KIPP Summit Academy is a charter school in San Lorenzo that accepts students in grades 5 through 8.
A new study looked at KIPP Summit as one of 43 similar charter schools in 13 states. Among other things the study found that:
- its students are no different than others in their neighborhoods -- that is overwhelmingly low-achieving, low-income and nonwhite;
- the school's program helps students achieve "statistically significant" improvements in reading, math, science and social studies over and above their peers in non KIPP schools.
At the same time the analysis suggests KIPP not a panacea; students confessed to negative behaviors such as lying to parents and giving teachers a hard time.
The report was issued by Mathematica Policy Research, which is considered a nonpartisan think tank by Citizen's Source.
Charter schools are controversial. (Here's a sampling from the archives of the Los Angeles Times.)
The Mathematica report is not a global assessment of charter schools but rather a focused look at middle schools in the KIPP, or Knowledge Is Power Program.
KIPP, which started in 1994, now embraces 41,000 students at 120 schools in 20 states.
San Lorenzo's Summit Academy was one 43 KIPP middle schools included in the report. Four other KIPPs in the region were also included.
- Bridge Academy in Oakland
- Bayview Academy and Bay Academy, both in San Francisco
- Heartwood Academy in San Jose
The Mathematica report used an independent assessment to rate student performance in the educational basics before concluding that the improvements were not a result of "teaching to the test."
As far as students 'fessing up to misleading their parents, messing with teachers, and having temper tantrums researchers couldn't tell whether those self-reported misbehaviors were true negatives or just the kids to owning up to their shortcomings.
Click here for a summary of the research.
Click here for a PDF of the complete report.
Click here to read other Patch articles on our local KIPP charters.