on May 5, 2016 in New York City. Image courtesy of Anthony Collins Photography.

After completing her B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in American History at Johns Hopkins University, Ms. Moskowitz was a history professor and taught civics at Prep for Prep, a program for gifted minority students.

A video of the Savas Award ceremony is available below:

About Dr. E.S. “Steve” Savas

Dr. E. S. (“Steve”) Savas, as First Deputy City Administrator of New York City in 1969, concluded that a principal cause of inefficiency in public services was the monopoly nature of the work, and he argued for deliberately introducing competition between public agencies and the private sector in order to end unnecessary government monopolies and improve public services. His proposal was bitterly opposed, but it initiated the privatization movement. Later, as an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Reagan, he successfully advocated using housing vouchers, a form of privatization, for low-income households instead of building more public housing projects.

As a professor at Columbia University and currently as Presidential Professor at Baruch College of the City University of New York, he pioneered research in this new field. Referred to as the “founder” and the “Captain of Privatization,” in the New York Times1, and as the “father of privatization,”2 his first article (of a career total of 123) on the subject was published in 19713 and his first two books in 1977.4

Textbooks list his work as one of the 34 highlights in the history of public administration along with the work of Plato, Machiavelli, Adam Smith, James Madison, Max Weber, and Woodrow Wilson.56 He is also named as one of the twelve great contributors to public administration in the Twentieth Century, with Herbert Simon, Peter Drucker, and Aaron Wildavsky.7 His eight books on the subject have been published in 21 foreign editions, and he advised and lectured on privatization throughout the United States and in 55 countries.

Savas earned BA and BS degrees from the University of Chicago, MA and PhD degrees from Columbia University, and an honorary PhD from the University of Pireaus (Greece).

1 Tierney, John, “Bringing His Gospel Home: City Hall Lends Ear to Captain of Privatization,” New York Times, May 25, 1995, p. B1.

2 Sirigos, Constantine S., “Steve Savas: Father of Privatization,” National Herald, February 19, 2011, p. 1.

3 Savas, E. S., “Municipal Monopoly,” Harper’s Magazine (December, 1971) pp. 55-60.

4 Savas, E. S., ed., Alternatives for Delivering Public Services, Toward Improved Performance (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1977); Savas, E. S., The Organization and Efficiency of Solid Waste Collection (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, D.C. Heath and Company, 1977.

5 Starling, Grover, Managing the Public Sector, 4th ed. (Ft. Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, 1993). (This lists the highlights in the history of public administration.)

6 Starling, Grover, Managing the Public Sector, 5th ed. (Ft. Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, 1998). (This lists the highlights in the history of American public administration.)

7 Greene, Jeffrey D., Public Administration in the New Century: A Concise Introduction (Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2005)