New report is positive on KIPP middle schools

The Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) is a chain of US charter schools that aims to improve education for low-income children. A new report by Mathematica Policy Research says that the impact on student achievement in KIPP middle schools (for ages 11-14) is positive, statistically significant and educationally substantial. The report compared the progress of children in 43 KIPP middle schools with that of their former peers from elementary school.

The two groups of children were similar, although KIPP students were less likely to have received special education services or have limited proficiency in English. The estimated gains made by KIPP students over the three years were substantial, with an effect size of +0.36 for maths (equivalent to an additional 11 months learning) and +0.21 for reading (equivalent to an extra 7 months). There were few differences in student behaviour and attitude, but KIPP students did complete around 50% more homework than their peers. KIPP schools also have an extended school day (on average more than nine hours), but the study found that KIPP schools with the longest days produced less impact on achievement, perhaps because the extra time was spent on non-core academic activities.

Source: KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes Final Report (2013), Mathematica Policy Research.

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