Wednesday, February 01, 2006

High Scores Fail to Clear Obstacles to KIPP Growth

Here is a recent posting on the KIPP Academy charter school which originate in Houston. Considered as a whole, Mathews points out, it's a mixed record. -Angela

High Scores Fail to Clear Obstacles to KIPP Growth
Program Has Struggled to Find Space for Expansion
By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 31, 2006; Page A10

Susan Schaeffler turned a small program in an Anacostia church basement into the District's highest-achieving public middle school, but she is having trouble opening more schools with the same successful formula.

It is a crucial moment for one of the most closely watched educational models, the Knowledge Is Power Program, a way of teaching fifth- through eighth-graders that has produced some of the best math and reading scores in low-income neighborhoods across the country. Despite its impressive record, administrators and policymakers are responding slowly to KIPP's desire for more space and support.


  1. As a KIPP volunteer, I found the program a creepy mind control program in which kids are frequently taught to parrot back facts rather than think. The parent buy-in and longer hours and extra work is all good... but it was driven by the personality of the leader (who was known to throw chairs across rooms as a method of discipline) rather than the quality of curriculum or the ability to teach kids to think of their own.

  2. Kimberly,

    Do you have any sense of how kids turn out upon having graduated from the program? Do they go on to college? What kind of people do they become after having gotten treatment of this kind? Just curious.

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  4. My name is Janet Reynoso, and I was part of the third KIPP class in Houston. I graduated from KIPP in 2000 and then attended Kinkaid High School, one of the top private schools in Houston, where I received a well-rounded education. Had it not been for my teachers’ support and academic advice I would have never known what a private school is. My KIPP teachers believed in me while others, without a doubt in their mind, believed that I’d end up dropping out of school or as a teenage mother because I lived in a rundown and gang infested neighborhood, where skipping class and doing drugs was the thing to do. I am now a sophomore at American University in Washington D.C. majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Education. KIPP helped me so much and continues helping me in many ways. The teachers I had there are now my close friends and mentors, and I am grateful to be a part of KIPP.