33% of KIPP grads earn 4-year degree

Thirty-three percent of KIPP graduates earned a bachelor’s degree 10 years after graduating from one of the charter network’s first middle schools in Houston or the Bronx, according to a KIPP report. Another 5 percent earned an associate degree and 19 percent are working toward a degree.

That’s far short of KIPP’s goal, a 75 percent four-year college graduation rate. But these low-income black and Hispanic KIPPsters are slightly more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than the average young American; the national rate is 30.6 percent. Only 8.3 percent of students from low-income families earn a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s.

Some 95 percent of KIPP’s middle-school graduates completed high school compared to a national average of 83 percent. Only 70 percent of low-income students complete high school. Eighty-nine percent of KIPPsters enroll in college, compared to 62 percent of all U.S. students and 41 percent of low-income students.

KIPP graduates have more motivated parents than typical low-income students, Jeffrey Henig, a professor of political science in education at Teachers College, Columbia told Ed Week.

However, that extra motivation didn’t translate into higher achievement before enrolling in a KIPP middle school. When students start, typically in fifth grade, they’re achieving at similar levels to students in nearby schools, but doing worse than the district average, according to Mathematica’s research.

In 2004, KIPP began to open elementary schools to keep students from falling behind and high schools to keep middle-school graduates on the college track. KIPP To College was started to provide academic, financial and personal counseling to alumni.

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Comments

  1. Doesn’t that suggest that segregation of motivated students is desirable? Until we give public schools the ability to craft their environment, all we’ve shown is what KIPP can do by focusing on motivated kids.

    And the news isn’t good, from that perspective. Motivation doesn’t get you far if you don’t have solid cognitive skills.

  2. tim-10-ber says:

    I wonder what the 4-year college graduation rates would be if they had gone to a KIPP high school.

    Yes, Cal, I agree with you…

  3. CarolineSF says:

    “However, that extra motivation didn’t translate into higher achievement before enrolling in a KIPP middle school.” Well, that’s only logical, since KIPP’s appeal would inherently be to motivated parents who weren’t satisfied with their students’ achievement.

    As for the college story, there are complexities, as usual.

    A huge factor in whether students finish college is financial. (Journalists need to have this emblazoned somewhere — it’s really a giant piece of the story — instead they often seem oblivious to the import.) Just among my personal acquaintance, I’ve seen kids from families with less college experience and information go ahead and start college without adequate financial aid and then have to drop out.

    KIPP middie schools appear to work hard to get their graduates into elite private high schools — that’s definitely the case with the KIPP schools in my area, and my understanding it that it’s true of all KIPP schools.

    I’m a huge advocate of public schools, but I did a college admissions blog for a while and I’ll definitely acknowledge the one area in which private high schools are hands-down far superior — college admissions counseling. So it would be extremely likely that kids who attended KIPP middle schools then attended elite private high schools, and extremely likely that they would have excellent college admissions (and financial aid) counseling, and thus stay in college. So when you compare KIPP alumni college completion rates to public school alumni — or the general population — the story is so incomplete as to be misleading without that piece.

    But because of the financial factor, it’s misleading to the point of being a journalistic mortal sin to cite any K-12 school as superior or inferior in any case based on whether its alumni go on to complete college.

  4. “Well, that’s only logical, since KIPP’s appeal would inherently be to motivated parents who weren’t satisfied with their students’ achievement.”

    OK, this is good. So if would-be KIPP students aren’t doing so well in traditional public schools and their parents are motivated to seek something else, how does that translate into some sort of unfair advantage (about which you are always complaining) on KIPP’s part? After all, they’re not getting the parents whose kids are already doing well (and who stay in the public school).

  5. ” it would be extremely likely that kids who attended KIPP middle schools then attended elite private high schools”

    Is there any evidence for this, or are you back to inventing convenient facts about KIPP? Given the demographic that KIPP serves, how do you suppose that any of them go to “elite” private high schools?