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

Saturday, August 01, 2009

KIPP and the Dog Kennel

Ken Libby has the story of a new KIPP store in Jacksonville. The question remains: will the new principal, who trained under child abuser, Chi Tschang, at Fresno, use the abandoned dog cages for the "miscreants?"

What do you get when you combine a former kennel club facility, Florida, and a Fisher Fellow who was the assistant principal to legendary KIPP child abuser Chi Tschang? A new KIPP school, of course! The new principal of the school will be Robert Hawke, a 2009-2010 Fisher Fellow and the assistant to Mr. Tschang during his reign of terror in Fresno. The KIPP program - just like any larger corporation - can simply close up shop in one spot when things turn sour and transfer personnel (and resources) completely across the country to start afresh. Hawke even (digitally) signed his name on this document defending KIPP Fresno as the district tried to hasten the child abuser's exit. Well, Mr. Hawke, maybe you can reenact some of Chi's horror tricks at the former kennel. From the Jacksonville News:

Jacksonville Kennel Club Donated to KIPP Charter School

Florida’s first Knowledge Is Power Program school has a new, spacious and rather unorthodox home: the Jacksonville Kennel Club.

The racing facility on McDuff Avenue closed last month after 74 years and its owner, Jacksonville Greyhound Racing, has donated the land and the four-story building to KIPP, said Jane Vance, director of the public charter school that will open in 2010.

“The donation really overwhelmed us,” Vance said Friday. “It’s got great outdoor space, the location is ideal, the building is in really good shape, and we’ve contracted with an architect to retrofit it.”

KIPP targets underprivileged children and has 66 schools in 19 states. It focuses on intensive instruction, with long hours and Saturdays, to prepare students for college.

The Jacksonville school will start with 5th grade and add grades in subsequent years.
“We will grow into the entire facility,” Vance said. “It’s all going to be retrofitted to make it a school.”

In June, the school named its first principal: Robert Hawke, a 28-year-old vice principal from the KIPP school in Fresno, Calif.

“The great thing about this donation,” Vance said, “is that now we can focus on the real work in establishing and culture of excellence and recruiting amazing teachers and we don’t have to worry about a facility.”

The track was once one of three that operated regularly in Northeast Florida. Another, in northern St. Johns County, was converted to a simulcast racing and poker site. Only the Orange Park Kennel club remains, and some of the dogs that run there are still housed at the Jacksonville facility.


  1. To be fair, Mr. Hawke may well have had no choice but to sign that letter defending the Fresno KIPP -- it's not like KIPP employees have some kind of union protection if they refuse an order.

    KIPP shut the Fresno school down, by the way. The official reason given was that the property (owned by KIPP) was foreclosed, though how that could happen given the millions of dollars that KIPP takes in in private philanthropy is a major mystery. We may never know what was really going on there.

  2. Hello.. glad to see some old names are still at it. I had a blog a l-o-n-g time ago called ShutUpAndTeach.... I found something I thought you might be interested in seeing.

    After a decade or more of sending public tax dollars to private schools via a back-door voucher scheme called "school tuition tax credits", both newspapers in Phoenix have finally decided to investigate it.

    You will not be surprised by what they found.

    I hope this can be picked up nationally.





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