Student Characteristics and Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Christina Clark Tuttle, Bing-ru Teh, Ira Nichols-Barrer, Brian P. Gill, & Philip Gleason
June 2010 

This is the interim report of an ongoing (until 2014) longitudinal study
of achievement in a quarter of KIPP's eighty-two schools. Though KIPP
schools have been the focus of previous research (see here and here,
for example), this is by far the largest and most rigorous study to
date. And the results are encouraging. Using matched student achievement
data from twenty-two middle schools that had been open since at least
2005-06, Mathematica analysts found statistically significant impacts on
reading in fifteen of the twenty-two, and on math in eighteen.
Conversely, just two schools had a significantly negative impact on
reading, while one school had a significantly negative impact on math
(in year 1), which actually reversed into a positive impact by year
three. These positive effects are sizable, especially in math. After
three years in a KIPP school, a student will have made on average 4.2
years of growth in math and 3.9 years of growth in reading. This was
true even though KIPP included in its treatment group all students who
were ever enrolled in a KIPP school during the study, including those
who spent just one year at KIPP and subsequently left, as well as the
results for two schools that lost their KIPP affiliation during the
study and subsequently closed. That means these results are probably
conservative in terms of students who remained enrolled at KIPP all four
years of middle school because they hold KIPP accountable for students
who actually were not at KIPP for the majority of their middle school
years. Though KIPP surely deserves praise for these results, it should
also be applauded for subjecting itself to such a rigorous assessment.
Read it here.

Lauren Karch is a Program Associate at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute