Friday, January 22, 2010

Speaking of KIPP, Bloomberg had a glowing article about it yesterday:

Today the 50-pupil experiment has grown into the biggest U.S. charter-school operator, with 82 schools for poor and minority children in 19 states. The Obama administration cites the Knowledge Is Power Program, as the nonprofit system is known, as a model of the kind of education reform it hopes to spawn with $100 billion in stimulus money.

KIPP has gotten "remarkable results from students," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in an interview. "The program helps kids "who didn't really have a good work ethic, who didn't have dreams, start to become extraordinarily successful."

In addition to adopting working-world hours -- KIPP says its students spend 60 percent more time in class than regular public schools require -- the organization's founders say they have been inspired in part by Gap Inc., FedEx Corp. and Southwest Airlines Co.

Commencement Walk

Adopting Southwest's emphasis on employee motivation helps principals keep teachers, students and parents focused on preparing every child for college, said Feinberg, 41, a University of Pennsylvania graduate who is head of KIPP's 15 Houston schools. Yale University alumnus Levin, 39, runs the system's six New York City schools.

When KIPP students graduate, "it's not just the high school teachers that walk in the commencement," Feinberg said. "The middle-school teachers and the elementary teachers that taught those kids walk in the commencement as well."

A 2005 study by the Educational Policy Institute in Virginia Beach, Virginia, found "large and significant gains" among fifth graders in KIPP schools nationwide on the Stanford Achievement Test, a standardized assessment used by school districts. The students scored an average of 9 to 17 points higher in reading, language and math, on a scale of 99 points, than they had the previous year elsewhere.

KIPP has an 85 percent college matriculation rate, compared with 40 percent for low-income students nationwide, according to a 2008 report card on the organization's Web site. About 90 percent of KIPP's 20,000 students are black or Hispanic; 80 percent qualify for subsidized meals.

'Platinum Brand'

KIPP's charter schools are a "platinum brand," said Dan Katzir, managing director of the Los Angeles-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which has donated $18 million to the schools.


Ivy Leaguers' Class for Poor Becomes 'Platinum' Charter Schools

January 20, 2010, 08:56 AM EST

By Molly Peterson

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- In 1993, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin were recent Ivy League graduates teaching fifth graders in Houston's inner city. The students were as much as two academic years behind their middle-class peers.

 Subscribe in a reader