If we take KIPP's own numbers of 80% of those who complete 8th grade at KIPP go on to college, what does that really say? If, as the research shows, 40-60 percent of students who begin KIPP in 5th grade do not finish 8th grade, we have a much less impressive number. If my math is working, and we use an average of 50% as average dropout and kickout rate between grades 5 and 8, then we have 4/5 x 1/2=4/10, or 40% of those who began KIPP in 5th grade going to college.
Still nothing to sneeze at if we consider the national average of college attendees among urban high school graduates is 20 percent. But then, if you consider the KIPP creaming that occurs in these urban communities, and the 70 percent more time that KIPPsters spend in school than their counterparts, and the soul sacrificing that children are forced to undergo, then that 20 percent gain in college enrollment begins to look more like an incredible cost that cannot be sustained by a society based on ethical treatment of our fellow human beings.
As for the ever-soaring test scores, we now know that at least at KIPP Fresno, testing violations occurred as a matter of habit that now throw into question any high flying status that might have accrued over the past five years. From the Report:
The investigation determined that the Charter School failed to administer all state and national tests for grades five through 8 as determined by the state and national testing schedule, according to regulations established by the state, to ensure the security and integrity of test and assessment questions and materials for the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 STAR testing sessions. . . .15 particulars cited. Examples:
1. In 2006, completed state tests swere stored in a location where students and parents had access to the tests. Two of the . . . former teachers, Kim Kutzner and Marcella Mayfield, stated that they witnessed vialations of the testing procedures.a. They stated that tests were not placed in a secure environment.6. Kim Kutzner an dMarcella Mayfield stated that the school adopted a policy that students were required to check their answers again and again aftr they had finished their tests and were not allowed to do other activities.
b. State tests were stacked in boxes around the school's office, tests were not returned promptly by teachers after the closing of that day's testing, and tests were left in classrooms, ther principal's office and the school's office. . . .
7. Ms. Kutzner also witnessed teachers record students' answers during testing, review student's tests, and tell students which page to correct.
8. Chi Tschang [subsequently referred to as T], as the test site coordinator for 2006, also admitted that in a couple of cases, teachers forgot to bring tests back . . . .
10. In a staff meeting in May of 2006, Ms. Kutzner, who had five years experience as a test site coordinator, reviewed with the entire staff the vilations that she had witnessed during testing and presented the written testing protocol materials to T. The staff actively opposed any changes in procedures which would potentially lower test scores, and T and Mr. Hawke stated that the legal and ethical requirements for testing were, in fact, only guidelines that could be ignored. . . ..
15. The violations were knowingly in disregard of state testing procedures in that T signed the STAR Test Security Agreement and the Charter School's teachers signed the STAR Test Security Affidavit in which they agreed to the conditions designed to ensure test security. T also failed to report the testing irregularities to the District STAR Coordinator.