A new study of the KIPP charter schools program, darling of school reform advocates, says they “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.”.
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.
The people pushing charter schools want us to think they work miracles with the same cost per child as the public schools from which they draw their students and money.
However, this and other research over the years continues to show that, while they do improve the test scores of their students, KIPP and other high profile charter schools are not subject to the same criteria as the public schools to which they’re compared.
I wonder how Jay Mathews and other members of the KIPP cheering section will spin this latest bit of evidence.