KTM User Pages
Click here to find the comments for this topic SRI International has released a new study (pdf) of the new KIPP schools in San Francisco. It is close to 100 pages long but a good read. Not surprisingly, the KIPP kids are achieving better academic results although not yet stellar results since these schools are so new. In any event, the paper goes into detail as to what KIPP experience is like:
1. Long days (7:15 am to 5 pm)
2. Saturday classes
3. Mandatory summer sessions
4. Strict discipline
5. High academic expectations, usually using CA approved textbooks
I'd characterize the KIPP method as a brute force method of instruction that happens to work. However, I also happen to believe that similar results could be achieved with far less effort if: 1. KIPP started their program at K or 1 instead of grade 5 after these kids have had 5 years of failure in the public schools,
2. Used more praise, than punition (though the punition may be necessary for these kids at the stage they get them), and
3. Used a more efficient accelerated instructional Program. For example the DI programs achieve similar results using far less instructional time, even for low performers.
Nonetheless, KIPP shows what can be achieved with low performers with a little hard work and effective class room management, neither of which they get in the traditional classroom.
Catherine here. Every so often it crosses my mind that Ken and I may have been separated at birth; "brute force" is the exact term I've often used, in my own mind, to characterize KIPP's approach — and I say 'brute force' with a smile. I'm an enormous fan of the KIPP Academy, to the point where I've actually broached the possibility, with Christopher, of sending him there as an exchange student. (He says no.) The KIPP people know what they're doing, and I'm not going to pick nits. But I do ask myself whether they absolutely need 6 days a week, schooldays lasting 'til 5, plus some of the summer to do what they're doing. On the other hand, Christopher and I often put in some time on both weekend days as well as quite a few vacation days.....so I'm raising this question just to raise it, because I'm interested, and curious. Rafe Asquith says, "There are no shortcuts." But efficiencies and productivity gains are possible in most other realms (unless I'm overstating the case?)....why shouldn't there be efficiencies possible even in the realm of remediation and closing-of-gaps? Or is more always more?
KIPP for all from the U.S. News interview with Feinberg & Levin:
Finding qualified teachers to sign on to this cruise, however--even with the higher salaries KIPP pays--is a growing challenge, one that Feinberg and Levin say they can't solve without taking control of the training and certification process themselves. Already, KIPP runs a training program for principals at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. Extending that to teachers is an ambitious goal, one that would very likely require new legislation in individual states. But Levin, nothing if not persistent, insists that anything less is just tinkering around the edges. "Teaching has to become one of our society's most critical professions, rewarded and respected," he says. "And the cartels that control entry--the unions, the education schools--need to be addressed."
-- CatherineJohnson - 23 Mar 2006 Back to: Main Page.