Excerpts from the Report summary:
How and Why KIPP is Successful at Improving Student PerformanceSelective entry of students.
- The findings in our report show that students with disabilities and students classified as English language learners are greatly underrepresented. The relative
absence of students with disabilities and English language learners results in more
homogenous classrooms. Secondly, in both traditional public schools and KIPP schools, the
additional costs for these students—especially students with moderate or severe
disabilities—is typically not fully funded, and therefore some of the costs for regular
education is devoted to students requiring additional remediation. Because traditional public
schools have a higher proportion of students with disabilities, and a higher concentration of
students with severe and moderate disabilities, the burden of having to subsidize their
education falls more heavily on them.
- High rate of student attrition with nonreplacement. The departure of low-performing students
helps KIPP improve its aggregate results. Unlike local school districts, KIPP is not replacing
the students who are leaving. When a student returns to a traditional public school after the
autumn head count, KIPP retains most or all of the money (the amount depends on the
particular state) allocated for educating that student during that school year. Traditional
public schools do not typically benefit in the same way when they experience attrition, since
vacancies are typically filled by other mobile students, even in mid-year. The discussion of
findings at the end of this paper describe how “peer effects” play to KIPPs advantage,
especially given its practice of filling few of the large number of vacancies from students
- High levels of funding that KIPP schools receive from both public and private sources. The
additional resources KIPP receives are further compounded by the cost advantages it enjoys
based on the students it serves compared with traditional public schools. Such advantages
may be offset in part by the additional resources KIPP requires for its program’s longer
school day and longer school year. KIPP estimates that the additional costs for its expanded
hours of instruction amount to between $1,000 and $1500.
Using the federal dataset on school finance (2007-08), we were able to obtain detailed revenue
from 25 KIPP schools and their local districts.
- During the 2007-08 school year, KIPP received more per pupil in combined revenue
($12,731 per student) than any other comparison group: the national average for all schools
($11,937), the national charter average ($9,579), or the average for KIPP schools’ local
school districts ($11,960).
- KIPP received more in per-pupil revenue from federal sources ($1,779) than did any other
comparison group: the national average ($922), the national charter district average ($949),
or KIPP schools’ host districts ($1,332).
KIPP’s practices that result in selective entry and exit result in homogeneous groups of
students that mutually benefit from peers who are engaged, have supportive families, and are
willing and able to work hard in school.
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