Monday Morning Kipp

Monday morning I launch an investigation of alternative schools - in search of successful educational organizations that provide clear alternatives to the oppressive failure of the Democrat's public schools. I start in Lynn, Massachusetts Charter School, at KIPP Academy.
KIPP Academy Lynn is a new public middle school which opened its doors August 9, 2004. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, KIPP Lynn is serving grades five through eight. KIPP Lynn works with a population of students who have been historically underserved - 87% of our students qualify for the free or reduced meal program and many enter below grade level. Our students are 56% Hispanic, 24% African-American and 20% Caucasian.
What is interesting about KIPP is that they go into the toughest educational environments in America's most depressed urban areas and get great results with students who would otherwise fail.
Since 2001, middle school students who completed four years at KIPP increased their average math achievement level on average from the 40th to the 82nd percentile and their reading level from the 32nd to the 60th percentile -- gains not seen anywhere else.
The Democrat's schools have gotten so bad that even Democrats are beginning to acknowledge the need for change. For example, consider this remarkable editorial position from the Boston Globe today.
BOSTON'S high dropout rate and its racial, gender, and ethnic achievement gaps are strong arguments for different education approaches that have shown promise elsewhere. That is why it was encouraging when Superintendent of Schools Carol Johnson proposed single-sex schools for boys and girls in her reorganization plan. Unfortunately, two state laws banning the practice stand in the way. The Legislature should repeal them to allow Boston and other districts to see if single-sex schools can help students learn better.
What? Repeal laws that are designed to meet the needs of the unions? How could the Globe, a liberal paper owned by the New York Times, betray its union/Democratic friends just because young lives hang in the balance? That's not been motivation enough to do the right thing in the past. Elsewhere on the same editorial page, the Globe warns that research on the success of Charter Schools in Massachusetts being done by the teachers union shouldn't be trusted.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association has long been a determined foe of Commonwealth charter schools. No surprise there: The innovative charters regularly turn in impressive academic results - and they are non-unionized.
When the liberal rag starts attacking the teachers unions, that's an incredible turn of events. The Globe supports Democrats, and the unions and Democrats are partners. Could it be they have a conscience? At any rate, I'm visitin a KIPP to expand my awareness of what is working in education that will, hopefully, one day be made available to the millions of students trapped by the power game of the Democrats.
KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. There are currently 66 KIPP schools in 19 states and the District of Columbia serving over 16,000 students.
I'll issue a full report on my visit.