Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two Cities: Importing the KIPP Model

A nice article about one of the KIPP schools in New Orleans (which will soon be KIPP’s 2nd largest cluster, after Houston), and how reformers are trying to bring schools modeled after KIPP to Detroit:

It's 7:15 on a chilly spring morning kids from all over New Orleans are coming in by the bus load to KIPP Central City Academy and Primary. A group of sixth graders is hanging outside, waiting for the bell to ring. So I ask them what they think about their school. Three of the boys say they like it just fine. The fourth one, Troy Picard, is not a fan.

"No, their rules are just too strict for me," says Picard, prompting a quick rebuttal from his friend Carl Lacoste.

"Troy, I disagree what you said about strict rules," Lacoste says. "The only rules we have are work hard and be nice."

"But a lot of other rules fall under that category," Picard says.

Students aren't the only ones with rules. Jonathan Bertch, who runs the business side of things at KIPP Central City, says adults at the school have rules, too. The main one is "no excuses." As in: All those excuses you hear about why inner city kids can't succeed? Out the window.

"Oh their home life, oh they didn't eat breakfast, there's a million excuses that you can make," Bertch says, "but what we have to do in order to make this work is we have to eliminate the excuses and say we're gonna take responsibility, we're gonna make sure this works."

In other words, you get your kid on the bus, and KIPP will take care of the rest.


Two Cities: Importing the KIPP Model

Jennifer Guerra and Sarah Hulett (2010-05-24)

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