A new report shows that charter middle schools run by KIPP show "large and significant gains" in language and math skills compare to similar students in urban areas. The Knowledge is Power Program runs 48 5th through 8th grade schools in the US, mostly serving low income black and hispanic students.

I’m not surprised. KIPP has several things going for it’s schools that most public schools don’t have. The most important of these, however, is that the schools require parental involvement in their children’s education.

Parents of children attending KIPP schools are expected to support the higher academic standards, including longer days and regular homework, and the strict classroom discipline required by teachers.

Which is exactly as it should be!

Public schools could replicate the smaller classes, more rigorous curriculum, longer school day, required summer and Saturday classes, and all the other features that KIPP is using to increase student learning. But without that demand for parental involvement – without their support for the teacher in the classroom – these schools will see few of the instructional gains that KIPP seems to be achieving.