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A Controversial Consensus On KIPP Charter Schools

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Pretty sure the objective analysis on KIPP spending per pupil that I read found that the NEPC/Great Lakes report calculated KIPP's facilities cost into their analysis. That's an unfair assessment since facility cost isn't factored into traditional district per pupil spending.

Dear Dave: If you follow the link and read the NEPC/Shanker/Great Lakes report carefully, you'll see that it does indeed provide apples-to-apples comparisons. In the case of New York City, facility costs were not included in the original calculations since the district pays all facility costs for both sets of schools being compared, regular public schools and charters (including KIPP charters). An extended explanation, plus a recalculation that includes all system-wide costs can be found here - http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/no-excuses-really-another-look-at-our-nepc-charter-spending-figures/. With that said, the limited data availability (which are also reported quite differently from district to district and state to state) make firm conclusions difficult. More such studies are clearly needed.

The success of KIPP schools is not the result of a single factor. It includes more time, parental support, dedicated teachers, and also principals who have proven themselves as effective teachers and trained to be leaders. There is too little emphasis placed on the importance of supportive and competent school leadership. Like KIPP, Finnish schools recognize that principals should be master teachers with leadership qualities.

"KIPP is very expensive..." Do you really think that there is common ground on this statement? You focus on one article written by groups on one side of the debate. Am I misunderstanding something?

Matthew, Thank you for this very informative piece on KIPP charter schools. The major criticism I've read about with KIPP charters is they weed out/counsel out kids they believe will hurt their stats. If a youngster looks as though he can't adhere to the discipline code, won't work hard academically, or is in danger of not "graduating," school officials do whatever they can to move that student out of their school.

Great stuff as usual. I agree with much. Disagree with "exceedingly strict," money/accounting (per Ken above), and a few other things. If I get some time I'll tackle on my own blog. Maybe we can bridge even a few more differences.

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