Charter schools are big business, even when they are run by “non-profits” that pay no taxes on the revenue they receive from public taxes or other sources. Take KIPP, which describes itself as a “national network of public schools.” KIPP (an acronym for the phrase “knowledge is power program”) operates like a franchise with the KIPP Foundation as the franchisor and the individual charters as franchisees that are all separate non-profits that describe themselves as “public schools.” But how public are KIPP public schools? Not as public as real or traditional public schools. New documents discovered on the U.S. Department of Education’s website reveal that KIPP has claimed that information about its revenues and other significant matters is “proprietary” and should be redacted from materials it provides to that agency to justify the expenditure of federal tax dollars, before its application is made publicly available. So what does a so-called public school like KIPP want to keep the public from knowing? …
Do KIPP Schools Boost Student Achievement?
Source: Philip M. Gleason, Christina Clark Tuttle, Brian Gill, Ira Nichols-Barrer, Bing-ru Teh, Education Finance and Policy, Early Access, Posted Online November 14, 2013
From the abstract:
The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is an influential and rapidly growing nationwide network of charter schools serving primarily disadvantaged minority students. Prominent elements of KIPP’s educational model include high expectations for student achievement and behavior, and a substantial increase in time in school. KIPP is being watched closely by policy makers and educators as a possible model for urban education, but existing studies of KIPP’s effects on students have been subject to methodological limitations, making them less than conclusive. We measure the achievement impacts of forty-one KIPP middle schools across the country, using propensity-score matching to identify traditional public school students with similar characteristics and prior-achievement histories as students who enter KIPP. We find consistently positive and statistically significant impacts of KIPP on student achievement, with larger impacts in math than reading. These impacts persist over four years following admission, and are not driven by attrition of low performers from KIPP schools.