by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Mathematica Policy Research just published a study of KIPP charter schools, “KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes.” Researchers found that students enrolled in KIPP middle schools had significant gains in reading, math, science, and social studies. They concluded,
Mathematica used a matched comparison design and a random assignment lottery to produce comprehensive evidence on the effects of KIPP middle schools across the country. In the large majority of these schools, KIPP’s impact on student achievement in math, reading, science, and social studies is consistently positive and educationally substantial. In math and reading, there are positive impacts in each of the first four years after a student enrolls in a KIPP school. In science and social studies, the study measured impacts in the grade that states administered tests in these subjects (typically 8th grade), and found positive impacts three to four years after students enroll at KIPP. The evidence suggests that KIPP is among the highest performing charter networks in the country.
Researchers also noted that KIPP students spend more time on homework than their non-KIPP counterparts, but there were no significant differences between KIPP and non-KIPP kids on self-reported measures of other behaviors.
By the way, there was no evidence that KIPP schools selected only the top students. Researchers wrote, “Students entering KIPP schools are very similar to other students in their neighborhoods: both groups are low achieving, low income, and nonwhite.”
North Carolina has two KIPP schools – Gaston College Preparatory and KIPP: Charlotte. Both enroll middle school students.