KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) will get $65 million from private donors, including the Gates Foundation, to open 42 more schools in Houston. KIPP specializes in charter middle schools in low-income, minority neighborhoods. Many KIPP schools are posting very high test scores.
On Edspresso, Ryan Boots explains why philanthropists are investing in KIPP: Results.
The one thing each donor had in common? Recognition of KIPP’s past performance. Like it or not, this is what donors are after: an assurance that their donation will produce results. And school choice critics can bash KIPP until they’re blue in the face, but KIPP has produced results that are not merely outstanding and quantifiable, but predictable. These donors clearly believe that KIPP can expand and retain its same high standards. Could they be wrong? Sure. But it’s a calculated risk they’re willing to take.
Philanthropists want to invest in success.
Update: Kevin Carey calls for the Starbucksification of school management.