I posted a link last week from the book discussion that ES hosted on Jay Mathews’ new book about KIPP. You can listen yourself. The thing that jumps out at me from the discussion, and the discussion of KIPP more generally, is that both poles of this debate are missing what going on here. In the case of the most enthusiastic KIPP proponents, they underestimate just how difficult this work is and the enormity of the challenges of achieving KIPP-like results at scale. Richard Barth’s comments at the event were a sober reminder of that. KIPP’s doing an amazing job, but the work is intense and ongoing. In the case of KIPP detractors, they’re missing all the things that KIPP does that the broader system could learn from — really intentional training, a results-focused culture, etc…when they dismiss KIPP as sui generis, or worse as some sort of scam.