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

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

KIPP Abuse Will Not Continue, At Least Not in Fresno

Any KIPP school is doomed that does not polish the public relations image that is so carefully projected nationally in order to sell urban parents on replacement of public schools with the no excuses cage schooling of the cheap KIPP knockoffs. KIPP Fresno, which faced ethical, legal, and moral challenges following an investigation by Fresno Unified, has decided to pull the plug. For a history of the case, go here and read posts from the bottom up.

A single newspaper, if you want to call the Fresno Bee a newspaper, has reported the closing, even though the reporter did not mention the moral meltdown that eventually assured the shuttering of this bad news site that threatened to further stain the chimerical image that the Oligarchs' PR machines have produced.

It is not at all surprising the KIPP board would blame Fresno Unified for KIPP's own refusal to submit the necessary paperwork to renew its charter. From the local ABC affiliate:
By Gene Haagenson
Fresno, CA (KFSN) -- Three of the schools five board members came to a meeting Tuesday night to explain the school's plight to parents and students. With apparent regret, the board voted to close the KIPP Academy. Board Director Steve Gile called for the vote.

"This is going to be a roll call vote. Dr. Chong ... I vote to close. Dr. Jones, I vote to close. I vote to close as well. Motion's carried 3 zero."

A few parents argued the school needed to keep on fighting. But the board members said the situation was hopeless. In addition to KIPP's financial troubles, the previous administration had failed to draw up plans for the schools continued operation. Those plans needed to be presented to Fresno Unified for approval, this week and board members said there was not the time or money to get it done.

. . . .

The KIPP Academy opened in 2004. One of 60 such schools across the country. But early this year, the Principal Chi Tschang resigned amid allegations he mistreated students. But supporters say the school was producing results. Higher test scores, and happy students. Like 7th grader Rosa Espinoza, "I didn't want it to close because I really like the school."

1 comment:

  1. Just the media critic's view: I actually think the Fresno Bee did a decent job, considering the gushing that constitutes the "news coverage" of KIPP by most of the national media.

    The broadcast news, by contrast, has covered the KIPP situation by largely ignoring the abuse charges and focusing entirely on the KIPP parents' protests against the possibly closure. Literally, most of the broadcast reports didn't even mention the abuse charges. The financial issue is a puzzler -- with the megamillions in private funding that KIPP gets, what are its criteria for deciding that a school is a financial drain, and why would it default on the mortgage? Certainly no news coverage has been astute enough or penetrating enough to look into that -- and as a blogger making a tiny pittance, I don't have the wherewithal myself. It's a puzzlement.