From KIPP to prep school to Stanford

Does KIPP work students too hard? On Edspresso’s Faces of School Choice, Rocio Mendoza, a KIPPster who won a scholarship to Hotchkiss, an elite prep school, and then to Stanford, says KIPP’s work ethic is “the work ethic of the kids who go to Stanford and Harvard.”

That’s the mentality of people who make it in general. To say that it’s too demanding is lowering expectations. If people took a close look at our wealthier, upper-class counterparts in these private schools, they would find they’re very hardworking and come from areas with high pressure to perform. At Hotchkiss, we saw kids running around with thermoses of coffee all day long — they were very driven and compulsive about their performance. … The really influential political figures in the country come from these boarding schools in New England. KIPP gives these kids the same standards and level of excellence as future Kennedys. I don’t think those critics realize the level of work and preparation it takes for success, even beyond college and in the real world.

Mendoza will graduate next spring from Stanford with a bachelor’s degree in political science and urban studies, work for a year and then go to law school.

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  1. Well, what does it mean to work “too hard”? American students aren’t working hard enough, IMHO, and KIPP has set the standard to which our public, and, I dare say, many of the independent schools should ascribe. With Hotchkiss and similar-ranked prep schools aside, there’s a lot of mediocrity in the independent school realm.