kitchen table math, the sequel: Icahn charter schools

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Icahn charter schools

I mentioned hearing Jeffrey Litt speak at a Fordham Prep luncheon.

Peter Meyer sent me a link to a post about Litt and the Icahn charter schools at Reason:
When students leave Success Academy schools for whatever reason, the administration stops replacing them with new students after the fourth grade, so the enrollment of each class dwindles over the years. Icahn, on the other hand, replaces the kids who leave with new students from the district schools. Generally, those students have a lot of catching up to do, and they bring down Icahn’s overall scores.


And while Success has been widely criticized for often suspending students and stigmatizing low achievers, Icahn has a less punitive atmosphere. In the 2013-14 school year, 11 percent of students at the Success Academy schools were suspended at least once. At Icahn, half a percent were suspended, or a total of 10 kids among all seven schools.
After Litt's talk, I asked him how many students flunk out of the school.

The number was 0.

 He also told me they accept transfers all the way through.

I also spoke briefly with Gail Golden-Icahn, who said they had deliberately avoided media attention because they didn't want to become a target.

Here is Reason's take:
Though Ican was a runaway success, Litt’s (sic) was programmed early in his career not to antagonize the public education bureaucracy that he runs circles around. "We stay under the radar," he says. "Our culture is non-confrontational."
Litt told us he was the first principal in the country to adopt Core Knowledge, back in 1991.

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