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

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

KIPP's Woke Rebranding of Racist Chain Gang Schools

In 2016, America's largest private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), became such a toxic brand under so much scrutiny that it changed its name to CoreCivic.  Maybe the new branding meant that we were supposed to forget that CCA was even a "corporation" in the "corrections" business, i.e., a private prison outfit.  Maybe we were supposed to assume CoreCivic had a public mission that was so central to its identity that "core" and "civic" could not even be divided into two words.  

Never mind that CoreCivic would remain the same brutal CCA private prison system based on understaffing, overworking, humiliating punishments, unsafe practices, accounting manipulations, and little to no public oversight for the billions of public dollars that CoreCivic collects each year.

This week America's largest corporate charter school chain, KIPP, is trying out the same strategy as a way to shift attention away from its corrupt and racist total compliance corporate model based on understaffing, overworking, humiliating punishments, unsafe practices, accounting manipulations, and little or no public oversight for the billions of public dollars that KIPP collects each year.  

The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) has become now KIPP: Public Schools.  Obviously, we should forget that KIPP America's largest corporate charter chain.  Instead, we should be reminded that KIPP: Public Schools's claim of "public" status should justify the continuation draining of tens of billions of public dollars each year, even if KIPP governance, organizational model, daily operations, and guiding philosophy all remains under the iron-fisted control of KIPP's corporate management.  

In order to shift the attention away from what critics have found to be the paternalist demands by KIPP's colonialist urban school occupiers, KIPP has also changed its long-standing submission-demanding motto, "Work Hard, Be Nice," which was dropped last year. The new motto,"Together, A Future Without Limits," seeks to shift attention away from the fact that KIPP teachers and students continue to be blamed (as they always have) for their own failures to meet expectations and goals passed down to them from KIPP's home office.  

If you are skeptical of this new window dressing for KIPP's 270 cultural sterilization centers, you should be.  Nothing on the ground has changed.  Nothing has even changed in KIPP's rationale and protocols.  And no doubt students at KIPP will continue to know KIPP as the "Kids in Prison Program." 

The information below is taken from KIPP's new and improved website:

2.1 Expectations Excellent teaching means that the teacher...


A.   Consistently communicates: 1) This is important; 2) You can do it with hard work; 3) I will not give up on you; and 4) We will help each other. (KEY MESSAGES)

B.   Insists that students take risks, make and learn from mistakes, and admit confusion. (GROWTH MINDSET)

C.   Lets students know exactly what academic and character excellence looks like for the year, the unit, and the lesson and demands it. (WARM & DEMANDING)

D.   Provides real-time and specific affirming and adjusting feedback about academics and character to students. (THE SPOTLIGHT)


2.2 Investment 

A.   Treats their classroom goals and investment of kids and families like a garden. (TEND IT CONSTANTLY)

B.   Designs the physical space to make it inviting, purposeful, and a reflection of the students in the room. (THEIR HAPPY PLACE)

C.   Ensures kids can explain the why, big and small, for every action, activity, and artifact. (THE WHY OF THE WAY) D

D.   Makes sure that goals, big and small, matter to kids and their families

E.   Creates a classroom where kids are proud to be and you can tell. F. Provides students with opportunities to make choices and to influence the classroom culture.


2.3 Routines and systems

A. Designs efficient behavioral and academic systems. (WELL-OILED MACHINE)

B.  Models and practices systems until they are mastered. (100%)

C.  Tweaks systems when they are not working.

D.  Maintains a clean and organized classroom space. (CLEANER THAN WE FOUND IT)

E.  Anticipates challenges that individual students may have with some routines and systems and makes adjustments. 




2.4 Management and discipline

A.   Implements a classroom behavior management plan with the goal of 100% of the students meeting 100% of the expectations 100% of the time. (100%) 

B.   Notices what is happening in the classroom and adjusts accordingly. (WITH-IT-NESS)

C.   Considers and addresses the root causes of student disruption or inattention.

D.   Reacts with speed and decisiveness when behavior does not meet expectations. (WARM & DEMANDING/100%)

E.   Administers consequences that logically connect to the behavior and the child. (LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES) 

F.    Uses a calm, firm, and convincing tone when addressing inappropriate behavior. (WARM & DEMANDING)

G.   Uses a variety of techniques to capture and maintain mutual respect and attention from students (i.e. – narrate the positive, correct, assertive body language, proximity, etc... see SAPHIER’S ATTENTION CONTINUUM and LEMOV’S TAXONOMY)

H.   Provides specific, observable, concrete, and sequential directions and expects students to follow them. (SOCS/100%)I.Reconnects positively with students after administering a consequence.


2.5 Joy!

A.   Exudes a love of teaching and learning through facial expressions, tone, and actions. (LOVE OF THE GAME)

B.   Nurtures curiosity and a love of learning.

C.   Smiles and laughs regularly, and brings humor and zest to the work of teaching and learning. 

D.   Celebrates individual and group efforts and successes when students meet and exceed expectations.

E.   Creates opportunities in the day for students to smile, laugh, and be expressive.




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