Competing for a problem school

KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), a nonprofit with an excellent track record, is taking over Denver’s worst middle school and will turn it into a charter school.

KIPP competed for the chance to create a new school, notes Lisa Snell, whose got a bunch of new posts at Education Weak.

From Ed Week:

Rival proposals for the Denver charter came from two for-profit education management organizations with experience in taking over failing schools: Edison Schools Inc. and Mosaica Education, both based in New York City. A Denver parents’ group called Padres Unidos had submitted a fourth plan proposing to replicate a locally operated charter school in Pueblo, Colo., called Cesar Chavez Academy.

Converting a consistently low-performing school to a charter is one of five options mentioned in the No Child Left Behind Act. However, this conversion was the first to result from a Colorado law calling for schools that fail to improve for three years to become charters.

KIPP will start fresh with a class of fifth graders in 2006, then add a new class every year to create a fifth-through-eighth grade school; it will seek a partner to run the existing school next year.

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  1. Steve in Broomfield says:

    With all of the money that we spend on public schooling, it is a shame that we have to now go to outside sources for solutions to help our failing school. That is the reality of the situation, however. Regardless of wether or not this school ends up “succeeding”, we will get a particular benefit from it that we have never, and will never get from public schools–accountability.

    You can bet that this school’s activities will be under a microscope. In particular, the NEA will be looking for every possible way to discredit it. That’s fine with me, because schools should be accountable for what they do. (Too bad the NEA won’t do the same with public schools.)