kitchen table math, the sequel: special ed students at KIPP

Monday, April 12, 2010

special ed students at KIPP

Charter schools affiliated with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) are emblematic of the No Excuses approach to public education. These schools feature a long school day, an extended school year, selective teacher hiring, strict behavior norms and a focus on traditional reading and math skills. We use applicant lotteries to evaluate the impact of KIPP Academy Lynn, a KIPP charter school that is mostly Hispanic and has a high concentration of limited English proficiency (LEP) and special-need students, groups that charter critics have argued are typically under-served. The results show overall gains of 0.35 standard deviations in math and 0.12 standard deviations in reading for each year spent at KIPP Lynn. LEP students, special education students, and those with low baseline scores benefit more from time spent at KIPP than do other students, with reading gains coming almost entirely from the LEP group.

Joshua D. Angrist
Susan M. Dynarski
Thomas J. Kane
Parag A. Pathak
Christopher R. Walters
Working Paper 15740


Mr. W said...

I talked about KIPP schools awhile back. The thing that makes them different is that they can kick a student out who isn't following the contract. The parents also have to sign a contract with things like limiting TV and making sure homework is done.

I think if all schools had this type of parent involvement schools would see a big improvement across the board.

Here is my post on it;

SteveH said...

"We use applicant lotteries to evaluate the impact ..."

As Mr. W says, they can kick students out. They are also self-selected, even if there is a lottery.

Regular public schools cannot kick kids out, but are there any laws that say they can't separate kids by results or willingness to learn?

Genevieve said...

My district has several programs for children with extreme behavioral disorders. I think part of the problem is that they are not used enough.

I think the other part of the problem is that the schools in my area do not do a good job of having clear, consistent standards of behavior.

We also have a school that is only for children (8-12 grade part of the day) that score in the top 3-5% on the ITBS. Students can be kicked out if they don't keep up their grades or the behavior is unacceptable. I wish we had a similar program for students that weren't considered gifted.

LynnG said...

Public schools kick kids out. It is standard policy. They have to provide tutoring and/or pay for alternative placements, but they are quite happy to do that and bill the taxpayers for it. As the public schools struggle to show improvement in test scores, I expect to see more low performing kids shuffled off to alternative programs where their scores won't count against the sending school district.

I've looked at the expulsion and graduation rates at inner city schools, and KIPP does a better job of keeping kids in and getting them to graduation than the public schools they came from. KIPP has a lower expulsion rate than say, the Hartford public schools, where kids are expelled or encouraged to drop out at much higher rates than the charters.

SteveH said...

It seems to me that one of the big advantages to a school like a KIPP school is that the kids (and their parents) want to be there. Even though there is a lottery, it eliminates students who don't want to try. They also make it clear that if you don't try, then you will be gone to open up the slot for someone who does care.

Regular public schools can't or won't do this. They won't split kids by willingness to work hard. Maybe I'm wrong. Are there any school districts that phyically separate kids by willingness into separate schools? I'm not talking about those kids who just sit and do nothing. I'm talking about a higher level split, as with the transition to a KIPP school.

Joanne Jacobs said...

The study compared students who won the lottery to get into KIPP Lynn with students who applied but lost the lottery. To the extent that families who apply to KIPP are more motivated, there was no difference between the two groups.

The study also found that KIPP lottery winners were no more likely to leave KIPP schools than lottery losers were to leave their Lynn Public Schools placement.

Students applying to KIPP were more likely to be black or Hispanic and less likely to be Asian than other Lynn students. They were lower performers than the public school average.

Catherine Johnson said...

Mr. W - KIPP almost never kicks kids out and the parents don't do much in the way of monitoring homework, etc!

If you get a chance, you must read Jay Matthews' book.

There are also plenty kids at KIPP who don't want to be there. Their parents made them go.

Catherine Johnson said...

this type of parent involvement schools

We have HUGE parent involvement here in my $32K per pupil school district.

What that means is that the parents are reteaching content and hiring tutors.

Scores are high but a lot of the credit for that goes to parents, kids, and tutors. Not to the school.

Catherine Johnson said...

It's worth reading Doug Lemov's book just to see how schools like KIPP create motivated, on-task, non-disruptive students.

KIPP students don't show up in school behaving like KIPP students.

They are taught to behave like KIPP students.

Catherine Johnson said...

A dad in town, who is on the board of a very successful charter school in Harlem, told me the kids come into the school with major attitude, cynicism, and hostility. (I think these are Kindergarten children.)

He says it takes a few months to turn them into model students -- but they do it.

All their cynicism, attitude, and back-talk falls away and they **become** well-behaved students.

SteveH said...

Is it possible to change a regular public school into a KIPP-like one in terms of creating motivated, on-task, non-disruptive students, or is this possible only with a new school in a different location? Can you expect enough students to buy into the concept even if all of the teachers and administration buy in? It seems to me that this can only be done by making a clean break and setting up new schools.