Sunday, May 15, 2011

KIPP Schools: A Reform Triumph, or Disappointment?

Here's Andy Rotherham's article in Time:

In practice, however, KIPP's mission is different than the average school district. The primary emphasis is on providing an excellent education to students who are too often denied one. But KIPP's leaders are also unabashed in their desire to change expectations about what is possible for low-income students, which is why the program is a political flashpoint. KIPP students go to school for longer days, years, and are exposed to a college-going culture from their first day at school. (Better Teachers: More Questions Than Answers )

As a result, KIPP posts a curve-breaking 95 percent high school graduation rate for students who have completed its middle schools — regardless of where they went to high school — and an 89 percent college matriculation rate. But that data is buried in today's report, because KIPP is focused on students graduating from college. So in addition to its commendable efforts to track and disclose college-going in such detail, KIPP deserves credit for not moving the goal posts on its own targets for success and for owning the outcomes for its graduates regardless of other factors they can't control.

In fact, what's not in today's report is that in addition to the 33 percent of college completers, internal KIPP data show that an additional 19 percent of students are still working toward their four-year degree and 5 percent earned a community college degree. And while the new report only looks at students from at least ten years ago, more recent data is somewhat better. For instance, more recent cohorts from KIPP's New York City schools are completing college at a 46 percent rate. Some high-poverty schools and even some small charter school networks have better numbers but the size of KIPP's network of schools makes their results especially noteworthy.


School of Thought

KIPP Schools: A Reform Triumph, or Disappointment?

By Andrew J. Rotherham Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2011,8599,2067941,00.html#ixzz1LtBc9a63


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