"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

65 Million Tax-Deductible KIPP Dollars

The KIPP chain-gang model for urban education offers a great example of corporate welfare at its worst. Corporations and rich individuals get tax deductions for supporting the destruction of the public school system, the wresting away of public control of schools, the destruction of the teaching profession, and the crushing of the union. In the meantime, students are brainwashed by the "work hard, be nice" mantra and the flagrant propaganda of KIPP that ignore poverty and racism as the culprits responsible for the achievement gap that students are blamed for not closing. And the public swallows the whole package with the help of reporters like Jay Mathews who are entirely complicit:

The charter school movement, begun 16 years ago as an alternative to struggling public schools, will today make its strongest claim on mainstream American education when a national group announces the most successful fundraising campaign in the movement's history -- $65 million to create 42 schools in Houston.

The money, which comes from some of the nation's foremost donors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would make the Knowledge Is Power Program the largest charter school organization in the country. KIPP, which runs three schools in Washington, has produced some of the highest test scores among publicly funded schools in the District and has made significant gains in the math and reading achievement of low-income students in most of its 52 schools across the country.

The announcement, several school improvement experts said, raises the charter school movement to a new level of influence, financial strength and public notice. The number of independently run, taxpayer-supported schools has grown rapidly, to nearly 4,000, since the movement began in 1991. But that counts for only about 5 percent of public schools, and most have been small and overlooked. With the KIPP announcement, experts said, donors will be looking for more ways to expand the most successful models and build large systems, as KIPP plans to do in Houston. . . .

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