Class Struggle: KIPP

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 01/23/2011

Is KIPP abandoning the neediest students?

The Knowledge Is Power Program, the nation’s and the District’s most successful charter school network, has a new official name, KIPP, and a new approach to raising achievement for disadvantaged children. In its first decade the network---with 91 schools in 20 states and another eight in the District--focused on creating middle schools that started with fifth graders two or three years below grade level and got them up to speed by eighth grade. Now it is opening elementary schools, including three here, so it can start raising achievement in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 01/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/17/2010

A plea for peace among petulant pundits

As the football season for my Redskins falls apart, I have become addicted to the shouting of sports talk radio. Great failures inspire irresistible passion and confrontation. The national debate over how to fix our failing schools attracts me for the same reason. But in my saner moments I wish we were more considerate of those with whom we disagree.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 10/03/2010

KIPP leaders unworried by test score drop

Fifth grade scores dropped this year at the KIPP DC charter schools. Some people wondered if the Knowledge Is Power Program’s long record of raising D.C. student achievement was in jeopardy. The woman who created KIPP DC seems unworried. She has already made a change that may drive some average scores even lower next year.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 10/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 07/20/2010

Rare attack on Harlem Children's Zone

President Obama has requested $210 million to create programs similar to the Harlem Children's Zone throughout the country. That’s a lot of money, but how can anyone oppose prenatal care, parenting classes, fitness and nutrition programs for poor families, as well as the thriving charter schools Geoffrey Canada and his team have created? So it is hard to believe what I am seeing---a short paper from the prestigious Brookings Institution taking a shot at the Harlem Children’s Zone and its premier charter school, the Promise Academy.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:00 AM ET, 07/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/22/2010

Progress report from big study of KIPP

In this study, any student who spends at least a year at KIPP is considered part of the KIPP group, not the control group, even if they spend sixth through eighth grade in a non-KIPP school. So if KIPP's achievement rate increase looks good after four years, it will be in spite of, not because of, low achieving students leaving early.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:00 AM ET, 06/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 03/31/2010

KIPP visitor's critique, KIPP leader's response

suegjoyce: “Kids at KIPP are drilled and tested over and over again with scores posted in hallway for all to see. ALL scores, good or bad.” Shirey: We do have an interim testing program, and believe strongly in posting data, but this is only a small part of what we do. In addition to regular classwork, we have students engaged in arts activities, science labs, and Socratic seminars. As an example, our high school engineering class recently participated in a large competition. They took second place behind historic Central High in Little Rock, which has a student body about 20 times larger than ours.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 03/31/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 03/05/2010

KIPP helps worst students, study says

Among the many controversies surrounding the Knowledge Is Power Program, the nation's most successful charter school network, is the suggestion that KIPP scores look good because their weakest students drop out. A new and unusually careful survey has found that in the case of at least one KIPP school, that's not true.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 03/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 07/10/2009

Jay on the Web: Middle Class Children in KIPP

It has been a while since I had a guest columnist in this space. I have never before turned the blog over to one younger than my own children. So let me introduce Catharine Bellinger, a Princeton sophomore who...

By Washington Post Editors  |  10:46 AM ET, 07/10/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:48 PM ET, 07/08/2009

Jay on the Web: What's the Best Model for School Reform?

Dwayne Betts, a D.C. school teacher, has an interesting and thoughtful post on school reform on Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog over at The Atlantic. Betts has a small quibble with Jay Mathews, who profiled the Knowledge Is Power Program of charter...

By Washington Post Editors  |  03:48 PM ET, 07/08/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:10 PM ET, 07/01/2009

Jay on the Web: Can Unions and KIPP Schools Co-exist?

Mike Klonsky has some strong words for Jay Mathews on his recent column about unions and charter schools. In the piece, Jay argues that union demands might swamp the progress that one Baltimore KIPP school has shown under the direction...

By Washington Post Editors  |  03:10 PM ET, 07/01/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:54 AM ET, 06/29/2009

Metro Monday: Note to Union: Don't Mess With Success at This High-Achieving Charter Middle School

Sometime last year, while negotiating a teacher contract for the KIPP Ujima Village charter middle school in Baltimore, founder Jason Botel pointed out that his students, mostly from low- income families, had earned the city's highest public school test scores...

By Washington Post Editors  |  11:54 AM ET, 06/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 05/27/2009

Jay on the Web: Mathews on KIPP Charter Schools

Jay's latest book, "Work Hard. Be Nice."chronicles a breed of charter schools called the Knowledge is Power Program, or KIPP. KIPP has had stunning success at improving the test scores of low-income students by focusing on mentoring, rigorous student...

By Washington Post Editors  |  12:32 PM ET, 05/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)