|Founder||Mike Feinberg |
|Focus||Educating students nationwide.|
224 schools (2018)
The Knowledge is Power Program, commonly known as KIPP, is a nationwide 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.
|Education in the United States|
United States portal
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)
KIPP's Five Differentiators:
- At KIPP, teachers, students, and families are all united around the same goal: college and a choice-filled life. Through collective hard work and commitment, KIPP students complete college at a rate that is above the national average for all students and four times higher than that of students from similar economic backgrounds. KIPP's success is driven by:
- High Expectations: KIPP sets clearly defined and measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct in order to create and reinforce a culture of achievement and support. Every student is different and KIPP personalizes learning based on a student's needs, skills, and interests.
- Strength of Character: Success in life depends on both academics and character. KIPP helps students foster character strengths that are essential for their own success and well-being. And empower them to express their voice with power and to improve the world around them.
- Highly Effective Teachers and Leaders: Great schools require great teachers and school leaders. KIPP empowers educators to lead school teams, and invests in training to help them grow as professionals.
- Safe, Structured, and Nurturing Environments: Students need physical and emotional safety in order to take risks and learn from their successes and their mistakes. KIPP public schools provide a safe, structured, and nurturing environment with minimal distractions and more time for both academics and extracurriculars.
- KIPP Through College: KIPP college counselors and advisors support students as they prepare for and select the right college and career for their needs and interests. After high school, they help KIPP alumni navigate the social, academic, and financial challenges they might encounter while in college.
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 student(s) 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.
One thing that is unique at KIPP is that college counselors support students through college. The KIPP Through College Program counselors work with all of our students as they apply to college, secure financial aid and make a college decision, and continue to work with them after high school to help them navigate the social, academic, and financial challenges they may encounter while in college. KIPP counselors also work with KIPP alumni to facilitate access to internships and career placement opportunities that will set them up for long-term success. KIPP college counselors stay in touch even after college graduation by providing resources and support to help them be successful in their early careers.
In partnership with the Ludwig Family Foundation, KIPP launched in 2018 the KIPP National Ludwig College Persistence Fund in four communities. The program aims to help KIPP alumni persist through college by providing KIPP alumni with small, one-time, emergency grants, or “microgrants,” when financial challenges arise that may cause them to drop out or take time off. Each region launching the fund—KIPP Bay Area Public Schools, KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools, KIPP NYC Public Schools, and KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools, have received between $37,000 and $40,000 in seed funding to start a local College Persistence Fund.
The program is built off the success of a similar initiative launched in 2014 by KIPP DC and the Ludwig Family Foundation. The graduation rate for KIPP DC students who have received college persistence grants and are old enough to have completed college is 91 percent.
In addition, KIPP forges partnerships with colleges to support first-generation college students alongside one another. KIPP now has more than 90 college and university partners across the country. KIPP's college partners are committed to ensuring first-generation college students persist and graduate.
KIPP also started the Accelerator program in 2015 and aims to support KIPP alumni in reaching top positions of leadership and decision-making at the local, state, and national levels. KIPP Alumni Leadership Accelerator fellows receive 12 hours of personalized, executive leadership coaching; attend the Aspen Ideas Festival; have access to networking and skill-building opportunities, and join a tight-knit cohort of peers who graduated from KIPP schools across the country. Through the program, KIPP aims to help 1,000 KIPP alumni reach top leadership positions by 2040.
In July 2018, KIPP launched its first-ever College Counseling Institute (CCI) took place in San Antonio, Texas. The KIPP CCI brought together leaders from KIPP along with three large public school districts, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Newark Public Schools, and the New York City Department of Education and one independent public charter school network, Aspire Public Schools, to share strategies for ensuring that all students enroll in a college that earn a degree. The CCI is the launch of a systematic effort to replicate KIPP's College Match Program in district and charter schools across the country.
|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 Bay Area 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--Austin Public Schools
|Dallas (6)||KIPP Texas--DFW Public Schools
|Houston (29)||KIPP Texas--Houston Public Schools
|San Antonio (6)||KIPP Texas--San Antonio Public Schools
- 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.
Criticism and commentary
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. This is in contrast to only 70% completing high school, 41% going to college, and 8% earning a four-year degree for students in a similar economic background to that which KIPP draws from.
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.
- "KIPP Inc. Form 990 2016". ProPublica. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
- "Work hard. Be nice. - KIPP Public Charter Schools".
- "Do charter schools work? Time for a test". The Economist. June 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "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"
- "KIPP Charter Schools History - KIPP Public Charter Schools".
- "Remembering Pioneering Educator Harriett Ball". All Things Considered. February 14, 2011. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- Elizabeth Green (2011-02-14). "A new graduate school of education, Relay, to open next fall". Chalkbeat. Retrieved 2004-09-15.
- Mathews, Jay. Work hard. Be nice. Algonquin Books. 2009.
- "National Report Card - KIPP Public Charter Schools".
- "KIPP Leadership - Development for all levels of leaders at KIPP".
- Lavon, Roy. "Real Justice in the Age of Obama". Princeton University Press. NJ. 2009.
- Ravitch, Diane "The death and life of the great American School system" NY New York. 2010
- "The underworked American: Children are exceptions to the country's work ethic". The Economist. June 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "Charter School Operators". In Perspective. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
- "Student Characteristics and Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools", Mathematica Policy Research Archived 2010-08-13 at the Wayback Machine, June 2010
- "An Education Strategy to Promote Opportunity, Prosperity, and Growth" (PDF). Archived from the original on November 1, 2007. Retrieved 2013-08-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), Brookings Institution, February 2007
- The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the evidence on enrollment and achievement, Teachers College Press, March 2005
- "Student Characteristics and Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools" (PDF). Mathematica Policy Research.
- "New Study Finds San Francisco Bay Area KIPP Students Outperform Peers" (Press release). SRI International. 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Angrist, J. D.; Dynarski, S. M.; Kane, T. J.; Pathak, P. A.; Walters, C. R. (2012). "Who Benefits from KIPP?" (PDF). Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 31 (4): 837–860. doi:10.1002/pam.21647.
- Jay Mathews (29 April 2011). "KIPP criticizes its college graduation record". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- "College Completion Report". KIPP Public Charter Schools | Knowledge Is Power Program. KIPP: Knowledge is Power Program. Retrieved 2013-03-18. April 2011
- Kay S. Hymowitz (June 28, 2011). "Still No Sign of Superman". Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- "College Completion Report". KIPP Public Charter Schools | Knowledge Is Power Program. KIPP: Knowledge is Power Program. Retrieved 2013-03-18. April 2011, (see page 9 of the report (page 11 of the issuu document))
- Carlozo, Lou (27 March 2012). "Why college students stop short of a degree". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- Joy Resmovits (24 January 2013). "College Dropout Crisis Revealed In 'American Dream 2.0' Report". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "College Completion Report". KIPP Public Charter Schools | Knowledge Is Power Program. KIPP: Knowledge is Power Program. Retrieved 2013-03-19. April 2011, (see page 7 of the report (page 9 of the issuu document))
- "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))
- KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program: the KIPP Foundation website.