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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Reactions Strong to MS-PBS KIPP-vertisment

Apparently Jon Alter has been sent by Bill Gates to use discredited information to promote the newest paternalistic schooling solution to the "Negro Problem." 

Here are the comments at the transcript page:

Jim Horn • 3 minutes ago
The myth of the 80+ percent of KIPPsters going to college has been discredited for years. The KIPP Foundation reported in 2014 that, of those who finish 8th grade at KIPP, 44% go on to earn a college degree. Given the fact that 40-60 percent of kids entering 5th grade at KIPP never finish 8th grade at KIPP, this 44% is far from miraculous. In fact, it means that less than 25 percent of former KIPP students end up earning a college degree.

Given the fact that KIPP schools spend 50 percent more time in school, receive lots of extra funding from corporations, dump their low performers without replacing them, have self-selecting parents who support KIPP's chain gang methods, and focus only on test scores, continue to support KIPP alumni with college tutoring and counseling, one would expect the percentages to be greater.
This is how a former KIPP teacher explained the KIPP mirage:

". . .Time Magazine published an article or a column in early May [April 27] that asked the question if KIPP is successful enough. It said KIPP is being successful, but is KIPP being successful enough, and one of the figures that they used was 8% versus 33%: in the neighborhoods where KIPP schools [are located], 8% of the students in those neighborhoods graduate from college, whereas 33% of KIPP schools’ [students] graduate from college. I take issue with that because at the real KIPP schools where there is no lottery process, where the attrition is so terrible, where a fifth grade may be 85 students and by the time those kids have reach eighth grade, it’s been whittled down to 40 students.

If you’re looking at the kids who have graduated from KIPP, that’s not even half the kids that started at KIPP, so how positive an influence isKIPP really having if they’re only sending 33% of their graduates [to college],which is only half the kids that started at that school. You have to question how much of that 33% would have been included already in the 8% of kids that would have gone on to college [with or without KIPP]. How many kids is [KIPP] really saving? It’s a valid question, and while there are undeniably teachers at KIPP today who will tell you I was a KIPP student and KIPP saved my life, there’s a hundred other kids who didn’t make it through middle school at KIPP because their parents pulled them . . . because KIPP doesn’t kick out students unless they bring a gun a school, from what I understand (1166)."
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Christine Langhoff • 2 days ago
"PAUL SOLMAN: Most KIPP students are chosen by lottery, regardless
of prior academic record. Almost all meet federal poverty guidelines.
And yet 82 percent go on to college, and nearly half complete a
four-year degree, five times the rate of the average low-income student."

Oh, dear! I expected better from the Newshour and from you, Paul Solman! Did this quote come straight from the front office of KIPP?

Lottery: Entering the lottery already means parents who are involved in their child's education.

Poverty: Of course the kids meet the federal definition of poverty. KIPP sets up shop in poor neighborhoods.

82% go to college: KIPP has tremendous attrition rates. Is this 82% of kids who enter KIPP at first grade, or 82% of the 43% of kids who are still enrolled at eighth grade? That would be about 35% who go on to college and mean that 17.5% complete a four year degree. (KIPP has only one NYC high school and it's a college prep.) :

"Professor Miron conducted his own quick analysis, using the Common Core
database, and concluded that there is a 19% drop in enrollment in KIPP
schools between grades 6 and 7 and a 24% drop in enrollment between
grades 7 and 8. (This analysis only included KIPP schools that had
enrollments in all three grades). In comparison, traditional public
schools in these grades maintain the same enrollment from year to year."


Let's remember that it was at KIPP Star Washington Heights Elementary School where a kindergartener and a first grader were locked in a tiny padded cell for "disobedience" (Perhaps they ate someone else's marshmallow?).


And don't you find it at least a bit disturbing that there are sooo many children packed into one classroom with one teacher? And that they're all expected to snap and clap and turn in unison? I find it hard to imagine that most who watch the Newshour would find these to be optimum - or even acceptable - learning conditions for their own children.

Why should poor children have to be trained to behave like this?

Even though the Newshour is funded by the Gates Foundation, which thinks these ideas are grand, I expect my publicly funded news source to question these issues more carefully.
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pijohnso  Christine Langhoff • a day ago
Thank you! You have said it all. This was infuriating to watch. PBS should run a correction with accurate statistics. This was Fox news quality reporting.
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shirley_kressel  Christine Langhoff • a day ago
Thank you for unmasking this piece of misleading (and racist) KIPP advertising. "Tools that even the most recalcitrant can learn." Yes, and we know who THEY are, don't we, Mr. Solman. Think "broken windows" theory.

KIPP is a drop-out factory, as are all the "high-performing" charter schools, the so-called "No Excuses" schools. They all play the same statistics games, hiding the huge attrition rates and citing high scores and graduation rates -- for those who survive the initial screening and yearly push-outs. The most alarming thing is that this is peddled by PBS. Apparently neo-liberalism has displaced scholarship and intellectual honesty at PBS; well, it's under the "Economy" section, and what can you expect from an economic analysis of educational motivation.
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Nathan Engle • 2 days ago
I'm not sure I'm completely comfortable with the idea of teaching kids strategies for how to get more marshmallows, but having worked with people who use Skinner boxes I understand substituting a different kind of food pellet as a reward in operant conditioning.

Of course I'm not sure a carrot stick would necessarily generate the same level of motivation as a marshmallow, but it's probably best not to get hung up on that particular detail.
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TrustKnow1 • 2 days ago
Update the marshmallow with a smartphone and get back to us in a month or so!
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JC Harris • 2 days ago
"Me Self-regulate" I'm sure those kinds of lyrics really resonate with small children. :D

I wonder if kids don't hear the pounding house music, see all the cookies whizzing by and get kinda hungry. ;)
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David E. Kingsley, PhD • 2 days ago
This kind of crackpot social science is old wine in new bottles. Racist theories about the deficiencies of minority children have been around for decades. What these nonsensical programs ignore is the macroeconomic deficiencies and racism in the U.S. economy that keep parents poor. If you were hungry Mr. Solomon, you would probably want to eat the marshmallow.
I have worked with public school programs serving African American Children for the past several decades. I have conducted research and I have published. Here is the reality: until we stop blaming poor and minority people for their plight and achieve some economic justice, we will be looking at these kinds of pseudoscientific programs far into the future.
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Diana Moses  David E. Kingsley, PhD • a day ago
Yesterday I read a criticism of a program to teach poor parents to converse with their children that pointed out that maybe it would be more helpful to do things like bring the family a cooked meal and do their laundry, in order to free up the parents to play with their kids and in order to address parental exhaustion. Until we screen out the component in social programs of the emotional satisfaction to the service provider of telling other people what to do, I think our results and our interpretation of our results will continue to be skewed.

I think it's quite possible there are elements of helpfulness in the programs -- learning to modulate frustration by taking deep breaths is a helpful skill, for example, it seems to me -- but that doesn't mean that the entire approach is helpful. There are plenty of people I know with oodles of self-control and material success who do much damage to others, so I don't see self-control as the be-all and end-all of personal development.
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shirley_kressel  David E. Kingsley, PhD • a day ago
Thank you for exposing this racist/classist pseudo-science. A rationale for teaching poor black kids that they have to obey mindlessly -- and that their failures are their own fault. KIPP propaganda. Clap twice and fill out those test bubbles like we taught you.
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JC Harris  David E. Kingsley, PhD • 2 days ago
I think yer reading too much into it. If yer poor, trust me, you -do- feel stressed out ALL the time and that -does- make self-control (of all kinds) -much- harder. What do we call people with money? Comfortable. Comfortable people do most things better.
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