WashPost Touts KIPP’s Extra Edge – Which Turns Out to Be Money and Dropouts

Published on FAIR, by by Janine Jackson, April 28, 2011.

Is the Washington Post hoping readers only read headlines? At a glance, “Study: KIPP Charter Schools Have Extra Edge” (3/31/11) would seem to be just another in the Washington Post Co.’s toutings of charter schools in general and KIPP schools in particular (Extra!, 9/10)

Readers who actually click through though, might be surprised to learn what the “edge” consists of: A study by researchers at Western Michigan University found that the KIPP network “benefits from significant private funding and student attrition.” Students receive more than $5,000 a year per pupil through private donations on top of regular sources of public funding; and the roughly 15 percent of KIPP students that leave each year are often not replaced. To the extent that these schools ‘outperform’ regular public schools, says the study’s author, “they’re not doing it with the same students, and they’re not doing it with the same dollars” … (full text).

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