Miron and his team raise good questions about KIPP. They come up with some interesting answers that both support and criticize the KIPP model, although their conclusions lean toward the negative and they make some mistakes. In one section they say KIPP is losing 40 percent of black males, but better data from Mathematica show the loss is considerably less than that, and below the average attrition of black males in neighboring regular public schools. The Miron report then contradicts its own point by saying that the attrition rate for low-income students at KIPP schools (about 85 percent of their total student bodies) is the same as that for low-income kids at regular schools in the districts in which they are located.
You create new schools within schools by growing a grade at a time, as KIPP does. That gives teachers a chance to establish a new culture that supports learning.
Admitting students at midyear in urban neighborhoods also holds back classes in regular schools, the report notes. If that is the case, then why do it in that unpromising way? Why not have special classes for students who arrive at midyear that focus on their special problems and ready them for a fresh start in the new school year?