Student Characteristics and Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Christina Clark Tuttle, Bing-ru Teh, Ira Nichols-Barrer, Brian P. Gill, & Philip Gleason
This is the interim report of an ongoing (until 2014) longitudinal study of achievement in a quarter of KIPP's eighty-two schools. Though KIPP schools have been the focus of previous research (see here and here, for example), this is by far the largest and most rigorous study to date. And the results are encouraging. Using matched student achievement data from twenty-two middle schools that had been open since at least 2005-06, Mathematica analysts found statistically significant impacts on reading in fifteen of the twenty-two, and on math in eighteen. Conversely, just two schools had a significantly negative impact on reading, while one school had a significantly negative impact on math (in year 1), which actually reversed into a positive impact by year three. These positive effects are sizable, especially in math. After three years in a KIPP school, a student will have made on average 4.2 years of growth in math and 3.9 years of growth in reading. This was true even though KIPP included in its treatment group all students who were ever enrolled in a KIPP school during the study, including those who spent just one year at KIPP and subsequently left, as well as the results for two schools that lost their KIPP affiliation during the study and subsequently closed. That means these results are probably conservative in terms of students who remained enrolled at KIPP all four years of middle school because they hold KIPP accountable for students who actually were not at KIPP for the majority of their middle school years. Though KIPP surely deserves praise for these results, it should also be applauded for subjecting itself to such a rigorous assessment. Read it here.
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