Bruce Baker looks closely at the latest Mathematica Policy Research study of KIPP and draws some useful lessons.

Mathematica says KIPP is more successful than the nearby public schools.


Baker shows that KIPP spends substantially more (in some districts, $5,000 more per student), has smaller class sizes, higher salaries, “coupled with a dose of old-fashioned sit-down-and-shut up classroom/behavior management and a truckload of standardized testing. Nothin’ too sexy there. Nothin’ that reformy. Nothin’ particularly creative.”

Matt Di Carlo estimates that it would cost the New York City Department of Education an additional $688 million to get the same results in middle schools, and only $72 million in Houston.

Di Carlo has been saying for a long time that it is not “charterness” that is so special, but what charters do that produce higher scores: spend more money, reduce class size, pay more to teachers, etc.

That is, if parents want their children to be in a no-excuses school with strict disciplinary rules and “a truckload of standardized testing.”