Saturday, June 11, 2005

KIPPin' it real

I need to visit the KIPP Academy in Austin.

The wildly successful chain of charter schools -- and by successful I mean graduation rates, college placement, etc. -- was featured in the Houston Chronicle yesterday.

The Knowledge Is Power Program has [grown] to 38 schools in 15 states [since its beginning in 1994] and the District of Columbia, preparing what it calls historically underserved students to excel in school and life.

...KIPP students attend school for more than nine hours each weekday, as well as two Saturdays each month and a month during summer. That's about 65 percent more learning time than students receive in traditional public schools, according to KIPP spokesman Stephen Mancini.

...Started by two former Teach for America teachers, Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg, KIPP is spreading exponentially and is being considered for a role in rescuing some Houston high schools from academic decline.

Ten KIPP schools will open in the fall and two more are slated to open in Washington, D.C., the following year, said Susan Shaeffler, principal at KIPP DC: KEY (Knowledge Empowers You) Academy.

Much has been made of the charters that have failed. But here's a network of charters that seems to be succeeding in every conceivable measure. Is there something I'm missing? If not, why aren't we empowering KIPP folks to help outsome of the consistently least successful schools?


Blogger Mr. AB said...

It's true, you must visit and bring your friends. Visiting a California KIPP school was a very powerful experience for me. Informed by what I saw there, I changed some of my classroom practices the next day and we're changing much of school culture this fall. The only way for us to make KIPP's gains truly significant is to bring their amazing practices into our "regular" public schools.

1:28 AM  

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