The kids can learn

Jay Mathews’ Work Hard. Be Nice. on KIPP gets a great plug from Hugh Hewitt.

This is the story of Michael Feinberg and Dave Levin, two Ivy league graduates who signed up for Teach for America in 1990, failed miserably in their first months in the classroom, and then began a program of bringing to their desperately poor students discipline and enthusiasm, long school days, Saturday and summer school and rewards based on achievement. Nearly two decades later the KIPP –“Knowledge Is Power Program– charter school effort they began in Houston and the Bronx has spread to 66 schools in 19 states enrolling 14,000 students. . . . With every new success, KIPP proves again that many hundreds of thousands of kids who are warehoused in failing schools are perfectly capable of achieving in middle school, succeeding in high school, and graduating from college.

A perfect companion book:  Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the Charter School That Beat the Odds.

About Joanne


  1. I wonder who wrote that companion book.

    I’m too lazy to Google, or even to look at the left side of this blog.

  2. Jessica Gist says:

    Wow. I think their story is really amazing. The fact that they failed in their first attempts and didn’t give up really says a lot about their character and dedication to their students. They didn’t give up on themselves, and more importantly, they didn’t give up on their students. Their story would be great to share with struggling students. It would really send the message that determination leads to success.

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    Do these guys get a standing O at an NEA meeting?

  4. Of course they don’t get a standing O, because teachers know they succeed by gaming the system.

    They get to choose their students and get to kick out anyone they choose.

    Give me a public school where I can do that and I can produce remarkable test scores too.

  5. Dick Eagleson says:

    We eagerly await the news of Mike in Texas leading the charge to allow public schools everywhere to choose their student bodies and kick out anyone they choose.