The full report can be found here.
Here are some interesting excerpts:
"Almost half the Bay Area KIPP teachers come from the Teach for America program; their median teaching experience prior to joining KIPP is 2 years. They tend to be young and without children; few match the ethnicity of the majority of their students. Thirteen of 17 teachers stayed in the job from 2003–04 to 2004–05, similar to national attrition estimates. However, three out of four teachers indicated that the demands of the job may limit their willingness to stay more than a few years. "
"By the start of the 2005–06 school year, Bay Area KIPP schools were beginning to use lotteries and waiting lists to select students. KIPP principals and staff still conduct home visits but after students enroll rather than for recruitment purposes. Given increasing interest in KIPP schools on the part of parents and students, some principals expressed concern about “creaming” already high-performing students from local schools when there remains a large number who are low-performing and underserved. One principal expressed dismay with the school’s struggle to enroll Title I students, whom she considers to be her target population. KIPP principals purposively took steps to recruit lower-performing students by targeting specific feeder schools or the local Boys and Girls Club. Also, two of the principals who believe that exposure to diversity is important are trying to recruit students from a range of neighborhoods. One principal recalled, “[We] tried to recruit in [the Latino region of the city] but had no luck—kids maybe felt it was out of their jurisdiction.” Another principal, targeting the Asian community, said it was difficult to get people to participate in KIPP and is now making efforts to make more connections with this group."
From this, one could argue that KIPP success is based on the fact that KIPP students have motivated parents who push them in ways that other underprivileged kids don't. Also, it seems that at least some KIPP students are already succeeding at other schools. Given these two factors -- motivated parents and already successful students -- how much credit can we reasonably ascribe to KIPP?
Also, KIPP schools are made up almost entirely of black students. KIPP's success undergirds the recent law passed by the Nebraska legislature, allowing for segregated schools in Omaha. In other words, looking at KIPP as an example, the argument could be made that while segregated schools might seem bad, they actually "work." Of course, what they work at doing is the question.
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966
Saturday, June 17, 2006
SRI Report on Bay Area KIPP schools
at 3:13 PM
Peter Campbell is an educator, academic technologist, and parent. He holds a BA from Princeton University and an MA from New York University. He has been involved directly or indirectly in education for more than 25 years. He currently works for Blackboard, Inc. as a Regional Sales Manager in the Collaborate division. Before joining Blackboard, Peter served as the Lead Instructional Designer and the Director of Academic Technology at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Immediately prior to his job at Montclair, Peter served as the Product Manager for an educational start-up (Learn Technologies Interactive). In this role, he oversaw the design and development of a K-12 learning management system, e-learn.com. His passion for education was forged back in 1987. He began teaching for The Princeton Review, then moved to Tokyo and taught English at a Japanese high school for two years. He later moved to New York City, where he worked as an adjunct in the speech department at Manhattan Community College. He went on to teach writing at the U of Missouri in 1995, and it was there that his interest in educational technology was born. Views expressed here are solely those of Peter.