A nonprofit network of 209 college-preparatory, public charter schools that serve a predominantly low-income, minority population of students from pre-K through high school.
[Disclosure: The Laura and John Arnold Foundation and members of its board have provided funding support for KIPP schools, and the Foundation funded a supplementary analysis of the pre-K/elementary school RCT of KIPP (as described in the full evidence summary below). However, our team at the Foundation—Evidence-Based Policy—was not involved in those efforts and conducted this evidence review independently.]
KIPP is a non-profit network of 209 college-preparatory, public charter schools educating approximately 87,000 early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school students in the United States. KIPP schools serve a predominantly low-income and minority population – 88% of KIPP students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and 95% are African American or Latino. KIPP’s goal is to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and character strengths they need to succeed throughout their education and in the competitive world beyond. KIPP’s approach is based on the following five principles:
- High expectations: A culture of support and achievement and personalized learning based on a student’s needs, skills, and interests.
- Focus on character: A belief that KIPP students need both a strong academic foundation and well-developed character strengths to succeed in college and the world beyond.
- Highly effective teachers & leaders: An emphasis on empowering educators to lead school teams and investment in training to help them grow as professionals.
- Safe, structured, & nurturing environments: Schools that are safe, structured, and nurturing environments so that KIPP students thrive and maximize their learning.
- KIPP through college: Counselors that support students as they prepare for college and career, and navigate social, academic, and financial challenges while in college.
Estimates of the program’s cost per student per year range from $12,000 to $18,500, compared to about $12,000 for a traditional public school, as described here. (These are rough estimates for the 2007-8 school year.)