Friday, May 16, 2014

Memphis Schools on Closure Lists Are Outperforming KIPP Schools

Posted earlier at Schools Matter:

A recent Diane Rehms segment dealt with the continued segregation and resegregation of American schools.  One of the guests and charter school supporter argued that segregation is not so bad: after all, look at the KIPP schools for examples of how poor urban children can have soaring scores in segregated environments. 

Predictably, the guest said nothing about the fact the KIPPs enroll fewer special education, English learners, and lowest performing students.  Nor did he mention that KIPPs lose 40-60 percent of their students between grades 5 and 8, and the majority of them are lower performers.  Nor did he talk about that the KIPPs and KIPP wannabes have 10 hour days and Saturday school twice a month.  Or that the entire KIPP organization is laser focused on test scores to the detriment of every other element of school.  Or that KIPP schools receive huge infusions of corporate cash to supplement the public funds that these segregated schools receive.  And he said nothing about KIPP's iron-fisted behavioral catechism that leaves both teachers and students exhausted and scarred.

The other ugly truth that the guest did not talk about as he celebrated KIPP's segregated "success" is the fact that, even with all those advantages, many KIPPs are underperforming the local public schools that are being shuttered to make way for more KIPPs and the KIPP knock-offs.  Memphis offers a great example of this phenomenon. 

Below are scores taken from the TN public website.  The first six schools are being closed next year to make way for more charters.  The last two are examples of KIPPs that are not living up to the multi-million dollar public relations campaign that media spokesmen uphold on national radio programs, despite the facts that demonstrate otherwise. 

School Name
2013 TN Growth Index
Corry Middle
Lanier Middle
Shannon Elementary
Riverview Elementary
Alcy Elementary
Graves Elementary
Westhaven Elementary
E. A. Harold Elementary
KIPP Memphis Middle
KIPP Memphis Collegiate


  1. I thought Alcy was saved.

  2. You are right, of course. If not for the dedication and hard work of the community, it would have been closed with the rest.