Sunday, May 15, 2011

KIPP criticizes its college graduation record

Here's Jay Mathews' article:

Feinberg and Levin, in a statement accompanying the report also signed by KIPP Foundation chief executive officer Richard Barth, said they did not think 33 percent was nearly good enough. "We aspire for our students to earn four-year degrees at the same rate as students from the nation's highest-income families, giving them the same opportunity for self-sufficiency," they said.

That means, in essence, a graduation rate of about 80 percent. That seems to me both unrealistic (in a good way---as Browning said, a man's reach should exceed his grasp) and typical of the two co-founders and Barth. I discovered in writing my book about Levin and Feinberg, "Work Hard. Be Nice," that they started KIPP in their early 20s when neither of them had more than two years teaching experience. Administrators who had no faith in their plan to send thousands of inner city kids to college came close to killing the project several times, but the two teachers survived and saw their network eventually develop a track record and a level of financial and political support unrivaled among American charter schools.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. There are only about 1,100 former KIPP students, often called Kippsters, in college today. In four years that number will reach more than 10,000, the report says. The report said 95 percent of Kippsters graduate from high school and 89 percent enter college. The network has about 27,000 students in 99 schools in 20 states and the District.


KIPP criticizes its college graduation record

By Jay Mathews

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