A comment by Jonathan Schorr (son of the famous Dan Schorr, who was a fearless man of the left, opposed to plutocrats and billionaires and privatizers and their schemes in foreign nations) suggests that KIPP will NOT take the challenge. Jon says that KIPP would abandon their original purpose if they accepted responsibility for an entire impoverished district. Jon says it is wrong to expect KIPP to take on a district. That would betray their “original purpose.” Which, I guess, means to help the lucky few escape from poverty.
I say, if KIPP has the secret sauce for raising the achievement of poor minority youth, then demonstrate that it works in an entire district, not just for the lucky few.
Come on. The eyes of the nation are on you.
You can do it.
Take on a low-performing district and teach us the lessons of KIPP.
Don’t be afraid.
I have faith in you.
Show your stuff.
Carol Burris, principal of a high school in Long Island, agrees. She writes:
I think that what Diane Ravitch asks is more than reasonable. If KIPPs philosophy, pedagogy, leadership, teacher training and discipline practices are what makes KIPP great, then turnaround a failing school. I am sincere. Perhaps we public school folk will learn. Perhaps our state governments will change laws so that we can implement your discipline practices at KIPP and not get called on the carpet for high suspension rates. I do not think you cherry pick students, but the students who choose to go are different in motivation and peer effects do come in to play. The comments on Schorrs blog were helpful in revealing the KIPP mindset. I do hope that KIPP will take the challenge and turnaround a school and its teachers with their training. Kids might benefit and the world would have an open window into KIPP practices.