by KYW’s Dr. Marciene Mattleman

Most people agree that much education in urban areas shortchanges kids and isn’t preparing them well. We all want to know “what works.”

Last week, Mathematica Policy Research published the first national report on 22 schools of the Knowledge is Power Program charter network—known as KIPP. According to Brian Gill, an author of the study, “…the consistency of effects across most of the schools is pretty striking and impressive.”
KIPP’s students typically have prior achievement levels lower than those in their local districts. Compared with public schools from which they draw, schools have more racial minorities and kids from higher poverty.

Findings of math achievement are estimated to be able to reduce the gap in black-white scores in math in half within three years. Effects for reading were also large but not as high.

Like KIPP’s founders, local KIPP Philadelphia Schools CEO Mark Mannella hails from Teach for America, and tells parents that very high expectations, a school day 7:30am to 5pm, alternate Saturdays, a month in the summer and high quality teachers are what make for student success.

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