This report describes the implementation and impact of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) in five Bay Area middle schools.
The Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), begun in 1994, now comprises a national network of almost 50 middle schools and a small but growing number of high schools and elementary schools. Under the umbrella of the KIPP Foundation, KIPP schools operate independently in low-income communities. All are public schools, and almost all are charter schools.
KIPP has attracted considerable attention in the last few years. The media laud it for the higher than expected test scores achieved, for the dramatic increase in instructional time, and for its goal of preparing students for college. At the same time, KIPP is accused of creaming the most successful students from high-poverty public schools, for using harsh disciplinary practices, and for focusing on test preparation. Neither the praise nor the criticism has been closely scrutinized.
Impressed by the publicly available achievement data, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation asked SRI International to study the achievement results and methods of operation of the five KIPP schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.