KIPP's 2007 report card is a good way to get to know the Knowledge is Power Program, which is scheduled to open its first Ohio charter school in Columbus in August.

Here are a few samples from the report card:

  • 43 out of KIPP's 49 featured schools met Annual Yearly Progress goals.
  • National tests show a near-doubling of scores by students completing fifth through eighth grades in KIPP schools.
  • 67 percent of KIPP fifth-grade classes outperformed their local districts on state reading and English exams and 63 percent on mathematics exams. Every eighth-grade class outperformed its local districts in both reading/English and mathematics. There were similar impressive results for seventh- and eighth-grade KIPP students.
  • On Algebra I tests, 93 percent of KIPP classes outperformed local district classes.

KIPP, and its many supporters in Ohio, are committed to passing on these substantial academic results to children in Columbus. In early August, 96 fifth-graders in Columbus will pack backpacks, lace up tennis shoes, and head to the KIPP Journey Academy, which will open in the former Linden Park Elementary school building. An additional grade level will be added each year until it becomes a fifth-through-eighth-grade middle school, and it is expected that other KIPP schools will open in Columbus and elsewhere in Ohio.

Founded in 1994 by two Teach for America alumni, KIPP operates public, open-enrollment schools serving mostly African-American and Hispanic students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Since the first KIPP school opened in Houston, the program has expanded into a nationwide system of schools devoted to achieving high academic success from each of its 14,000 students.

One of the many differences between KIPP schools and traditional public schools is that students spend more time in class. Classes run daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Students also attend class every other Saturday and three weeks during the summer. Teachers can be reached in the evening by cell phone to help with homework. There's an emphasis on extracurricular activities, experiential field learning, and character development. In class, children are taught to make eye contact during the first week of school. Sitting up straight, listening, asking and answering questions, and tracking the teacher are also part of the rules. And average student attendance is 97 percent.

Read more about KIPP coming to Ohio here. Read KIPP: Report Card 2007 here.

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