KIPP and Catholic Schools

Guest post by Jim Ryan

I’m a fan of KIPP schools and impressed by their performance, though I appreciate the points made by some critics regarding attrition and selection.  I also admire the goal of KIPP schools to show that demography is not destiny and that all kids can learn.

But I’ve often wondered about KIPP and integration, either racial or socioeconomic.

Here’s the question, which I recognize is a little delicate:  Would KIPP’s methods work in integrated schools?  For example, would the famous SLANT method (sit up straight, listen, ask and answer questions, nod your head, track the speaker), work in schools where a substantial number of kids might not need instruction in how to interact with teachers or other adults?

Does KIPP’s approach, in short, depend on segregation?

Before anyone takes offense, I’m not suggesting, even for a second, that KIPP schools are designed to perpetuate segregation or that they have this effect.  I’m just curious if the methods of the school would work if the schools were more diverse, especially socioeconomically.  If KIPP’s methods are, in part, explicitly designed to teach poorer students what (most? many?) middle-class students learn at home, would KIPP schools have to change if middle-class students attended them?  Or would all kids benefit from the same methods, even if for some it was old news?

In thinking about that question, I wonder if it’s worth considering the experience of urban Catholic schools.  Sure, there is a religious component to those schools, but the emphasis on discipline, high standards, buy in from students and parents, etc., does not seem much different from the KIPP approach.  Catholic schools, for a long time, were attractive to lower- and middle-income white families, including many families who were not Catholic.  Might KIPP be as well?

If so, why are KIPP schools not becoming more diverse more quickly?

138 thoughts on “KIPP and Catholic Schools

  1. thenofunzone

    I see your 192,000 “google hits” and raise you to 197,000 using the following google search: “Clinton Body Count”

    http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&q=bill+clinton+body+count&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=4bf2bf0ba3c7bd72

    Lesson for TFT: number of google hits does not veracity equal

    Go log onto JSTOR and find some peer reviewed journals or even 50 stories in the New York Times (a less rigorous vetting process than peer review) that provide evidence of points 1-3 that you claimed were so widespread. A google search… you’re a joke. Here’s a tip never apply for tenure based on your research prowess…well maybe at an ed school…. hahah

  2. TFT

    I was simply giving you a road map. I was not claiming that a high number of search results means anything. You should have read some of the links.

    There are many lawsuits. These are not written about in education journals, they are written about in the newspaper, on blogs and discussed by respected professionals, lawyers, defendants and judges.

    There is corruption everywhere! How does that impact charter school corruption? Are you saying we need to accept it?

    You are asking for qualified proof–you demand proof that the corruption is widespread. The fact that corruption exists in charters you don’t deny? You are saying it is not widespread enough to worry about?

    There is documented corruption. Deny it if you want to. But don’t deny it by claiming it exists in public* schools too, and in charters it’s not yet widespread.

    * charters are public schools, supposedly

  3. thenofunzone

    I didn’t make any claim, TFT. You did. You claimed that charter school corruption is enabling charter schools to show impressive academic outcomes that are built on a house of cards – the house of cards you argued is maintained by corruption.

    Let me remind you of what you said: “They kick out kids to inflate the grad rate and all the rest.”

    Again I don’t think its unfair to ask you for evidence that this practice is widespread. I’m not denying that lawsuits have been filed (this is America after all we file suit over spilled coffee). I’m not denying that there have been instances of charter schools cooking the books on tests, just as there have been instances of public school teachers in traditional district schools cheating on assessments to meet AYP (that has actually been documented by Steve Levitt a Chicago Economist).

    But I am not willing to take on faith or a little soaking and poking on Google that widespread corruption is covering up impressive results at charter schools across the United States. That’s what you insinuated in your post. Surely you didn’t strain your fingers to argue that a charter or two out there amongst the thousands of charters in the U.S. have corruptly fabricated their test data and kicked out half the class. Your claim was based on saying this is widespread and rampant and is what allows charters to perpetuate a myth of closing the achievement gap.

    So back up that claim with data. You talk a big game, but you bring so little to back up your bravado.

  4. TFT

    The charters that claimed 100% graduation rates, the ones that get all the press, like KIPP, Aspire, G. Canada’s schools, have ALL kicked out low performers to artificially raise the grad rate.

    Since the general public hear about these schools more than say, my little public school, think 100% grad rate is true, coloring their perceptions of charters in general.

    The studies that have been done with charters show some are better and some are worse and still others no different than traditional public schools.

    So the voting public are being misled. They are being told that charters, whcih by the way, are what states must accept if they want any federal education money, are going to close the achievement gap. We know they won’t because they don’t address any root causes of the gap. Impoverished communities are like a bridge that is falling apart–you can put in some new steel, but eventually the thing has to be changed with a new model.

  5. thenofunzone

    And neighborhood schools that have 20 percent graduation rates have kicked kids out too, I’m sure. Do I know how many? Would I claim that it was done to boost the graduation rate from 18 to 20 percent? No, because I don’t have any evidence on that.

    I don’t disagree with you that the data should be public. I want to see cohort data from KIPP schools… but jeez we can’t even get all of the governors to actually follow through with the graduation rate compact to make sure that graduation rates states report are based on the full freshman year cohort.

    I’m simply saying you don’t have the data – and neither do I (though I’m making no broad assertions) – that KIPP kicks out a significant number of students that begin with them for the purposes of hitting 100 percent graduation rates.

    You wrote that studies show some charters are better and some worse. Yes, I agree that is true. I never said anything about charter schools being a panacea – Indeed some are high-performing and some are low-performing. They should be judged on a case by case or model by model basis, but I can assure you that one thing that happens to charter schools that never – or save the rare state intervention – happens to traditional public schools. Charters stand to lose their charter if they don’t meet expectations and maintain interest in enrollment.

    When neighborhood public schools lose students and perform poorly I don’t see their funds cut. So in that sense charters are more accountable than public schools.

  6. TFT

    I agree we should judge them case by case. But we are funding them and making states change their laws to accommodate them like they the ultimate solution.

    Which is it, case by case, or buy into them as saviors to be funded at the expense of other programs? Because that seems to be the choice.

  7. eddie v halen

    I heard about your lessons, but lessons are so cold.
    I know about this school.
    Little girl from cherry lane, how did you get so bold ?
    How did you know that golden rule ?

    I think of all the education that I missed.
    But then my homework was never quite like this.

    Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad,
    I’m hot for teacher.
    I got it bad, so bad,
    I’m hot for teacher.

    Chris S. is a two-eyed cyclops (I shoulda left my phone at home,
    ’cause this is a disaster!
    Callin’ like a collector -
    Sorry, I cannot answer!)

  8. TFT

    The Civil Rights Project, UCLA, January 2009
    Title: “Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge”
    Author: Gary Orfield

    Student Researchers: Melissa Robinson and Rena Hawkins
    Faculty Evaluator: Sangeeta Sinha, PhD
    Southwest Minnesota State University

    Schools in the United States are more segregated today than they have been in more than four decades. Millions of non-white students are locked into “dropout factory” high schools, where huge percentages do not graduate, and few are well prepared for college or a future in the US economy.

    According to a new Civil Rights report published at the University of California, Los Angeles, schools in the US are 44 percent non-white, and minorities are rapidly emerging as the majority of public school students in the US. Latinos and blacks, the two largest minority groups, attend schools more segregated today than during the civil rights movement forty years ago. In Latino and African American populations, two of every five students attend intensely segregated schools. For Latinos this increase in segregation reflects growing residential segregation. For blacks a significant part of the reversal reflects the ending of desegregation plans in public schools throughout the nation. In the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, the US Supreme Court concluded that the Southern standard of “separate but equal” was “inherently unequal,” and did “irreversible” harm to black students. It later extended that ruling to Latinos.

    The Civil Rights Study shows that most severe segregation in public schools is in the Western states, including California—not in the South, as many people believe. Unequal education leads to diminished access to college and future jobs. Most non-white schools are segregated by poverty as well as race. Most of the nation’s dropouts occur in non-white public schools, leading to large numbers of virtually unemployable young people of color.

    Schools in low-income communities remain highly unequal in terms of funding, qualified teachers, and curriculum. The report indicates that schools with high levels of poverty have weaker staffs, fewer high-achieving peers, health and nutrition problems, residential instability, single-parent households, high exposure to crime and gangs, and many other conditions that strongly affect student performance levels. Low-income campuses are more likely to be ignored by college and job market recruiters. The impact of funding cuts in welfare and social programs since the 1990s was partially masked by the economic boom that suddenly ended in the fall of 2008. As a consequence, conditions are likely to get even worse in the immediate future.

    In California and Texas segregation is spreading into large sections of suburbia as well. This is the social effect of years of neglect to civil rights policies that stressed equal educational opportunity for all. In California, the nation’s most multiracial state, half of blacks and Asians attend segregated schools, as do one quarter of Latino and Native American students. While many cities came under desegregation court orders during the civil rights era, most suburbs, because they had few minority students at that time, did not. When minority families began to move to the suburbs in large numbers, there was no plan in place to attain or maintain desegregation, appropriately train teachers and staff, or recruit non-white teachers to help deal with new groups of students. Eighty-five percent of the nation’s teachers are white, and little progress is being made toward diversifying the nation’s teaching force.

    In states that now have a substantial majority of non-white students, failure to provide quality education to that majority through high school and college is a direct threat to the economic and social future of the general population. In a world economy, success is linked to formal education. Major sections of the US face the threat of declining education levels as the proportion of children attending inferior segregated schools continues to increase.

    Rural schools also face severe segregation. In the days of civil rights struggles, small towns and rural areas were seen as the heart of the most intense racism. Of 8.3 million rural white students, 73 percent attend schools that are 80 to100 percent white.

    Our nation’s segregated schools result from decades of systematic neglect of civil rights policy and related educational and community reforms.

    According to the UCLA report, what is needed are leaders who recognize that we have a common destiny in an America where our children grow up together, knowing and respecting each other, and are all given the educational tools that prepare them for success in our society. The author maintains that if we are to continue along a path of deepening separation and entrenched inequality it will only diminish our common potential.

  9. Linda/RetiredTeacher

    TFT:

    Thanks for posting this. It’s a good reminder that we still have a very long way to go, and may indeed be going backward, not forward.

  10. Chris Smyr

    Ira Socol:

    1) Why does “sit up straight, listen, ask and answer questions, nod your head, track the speaker” suggest “white” indoctrination? Give a more explicit, direct answer than “it’s just like the gaze.”

    2) “Why can’t a learner recline and look out the window while learning?”

    Because any teacher will tell you that students who are focused during direct instruction will be more able to follow directions and will retain more material from instruction. Citations can be provided if you absolutely must have them to understand this simple point.

    3) “Why can’t communities learn in group conversation rather than listening to a “master”?”

    THEY DO. You have this ass-backwards idea that KIPP is basically a daily 8-hour lecture. Such ideas can be easily dispelled if you were to actually visit a KIPP classroom.

    4) “As for the purpose, well, why don’t the kids in KIPP schools get the same things that the kids in Scarsdale and River Forest get? Why don’t they get the creative education needed for the best jobs in this century? Is it because they are “genetically inferior”? Or because we won’t spend the time and money to get the best teachers? Or because we’re training them – as the British Empire did – to be “lesser whites” who will be “ok” but not challenge the children of the elite for the best jobs?”

    So many false premises and non sequiturs, so little time….

    5) “Chris still wants “substantiation” but he is replacing (as Tom notes) the kind of academic work which should lie behind this discourse with “five minutes on Google” (and not, it should be noted, Google Scholar, where actual substantiation might lie).”

    I wanted you (and others) to justify the claim that KIPP is promoting whiteness, because there is an unstated assumption being made there of what it means to be white and non-white. You STILL haven’t explicitly done this.

    You’re also making the same mistake that Tom made. TFT had claimed he’s never, ever heard of teachers who have students practice tracking teachers during instruction. Providing a few simple Google search results immediately dispels that incorrect notion. It matters not that I used Google to find the evidence.

    BTW, no academic I have ever worked with would be so full of him or herself as to dismiss references because they were found with Google rather than Google Scholar (scholarly work can easily be found on either, if you didn’t know).

    6) “Chris, you can not challenge what TFT and I are saying without understanding the theories behind our statements”

    Ah, yes. Let’s read through a Sobe publication on gaze and attention and see what can be reasonably compared to KIPP (if anything):

    “Montessori encapsulated her method in the declaration “When you have solved the problem of controlling the attention of the child, you have solved the entire problem of education.””

    I would like evidence showing that KIPP believes anything close to this.

    “In The Montessori Method she summarized Seguin’s method as “to lead the child, as it were, by the hand, from the education of the muscular system, to that of the nervous system, and of the senses.” Montessori’s pedagogy of attention similarly led children by the hand through this progression, and like Seguin she also worked initially with “defective” children.”

    Keeping your eyes on the teacher during direct instruction does not imply that the students are being led by the wrist to an education. That students will more likely gain understanding if they keep their focus on the speaker does not imply that the speaker is the one creating the understanding for the students. The “defective children” terminology is also a revealing one. Am I right to assume you also think KIPP feels this way about their students? You are the one that needs to establish all of these connections.

    “For example, her opposition to the use of creative play in kindergartens (a position that was strongly criticized by many American educators, including William Kilpatrick and Elizabeth Harrison) was based on the argument that the state of the imagination was the natural state of the savage and that dwelling in it would hold back the child in a “prehistoric,”“primitive” period. A distracted attention, in Montessori’s pedagogy, dissipated the possibility for progress — only through attention and the refinement of the child’s discriminating powers could progress be ensured.”

    Again, you’ve not justified a similar link between KIPP and creativity. KIPP schools and their teachers utilize instructional strategies that will tap into the unending creativity in their students. That their students have to sit up and pay attention doesn’t somehow stifle their creativity.

    “In Foucault’s arguments about the gaze, individuals come to internalize the norms of disciplinary power, thus making the functioning of the panoptic mechanism continuously effective. Both cases, then, engender what Foucault called governmentality, the arrangement whereby the reasoning individuals use in their own decision making is tightly bound up with the rationales used in the administration of society.”

    Lots of problems here. Panopticism would imply that students are to pay attention only for the sake of disciplinary power, or to forfeit their reasoning to be subjected to directed attention. Paying attention in a classroom does much, MUCH more for the student than just making a teacher’s life easier. Not only that, but paying attention itself is *NOT* the goal of KIPP; tracking the teacher is the means by which they are to be exposed to higher learning, and to the utilization of rational thought. One wonders if you missed the “ask and answer questions” part of SLANT when you were thinking of what to write.

    8) “I’m a post-modernist, and I do not believe that everyone must accept the same sense of reality”

    *headdesk*

  11. GGW

    I’m not sure I understand the specific nature of the “kicked out” claim.

    Two scenarios could apply to any particular school.

    1. School X is hard. Kid does poorly. Flunks grade or on track to do so. Teachers and principal encourage him to work hard and stay, even if it means repeating.

    Kid chooses to transfer to School Y to obtain: automatic promotion to next grade, little homework, early dismissal, lax rules, etc.

    Teachers and principal could entice him to stay by lowering the bar, but that’s it. Is that “kicked out?”

    2. Same scenario, except school principal and teachers say “We want you to leave the school.”

    We’d all agree that #2 would be “kick out.”

    It seems like TNT is claiming either

    a) That Scenario 1 also should be defined as “kick out”

    b) He has some evidence base to distinguish how frequently 1 versus 2 happens.

  12. Attorney DC

    TFT: While I appreciate your (valid) concern for the difficulties facing low-income minority students in the U.S. today, I have to take issue with your assumption that integration (socioeconomic and ethnic) will help these students in any significant degree. To my knowledge, studies show that low-income and/or minority students often continue to perform poorly even when taught in the same schools as higher SES, white and Asian students. A local example that springs to mind is TC Williams High School in Alexandria, VA. TC is a large school with an extremely diverse student population, both socioeconomically and ethnically. A new, multimillion dollar school building was constructed recently and the school regularly produces many top-notch scholars (often white and Asian). The African-American and Hispanic students at the school generally continue to perform poorly.

    I have to ask: Why do you think increased socioeconomic and ethinic integration will have a significant impact on the academic achievement of low-performing students?

  13. TFT

    Attorney, I didn’t say anything about integration. I posted the UCLA paper because it illustrates how we as Americans are failing our most vulnerable.

    I think improving the circumstances of the impoverished will have a significant impact on those kids, and society at large.

    Charters have some culpability in the re-segregation. We should consider Pat Moynihan.

  14. Linda/RetiredTeacher

    Atttorney DC and Others:

    What you say about research is probably correct, at least so far as I know.

    Does anyone know if any longitudinal studies have been done on minority students who attended integrated schools for long periods of time? Did students who went through twelve years of school in an integrated, middle-class setting do better as adults, in terms of jobs and other indications of adult well-being? I find it hard to believe that being in a middle-class, integrated setting, as opposed to a low-scoring, segregated school, would have no positive effect on the child. When I moved from a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn into a middle-class neighborhood in suburban New Jersey, I think it had an enormous effect on my attitudes toward learning. Suddenly I was surrounded by students and parents who placed a premium on education. It also gave me a glimpse into the many occupations that were available to me. Did it improve my test scores? I have no idea. Did it improve my life chances? I think so, yes.

    Because I’ve long been interested in this subject, I’ve read many biographies of successful people of color. Almost without exception, the parents or guardians of these individuals found “better” (i.e. integrated) schools for them in the suburbs or in distant cities and towns (child was sent to live with friends or relatives).

    Many people, myself included, view research in education and the social sciences as very iffy, so we probably shouldn’t make major decisions based on some of these questionable conclusions. In regard to the effects of integration on education, I think we can assume that it’s in everyone’s best interest to go for the ideal of educating all our citizens, no matter the color or creed, in common schools.

    The bottom line: If you have a child of color (naturally or through adoption) would you want to be told that he or she could only go to a school with children of the same race or ethnicity? I know I wouldn’t.

  15. Attorney DC

    Linda, you make interesting points (as always a pleasure to read). Studies I’ve read seem to show that low-income, minority students gain some advantage from attending school with middle class students, but only if the low-income minority students make up a small percentage of the school population. This appears to be because once “too many” low-income, minority students attend a school, the school culture tips away from the culture you mentioned (in the middle class school you attended in New Jersey) and toward the culture of the low-income, minority schools! I believe (and this is from studies I read several years ago, so forgive me if my data is slightly off) that the critical point is about 25%.

    However, I don’t believe the advantage is very significant, in any event. In part due to tracking and other reasons, low-income minority students often do not attend class with the middle class kids, even in the same school. However, I’d be reluctant to abolish tracking, because then you simply set the low-performing kids up for feeling dumb in every class, and the high-performing kids get bored. It’s a complicated problem. In my opinion, schools can only do so much to overcome the effects of the child’s family and peers. Kids raised by well-educated parents, in a culture that values education (such as even lower income Asian students) tend to succeed in school. Kids from disadvantaged backgrounds often do poorly.

    I’d prefer to attack it from the other direction: How can we get low-income minority teens and adults to embrace academic success for their own children, and to avoid ending up in poverty themselves? Personally, I believe that targeting the high teenage birthrate in minority communites would be a great first step. Of course, now you’re getting into social engineering, an opening up a whole new can of worms!

  16. Attorney DC

    Linda (and others): You might also enjoy reading John McWhorter’s writings on educational achievement in the African-American community. I recommend his books Losing the Race (2000) and Winning the Race (2006). McWhorter is an African-American professor of linguistics, who has branched out to write about issues in the modern day American American community. I enjoyed both these books, especially Losing the Race, because they offered a unique perspective into the problem of low achieving African-American students in America.

  17. Art

    # TFT Says:
    August 12th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Chris sure asks a lot of questions for a guy who knows everything!
    ___________________________
    Socrates asked a lot of questions too, so look for something else to hold against Chris.

  18. John Doe

    It’s no wonder she is frustrated — she expressly doesn’t like for students to be “well dressed, well behaved, quiet.”

    One would think that a reasonably intelligent teacher would eventually figure out that letting kids be lazy, sloppy, rowdy, and noisy doesn’t actually help them learn more, and it just makes the teacher . . . frustrated.

  19. Chris Smyr

    I think I figured out the typical argument flowchart that certain commenters are using:

    1) Inflammatory claims that are poorly supported
    2) Smoke and mirrors, irrelevant “support” for initial claims
    3) Call into question the others’ background or expertise
    4) “Here’s an irrelevant link you should look at…”
    5) *Evacuate thread*
    6) Start at step 1 somewhere else

  20. TFT

    I didn’t say that John. I am saying that those things you list are not necessarily a prerequisite for learning. I had some poorly behaved bad dressers who were quite noisy who learned a shitload in my class.

    You don’t get to choose your students (unless you are a charter school).

  21. John Doe

    Think logically, though: Are you really saying that those poorly behaved noisy kids would have learned LESS if they learned to sit still and pay attention? Give me a break. So no matter how much they supposedly learned in your class, they could have learned more with better behavior.

    Charter schools don’t get to pick students; they usually have to admit by lottery in every state that I’ve heard of.

  22. Chris Smyr

    Sure, if you forget that I haven’t done any of it myself, and yet ironically you have. How’s that fully peer-reviewed, yet unfinished dissertation coming along?

  23. DJ

    I think that the writer raises an interesting question. Having worked as a teacher, principal and superintendent in urban, suburban and rural environments, having worked in a building shared by the original KIPP school for two years, and having visited other KIPP schools, I have a few observations: 1) African American and Hispanic students come from various socio-ecomonic backgrounds and home experiences. Some come from families with generations of high achievement and socio-economic success. Others may come from lower SES families, however, in both cases many are taught at home how to behave and how to achieve. They don’t need a heavy dose of behavioral training when they go to school. According to a some former African American KIPP parents that I know, the reason that they took their children out of the school is because of the heavy emphasis on correcting behavior and the quality of peers in the classroom. They felt that time taken for teaching behavior would have been spent on academic instruction in another good school. Also, they felt that the school had to have longer school hours and school days due to the extended focus. They wanted their children to have more rigorous academic instructional time within the normal school calendar and to have exposure to more well-rounded peers. They report that they understand why the school’s focus on behavior is needed and they still support the school’s work, even though it was not the best fit for their children. 2) Many middle class children today, despite race, come to school without good school-related behaviors and can also benefit from the KIPP model. Don’t assume that because a child is White and middle class that he or she has good school-related behaviors, or that he or she is academically prepared. This is becoming less and less true. 3) Catholic schools have always been strict, have upheld high standards and have demanded parent buy-in, and were once as successful with urban youth of color, as they have been with White students, so the author has a point. A side note: Please get rid of the deficit frame when analyzing minority children. It is not helpful and it no longer fits really. America has been so dumbed-down and the desired habits of mind and work for many students — Black, White or Latino, is not what it used to be, particularly for girls. All of our children can benefit from some aspect of the KIPP model. All of our children need good schools be they KIPP or Catholic, or some other school that is working with a significant segment of our young. No one school or model can meet all students’ needs. That is why we need Choice.

  24. TFT

    John Doe, are you really saying those kids would have learned MORE if they learned to sit still and pay attention? Give ME a break.

    Some kids can’t sit still, but they can still concentrate. You would know that if you had any experience working with kids.

    You should probably stop commenting–your ignorance is showing.

  25. BCrosby

    The fact that none of the people that run KIPP schools or sit on their boards send their own kids to KIPP schools should give us pause. Why aren’t we spending a huge chunk of that RTTT money to really innovate and try other methods and find out as many ways that work as possible? KIPP has been around for 15+ years … its not a new or especially innovative method and it is already getting funded by the billionaire boys. I don’t even mind if it and the charters that are similar get some RTTT money, but why not REQUIRE other pedagogical methods so we really get the benefit of innovation?

  26. John Doe

    are you really saying those kids would have learned MORE if they learned to sit still and pay attention? Give ME a break.

    Yeah, that’s absolutely what I’m saying. In other news, I think that football players will do better if they pay attention to what play has just been called and what the opposing team is doing, drivers do better if they pay attention to the road rather than texting, and filmgoers get more out of a movie if they pay attention rather than spending half the time on their iPhone.

    But hey, you just argued yourself out of a job. If what you’re doing as a teacher is so worthless that kids don’t even get any benefit from paying attention to you, then why the hell should society pay for your salary?

  27. Angelique L. Vialou

    Thank you, DJ for summarizing my feelings completely. We need choice.

    This question is timely for me. The school opeining up next to me (I live in a mixed neighborhood) is slated to be a KIPP school. The other nearby public elementary schools are also KIPP schools. Our neighborhood is clamoring for choice.

    My extremely anecdotal findings:

    1) None of my friends who live in my neighborhood would send their children to a KIPP school. Many of them are familiar with KIPP, but turned off by the patronizing, dogmatic tone of strict discipline to foster school culture.

    2) KIPP doesn’t seem to be concerned about how they are perceived by large chunks of the community, anyway. As an organization, KIPP has done absolutely nothing to make itself an attractive school for all the kids in the neighborhood. They’ve never set up a meeting to address our neighborhood association, nor have they responded to invitations to speak more informally to a group of parents/interested neighbors.

    3) In order make enrollment, it’s probably this KIPP school will have to recruit heavily outside of the surrounding community.

    4) Based on 1-3, it looks like this KIPP school will be pretty segregated in contrast to our nicely mixed neighborhood.

    We’ll see what truly bares out if this school does, in fact, become a KIPP school. Since KIPP is a mighty organization with lots of dollars compared to other charter providers, it may exert its influence over our community’s objections. It’s less that I have a problem with KIPP (I think they are a valuable organization), but I do have a problem if all of the schools are KIPP.

    For now, we just hope the ideal of parent choice prevails.

  28. Amy

    In my district we are pursuing socio-economic (and therefore racial / ethnic) integration through magnets and student assignment procedures. We are fortunate to have great diversity in our district as a whole. When will America wake up and realize that segregation still is simply wrong, just as it always has been?

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