Oliver Willis

Study: KIPP Charter Schools Have A Leg Up

My favored way to improve American education is not from the creation of set-aside charter schools, but instead a radical rethink of all of our public schools. The problem of American education is so wide and pervasive we can’t just tinker at the edges.

The study from researchers at Western Michigan University, to be released Thursday, estimated that KIPP schools receive more than $5,000 a year per pupil through private donations in addition to regular sources of public funding. It also found that about 15 percent of KIPP students leave the schools each year as they progress from sixth to eighth grades — and that those students often are not replaced.

Gary Miron, the study’s author, said KIPP schools in Washington and elsewhere often outperform regular public schools. ‘But they’re not doing it with the same students, and they’re not doing it with the same dollars,’ he said.

KIPP officials said that the study was riddled with errors because of flaws in the data that were analyzed.

‘The questions they ask are the right ones,’ said KIPP spokesman Steve Mancini. ‘We reject their conclusions.’”