Friday, November 26, 2010

KIPP Schools- Schools that Work!

I went to the movie to watch the documentary, Waiting for Superman" and they featured the KIPP schools in New York City. Two young teachers started a Charter School that works for low income middle and high school students. The results are amazing! The schools start early, have 10 hour days, and meet during the summer and every other weekend. The program is developed to meet the needs of the student population that they service. If KIPP students make it through the 8Th grade, 85% of them will go and finish college.

The key to the success of this charter schools is everyone has a feeling of ownership and belonging. The dedicated and skilled teachers visit every students home. Parents are an important part of the success of the schools and if there is a lack of parental participation the school fills in the gap of parent. Lessons are taught in kid friendly ways with a lot of chanting, movements, and beats. These are found to be successful methods for many children of poverty.

The students must earn privileges such as earning new uniforms and going on field trips. Although this model will not work for every system, I think it is exciting when there is a successful model that can be replicated where it will work. If we know what works in education, why isn't every school effective? We must highlight these schools and find out why they are successful and make sure every student in this country is receiving the "Best Education Possible"!

2 comments:

Jim Horn November 27, 2010 at 5:46 AM  

Debra,

I am always eager to try to bring a little a little light on subjects where there is so much smoke being blown. So pardon my intrusion.

As an educational consultant who must be interested in protecting your reputation for knowing something about that which you speak, I humbly suggest that you gather some more information on KIPP other than the KIPP promotion made available in the slick pro-charter propaganda film, Waiting for Superman.

When you make the claim that 85% of KIPPsters who make it through 8th grade finish college, this number is an extrapolation that does not reflect the fact that between 40 and 60 percent of KIPPsters don't make it through 8th grade at these total compliance boot camps. They get dumped back into the public schools, especially the low-scoring ones that can't easily be "KIPP-notized."

"Earning privileges" at KIPP is called the paycheck, and it is used to punish and reward and to socialize children into corporate habits of, yes, working hard and being nice.

Here is a report by Harold Berkak following his visit to a KIPP:
"When I was there children who followed all the rules were given points that could be exchanged for goodies at the school store. Those who resisted the rules or were slackers wore a large sign pinned to their clothes labeled "miscreant." Miscreants sat apart from the others at all times including lunch, were denied recess and participation in all other school projects and events.
. . . . I've spent many years in schools. This one felt like a humane, low security prison or something resembling a locked-down drug rehab program for adolescents run on reward and punishments by well meaning people. Maybe a case can be made for such places, but I cannot imagine anyone (including the Times reporter) sending their kids there unless they have no other acceptable options. What is most disturbing is the apparent universal belief by KIPP staff and partisans that standardized tests scores are the singular and most important measure of a truly good education."

But I suppose in the end, the real test must be for any enthused consultant making recommendations on education: Would you send your own children to one of these psychological sterilization camps?

Before you answer, please read this:
http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2010/11/learning-about-kipp-lesson-3-social.html

Jim Horn November 27, 2010 at 5:52 AM  

From Harold Berlak, who has been to a KIPP school, rather than basing his opinion on a promotional film for charter schools:

"When I was there children who followed all the rules were given points that could be exchanged for goodies at the school store. Those who resisted the rules or were slackers wore a large sign pinned to their clothes labeled "miscreant." Miscreants sat apart from the others at all times including lunch, were denied recess and participation in all other school projects and events.
. . . . I've spent many years in schools. This one felt like a humane, low security prison or something resembling a locked-down drug rehab program for adolescents run on reward and punishments by well meaning people. Maybe a case can be made for such places, but I cannot imagine anyone (including the Times reporter) sending their kids there unless they have no other acceptable options. What is most disturbing is the apparent universal belief by KIPP staff and partisans that standardized tests scores are the singular and most important measure of a truly good education."

For anyone, including consultants, recommending these segregated testing camps, I think you must ask yourself: Would I send my kids to one of these total compliance schools to be KIPP-notized?

Before you answer, please have a look:
http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2010/11/learning-about-kipp-lesson-3-social.html

Thanks,
Jim Horn

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