Monday Morning Kipp

16Nov08

Monday morning I launch an investigation of alternative schools – in search of successful educational organizations that provide clear alternatives to the oppressive failure of the Democrat’s public schools. I start in Lynn, Massachusetts Charter School, at KIPP Academy.

KIPP Academy Lynn is a new public middle school which opened its doors August 9, 2004. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, KIPP Lynn is serving grades five through eight.

KIPP Lynn works with a population of students who have been historically underserved – 87% of our students qualify for the free or reduced meal program and many enter below grade level.

Our students are 56% Hispanic, 24% African-American and 20% Caucasian.

What is interesting about KIPP is that they go into the toughest educational environments in America’s most depressed urban areas and get great results with students who would otherwise fail.

Since 2001, middle school students who completed four years at KIPP increased their average math achievement level on average from the 40th to the 82nd percentile and their reading level from the 32nd to the 60th percentile — gains not seen anywhere else.

The Democrat’s schools have gotten so bad that even Democrats are beginning to acknowledge the need for change. For example, consider this remarkable editorial position from the Boston Globe today.

BOSTON’S high dropout rate and its racial, gender, and ethnic achievement gaps are strong arguments for different education approaches that have shown promise elsewhere. That is why it was encouraging when Superintendent of Schools Carol Johnson proposed single-sex schools for boys and girls in her reorganization plan. Unfortunately, two state laws banning the practice stand in the way. The Legislature should repeal them to allow Boston and other districts to see if single-sex schools can help students learn better.

What? Repeal laws that are designed to meet the needs of the unions? How could the Globe, a liberal paper owned by the New York Times, betray its union/Democratic friends just because young lives hang in the balance? That’s not been motivation enough to do the right thing in the past.

Elsewhere on the same editorial page, the Globe warns that research on the success of Charter Schools in Massachusetts being done by the teachers union shouldn’t be trusted.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association has long been a determined foe of Commonwealth charter schools. No surprise there: The innovative charters regularly turn in impressive academic results – and they are non-unionized.

When the liberal rag starts attacking the teachers unions, that’s an incredible turn of events. The Globe supports Democrats, and the unions and Democrats are partners. Could it be they have a conscience?

At any rate, I’m visitin a KIPP to expand my awareness of what is working in education that will, hopefully, one day be made available to the millions of students trapped by the power game of the Democrats.

KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. There are currently 66 KIPP schools in 19 states and the District of Columbia serving over 16,000 students.

I’ll issue a full report on my visit.



4 Responses to “Monday Morning Kipp”

  1. 1 Brian Gabriel

    Todd,
    As a former teacher who has taught in both public and private schools, I have to take exception to your statement that teacher unions would be against single sex schools. While teaching in public school, we used to talk about this subject all the time, and all, let me repeat, ALL of the teachers I spoke to about this were in favor of single sex schools. Many of us, myself included, are products of such an education. That our unions would be against such a thing is frankly alien to me, and others, who are, or were teachers.
    Any problems, and there are many, in public schools today, can be traced, not to teachers, and their unions, but to school administrators and school boards, who are very susceptible to to whatever educational fad (like co-educational schools), or politically correct “idea” which comes down the road. If you’re going to point fingers, make sure they’re pointed at the right targets.
    Thank You,
    B. Gabriel

  2. I’m not blaming teachers – I agree that teachers are victims here.

    I also agree that the schools are victims of a radical cabal that controls teacher education and injects destructive, untested concepts and non-educational ideals into a system that can’t support them.

    But all of this is accepted or pushed for by unions which seem to care only about whether educational trends require that more union teachers be employed.

    My understanding of the history of the banning of single sex schools, and resistance to their popular reinstitution, is that the civil rights movement considers the concept discriminatory.

    Look back to Title IX for the leverage used by liberals to use the (unconstitutional) funding power of the federal government to leverage the states to abandon single sex schools.

    While this doesn’t specifically indict the unions, and I’ll do more research to confirm their positions on this, there is a guilt by association argument that can be made based on the partnership between the Democratic Party and the teachers unions, with the civil rights movement as a major subsidiary of the Dems.

  3. 3 JesseAlred

    Wendy Kopp–like her friends, our nation’s corporate leaders–preaches but does not practice accountability when she claims Teach For America and its branches, the KIPP and YES charter schools, have done jack to close the achievement gap.

    Education professors argue whether 40% or 20% of TFA teachers remain in school past the requisite two-year stint, but neither advocates or enemies of TFA have presented ANY evidence of them improving the academic results of significant numbers of working-class, minority students.

    The only argument they have comes from the outstanding perfomance of kids at KIPP and YES, and these students attend charter schools after their families have applied to schools with longer school days, extended school years, and loads of homework.

    Teach For America provides a positive service, and its charter schools provide a top-quality education for kids whose ambitious familes are already committed to education.

    The notion that these folks are the solution not only to school reform but to social reform also must derive from an equal mixture of egotism, careerism, the rich-person’s sense of entitlement, stupidity and the desire to please government-hating corporate donors.


  1. 1 Single Sex Schools « Barack’s White Lies / Real Clear Thinker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: