2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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New York Professor Says KIPP Isn't a Magic Bullet; KIPP Founder Says, Hey You are Right

A just-released report from a New York City professor warns that while KIPP – the Knowledge Is Power Program operated in non-profit charter schools in cities across the country including Houston -- does many good things, it should not be adopted as a role model for changes in public schools.

Professor Jeffrey R. Henig, an expert on urban education reform from Teachers College, Columbia University, says KIPP does well by its students who stay the course; they tend to do better than similar poor, urban and minority students who go to more traditional public schools.

But KIPP loses a lot of students, and wears out a lot of teachers in short order, too (probably due to long days, four-hour Saturday sessions, a month of summer school and grading all that homework the students have to do). And that if you added back in all the students who have performed less well and left, then KIPP’s success ratio climbs down from the clouds and gets much closer to your everyday ordinary schools.

KIPP co-founder Mike Feinberg responded “I agree completely. We’ve never claimed Kipp is the magic bullet.”Feinberg says certain KIPP enthusiasts have been promoting his program as the answer to all problems in education and it is not. He described them as “some friends who’ve gotten very excited and think tomorrow we can snap our fingers and make all kids behave like KIPPsters and I don’t think that’s possible.” At the same time, Feinberg says KIPP employs some fundamental practices and philosophies that all schools should use.

The article “New York Prof Says KIPP Isn’t a Magic Bullet; KIPP Founder Says, Hey You’re Right” was published on November 11th in the “Houston Press” http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2008/11/new_york_prof_says_kipp_isnt_a.php

 

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