Monday, January 04, 2010

KIPP Charlotte: A charter school to emulate

A glowing article about KIPP Charlotte:

KIPP: A charter school to emulate

Fannie Flono

Posted: Friday, Dec. 11, 2009

I'm a fan of charter schools. Let me rephrase. I'm a fan of effective charter schools. So it was a delight to walk the halls of KIPP Charlotte this week with founder Keith Burnam and development director Amanda Prothero. I got to peek in on a number of classes and observe first hand the enthusiasm and focus of students, and the encouraging guidance of the school's teachers.

The school exemplifies what a charter school - and non-charter schools for that matter - should be. With 280 students in grades 5 through 7, the school fosters an atmosphere where respect, learning, discipline and fun (yes, fun) seem to go hand in hand. More important, the school is yielding results for a population that often presents education challenges - low-income minority students. The school, which opened in 2007, has seen academic performance surge each year with double the state average in academic growth last year. It is one of the state's high-growth schools.

And it's the kind of charter school the State Board of Education seems to be trying to encourage with its decision last week to set up new charter school guidelines that include clear performance standards and emphasize innovation.

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