KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a nationwide network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory public schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. KIPP schools are usually established under state charter school laws.
Over 95% of KIPP students are African American or Latino / Hispanic; over 75% are eligible for the federally-subsidized meal program. Students are accepted regardless of prior academic record, conduct, or socioeconomic background.
Each middle school student receives a paycheck at the end of the week of KIPP dollars they have earned based on academic merit, conduct, and overall behavior. KIPP dollars may be spent on whatever the student chooses, from books to laptop computers. End-of-year trips are also earned. They vary from school to school. KIPP Academy Middle School in Houston, TX, for example, sends 5th graders to Washington, DC, 6th graders to Utah, 7th graders to the East coast (NY, CT, NJ, MA) to see a Broadway play, go sightseeing or visit colleges, and 8th graders go to the West coast (CA) to places like Yosemite National Park, Disneyland and other tourist attractions, as well as visiting colleges.
When a 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 what is required of the students, the teachers and the parents in the KIPP program. They all sign a KIPP contract promising that they will do everything in their power to help the student succeed and go to college. Once the contract is signed, the student is a KIPPster for life. KIPP follows the student's progress during KIPP and even after. The purpose of KIPP is for students to gain a college education; so even after they have finished KIPP, students maintain contact with their college counselor at KIPP. KIPP helps them go to private or boarding schools on full or mostly full scholarship, aids them in finding internships and/or summer progams, and even helps students prepare resumes, seek jobs and choose careers.
KIPP is in the process of developing new high schools throughout the nation. Students from well-established KIPP middle schools will have the opportunity to attend these high schools. While KIPP high schools will maintain KIPP's principles, they are focused on providing a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum that encourages increasing degrees of independent responsibility for learning.
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:
In addition, some KIPP schools show high attrition, especially for those student entering the schools with the lowest test scores. A 2008 study by SRI International found, "... 60 percent of students who entered fifth grade at four Bay Area KIPP schools in 2003-04 left before completing eighth grade." The report also discusses student mobility due to changing economic situations for student's families, but does not directly link this factor into student attrition. Six of California's nine KIPP schools, researched in 2007, showed similar attrition patterns. Figures for schools in other states are not always as readily available.
U.S. Department of Education Announces Grants Totaling More Than $14.4 Million to Charter School Management Organizations
Sep 27, 2012; WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Education: The U.S. Department of Education...
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON, KIPP ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT KIPP ALUMNILANDMARK AGREEMENT WILL PROMOTE STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE COLLEGE COMPLETION
Nov 16, 2011; HOUSTON, Nov. 15 -- The University of Houston issued the following news release: A new partnership between the University of...