This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (December 2019)
|Founded||1994; 26 years ago|
|Founder||Mike Feinberg |
|Focus||Educating students nationwide.|
224 schools (2018)
The Knowledge is Power Program, commonly known as KIPP, is a network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools in low income communities throughout the United States. KIPP is America's largest network of public charter schools. The head offices are in San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
KIPP was founded in 1994 by Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, two Teach For America corps members, influenced by Harriett Ball. In 1995, they opened two KIPP middle schools, one in Houston and one in New York City. Both schools were among the highest-performing schools in their communities by 1999. KIPP was one of the charter school organizations to help produce the Relay Graduate School of Education for teacher training.
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KIPP began in 1994 after co-founders Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg completed their two-year commitment to Teach For America. A year later, they launched a program for fifth graders in a public school in inner-city Houston, Texas. Feinberg developed KIPP Academy Houston into a charter school, while Levin went on to establish KIPP Academy New York in the South Bronx. The original KIPP Academies have a sustained record of high student achievement.
More than 95% of KIPP students are African American or Latino/Hispanic; more than 88% are eligible for the federally subsidized meal program. Students are accepted regardless of prior academic record, conduct, or socioeconomic background. Eleven percent of students at KIPP Public Schools receive special education services and 17% are designated as English Language Learners (ELL)
Doris and Donald Fisher, co-founders of Gap Inc., formed a partnership with Feinberg and Levin to replicate KIPP's success nationwide. Established in 2000 with a $15 million grant from the Fishers, the nonprofit KIPP Foundation recruits, trains, and supports outstanding teachers in opening and leading high-performing college-preparatory public schools in educationally underserved communities. The foundation helps secure facilities and operating contracts while training school leaders through a yearlong fellowship called "Fisher Fellows" that includes a program of coursework, residencies at other KIPP Schools, and support from KIPP staff.
KIPP students are admitted through a lottery system. After a student is selected from the lottery and the student decides that he or she would like to attend a KIPP school, a home visit is set up with a teacher or the principal of the school, who meets with the family and students to discuss expectations of all students, teachers and the parents in KIPP. Students, parents, and teachers are then all required to sign a KIPP commitment of excellence, agreeing to fulfill specific responsibilities, promising that they will do everything in their power to help the student succeed and go to college.
As of the 2017–2018 school year, KIPP's national college completion rate for its alumni is 35 percent. This is comparable to the national average for all students and approximately three times the national average for students from low-income families (about 11 percent). Another 5 percent earned an associate degree.
For students who graduated from KIPP high schools, 45 percent earned a bachelor's degree and another 6 percent earned an associate degree.
KIPP has extended school days, requires attendance on Saturdays, offers extra-curricular activities, and adds three extra weeks of school in July. Most KIPP schools run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on select Saturdays (usually twice a month). Students spend that time in the classroom—up to 50 percent more time than in traditional public schools, depending on the region—and doing activities like sports, performing arts, and visual arts. Many of the activities KIPP offers might otherwise be inaccessible to students because of cost or scheduling issues. Because of this, the extended day offers students and families opportunities they might not get elsewhere.
During the school year, KIPP students can earn trips such as visits to colleges and ice-skating. At the end of the school year, the students can attend an end of the school year field trip. These trips expose low-income students to new opportunities. For example, KIPP Academy Middle School in Houston, Texas, sends sixth graders to Utah and eighth graders to Washington, D.C., while fifth and seventh graders take a small trip within Texas for budget reasons.
|State||Associated city (# of schools as of 8/18)||District name|
|AR||Helena (6)||KIPP Delta
(Blytheville, Forrest City, and Helena)
|CA||Los Angeles (15)||KIPP SoCal Schools (formerly KIPP LA)
Serves students in the greater Los Angeles area including Los Angeles, Huntington Park, South Gate, and Compton
|Bay Area (15)||KIPP NorCal Schools
Serves students in Oakland, Redwood City, San Francisco, San Jose, San Lorenzo, and East Palo Alto
|San Diego (1)||KIPP SoCal Schools (formerly KIPP Adelante)
|CO||Denver (5)||KIPP Colorado Schools
|DC||Washington (16)||KIPP DC
School total includes 5 preschool programs
|FL||Jacksonville (3)||KIPP Jacksonville Schools
|GA||Atlanta (10)||KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools|
|IL||Chicago (6)||KIPP Chicago Public Schools
|IN||Indianapolis (2)||KIPP Indy Public Schools
|LA||New Orleans (11)||KIPP New Orleans Schools
|MD||Baltimore (2)||KIPP Baltimore Public Schools
|MA||Lynn (3) Boston (2)||KIPP Massachusetts
Serves students in Lynn and Boston
|MN||Minneapolis (2)||KIPP Minnesota Public Schools
|MO||Kansas City (1)||KIPP Endeavour
|St. Louis (5)||KIPP St Louis Public Schools
|NJ||Newark (8)||KIPP NJ
|NY||Albany (2)||KIPP Tech Valley
|New York City (13)||KIPP NYC
|NC||Charlotte (2)||KIPP Charlotte Public Schools
|Gaston (6)||KIPP ENC (Eastern North Carolina)
Serves students in Gaston, Halifax, and Durham
|OH||Columbus (2)||KIPP Columbus
|OK||Oklahoma City (2)||KIPP Oklahoma City
|Tulsa (2)||KIPP Tulsa
|PA||Philadelphia (5)||KIPP Philadelphia Schools
|TN||Memphis (7)||KIPP Memphis Schools
|Nashville (5)||KIPP Nashville Schools
|TX||Austin (10)||KIPP Texas
|Dallas (6)||KIPP Texas
|Houston (29)||KIPP Texas
|San Antonio (6)||KIPP Texas
- Some schools may be physically located on the same campus but are differentiated as Primary or Middle schools
KIPP and similar operators of multiple charter schools are known as charter management organizations (CMOs). KIPP is the largest, with 242 schools. Another non-profit CMO, Imagine Schools, has 55.
Some for-profit rivals have shied away from managing any brick-and-mortar schools and offer online curricula and other services. These companies, including K12 and EdisonLearning are known as education management organizations (EMOs). K12 was the largest in the US in 2011–2012.
In June 2010, Mathematica Policy Research produced the first findings from a multi-year evaluation of KIPP: "Using a matched comparison group design, results show that for the vast majority of KIPP schools in the evaluation, impacts on students' state assessment scores in math and reading are positive, statistically significant, and educationally substantial."
At the vanguard of experimentation with educational methods and techniques are charter schools: public schools that operate outside the normal governance structure of the public school system. In recent years, charter schools such as the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and Achievement First have upended the way Americans think about educating disadvantaged children, eliminating the sense of impossibility and hopelessness and suggesting a set of highly promising methods.
A research report published in March 2005 by the Economic Policy Institute in book form as The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement, however, described the degree to which KIPP's admission process selects for likely high achievers:
KIPP students, as a group, enter KIPP with substantially higher achievement than the typical achievement of schools from which they came. ... [T]eachers told us either that they referred students who were more able than their peers, or that the most motivated and educationally sophisticated parents were those likely to take the initiative to pull children out of the public school and enroll in KIPP at the end of fourth grade. Today, KIPP Schools have added Pre-K through 12th grade schools. A clear pattern to emerge from these interviews was that almost always it was students with unusually supportive parents or intact families who were referred to KIPP and completed the enrollment process.
The authors of The Charter School Dust-Up said that KIPP's admission process self-screens for students who are motivated, compliant, and come from similarly motivated, compliant and supportive families. The 2010 Mathematica Policy Research study found that KIPP schools had a "lower concentration of special education and limited English proficiency students than the public schools from which they draw".
Some KIPP schools show high rates of attrition, especially for those students entering the schools with the lowest test scores. A 2008 study by SRI International found that while KIPP fifth-grade students who enter with below-average scores significantly outperform peers in public schools by the end of year one, "60 percent of students who entered fifth grade at four Bay Area KIPP schools in 2003–04 left before completing eighth grade", although research on attrition at one KIPP school in Massachusetts differs. The SRI report also discusses student mobility due to changing economic situations for student's families, but does not directly link this factor into student attrition. Figures for schools in all states are not readily available.
While KIPP's goal is that 75% of KIPP students graduate from college, a report they released in April 2011 stated that the college graduation rate for students who completed the first middle school program in 1999 and 2000 was about 33%. The report states that 95% of the students completed high school, 89% of the students went to college, and 33% of the students earned a degree. For comparison, for students in a similar economic background to that which KIPP draws from. only 70% complete high school, 41% go to college, and 8% earn a four-year degree . Overall in the United States 83% of students complete high school, 62% enroll in college, and 31% complete a four-year degree.
For the overall graduation rate for students entering college in the United States one study found a 56% result.(Pathways to Prosperity Study), and another study found 54% graduated (American Dream 2.0 Report).
KIPP's goal of a 75% college graduation rate is close to the 82% college graduation rate for students coming from the highest income quartile.
Jay Mathews, writing for The Washington Post, was encouraged by the results from the KIPP report, although he pointed out that the sample size was only 200 students, and that after graduating from the KIPP middle school the students were no longer attending a KIPP school. Both Matthews and Kay S. Hymowitz writing for City Journal found the 75% goal to be ambitious.
A report published in April 2011 projects that KIPP students who graduate from college will increase from over 6,000 in 2014, to over 7,500 in 2015, to about 10,500 in 2016.
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- "KIPP Foundation Offices." KIPP Foundation. Retrieved on July 17, 2011. "San Francisco, CA (Head office) KIPP Foundation 135 Main Street, Suite 1700 San Francisco, CA 94105"
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- Elizabeth Green (2011-02-14). "A new graduate school of education, Relay, to open next fall". Chalkbeat. Retrieved 2004-09-15.
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- Writer, ANDREA EGER World Staff. "KIPP schools co-founder sees growth potential". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
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- Jay Mathews (29 April 2011). "KIPP criticizes its college graduation record". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
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- Kay S. Hymowitz (June 28, 2011). "Still No Sign of Superman". Retrieved 2013-03-19.
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- "College Completion Report". KIPP Public Charter Schools | Knowledge Is Power Program. KIPP: Knowledge is Power Program. Retrieved 2013-03-19. April 2011, (see page 19 of the report (page 21 of the issuu document))
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