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

Friday, May 31, 2019

What the KIPP Model Has Spawned

If you know anything about schools based on the "No Excuses" KIPP model, you have probably heard the motto, "there are no excuses," "failure is not an option," success at any cost," and "KIPP is a family", etc.  

If you know more about these schools inspired by the "success" of KIPP, you may have heard something about student intimidation, humiliation, extreme disciplinary measures, ostracism, isolation.

And if you have read my book based on my research and two dozen interviews with former KIPP teachers who have decided to share their horror stories about working there, then you know about documented cases of abuse, where children were forced to sit outside in the heat or the cold for hours, students who forced to bark like dogs, wear garbage cans on their heads, stand in front of the student body and apologize for having to use the bathroom at the wrong time.  

You will be familiar with school leaders who pound tables, load children into U-Haul trailers, and even throw TVs through plate glass windows out of anger.

You will know something, too, of how students are prepped for VIB days (Visitors in Building) and how potential troublemakers have been corralled and taken the basement where they can't be seen by influential visitors.  

You will have read about the Ivy League banners that festoon hallways of elementary schools, and you will know that KIPP Model schools are laser focused on test results that will get children into college.  You will have some understanding of how parents choose to focus on the promise of college and economic success, rather than the suffering of their children and the stealing of their childhoods by corporate school leaders whose mission is branding and expansion of the school brand.

It will not be too surprising, then, for viewers to see the obvious influences between the KIPP Model and the T.M. Landry School in Louisiana.  Look and see.  Make your own list of similarities and influences.  

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