GOOD

How Obama's Education Grants Hinder True Innovation

A funny thing happened on the way to education innovation, a new report reveals.


Around the time a thirst for change ushered Barack Obama into the White House, the education world was seized by a sudden realization that the structure of schooling had barely evolved in a century.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Can Andre Agassi and a Team of Investment Bankers Improve Education (and Turn a Profit)?

The tennis legend is launching a for-profit venture that hopes to leverage $750 million in assets to build 75 charter schools nationwide.

The latest investor in charter schools isn't a tech billionaire or a venture capitalist, it's tennis great Andre Agassi. He's teamed up with an investment banking group to create the Canyon‐Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, a for-profit venture that hopes to leverage $750 million in assets to fund the construction of 75 charter schools nationwide over the next few years.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

KIPP's Graduation Rate Stats Spark Charter School Debate

Data from the charter school network shows a higher college graduation rate than for students attending regular public schools.


The debate over charter school effectiveness roars on thanks to new data from national charter network, KIPP. On Thursday they released a report showing that of the 209 students who attended the first two KIPP schools in New York and Houston 10 years ago, only 33 percent have gone on to earn a college degree. The results are way below KIPP's ambitious goal of 75 percent of students graduating from college, but the national college graduation average for students from predominantly low-income black and Latino student schools is a mere 8.3 percent. And, in the general population, only 30.6 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 to 29 have earned a college degree. By comparison, KIPP's first class has done great. But, does this mean that all charter schools—or all 99 KIPP schools nationwide—are high performing, and regular public schools should be converted to charters? Not exactly.

Every charter is different, but there are some commonalities. Many have cohesive school cultures around student achievement and work to invest and motivate the entire student body around academic goals. They also usually have much longer school days—KIPP students attend from 7:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. and have mandatory Saturday classes. Charters often require that teachers be available to kids after hours. KIPP teachers are required to carry a cell phone, give the number to students, and be available till late in the evening for student and parent questions. And, most charter school teachers aren't unionized. Principals have the power to hire who they want instead of just being assigned a teacher by the school district, and they can fire a teacher immediately for any reason.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Is Jail Time the Best Way to Get Parents Involved in Education?

Extreme and less-extreme measures for getting parents to pay attention to their child's education.

\n\n\n\n

NPR's Talk of the Nation hosted a discussion on Monday about how to get more parents involved in their child's education. In 2007, according to Department of Education numbers, 20 percent of parents skipped conferences with their kids' teachers—a phenomenon that is more pronounced in low-income communities. Proposed solutions for raising the level of parental involvement in education run the gambit from making schools more "welcoming" to visiting parents to jailing parents who willfully neglect their children's education.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

You're probably aware of the fact that there's a big parliamentary election taking place today in the U.K. Education reform is a hot issue amongst the leading candidates from the Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat parties. And the Tories (the familiar name for the Conservatives) are getting their ideas from the American charter school network Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP).

According to a post on The Washington Post's The Answer Sheet blog, written by an education editor at The Times of London, 93 percent of Britain's students attend state-funded schools.
The issues may sound familiar. There are lots of worries about how to raise children’s scores in the standardized tests, how to improve literacy, whether to demand that aspiring teachers have higher qualifications and whether smaller class sizes are the answer.

The Tories' plan include the creation of independent state funded schools by teachers, parents, or any other groups. It's classic "school choice"—based on a similar system in Sweden, which has taken some criticism for segregating students with assertive parents from those whose parents don't move as quickly.

The Conservatives will also allow certain schools to institute longer school days and teach classes on Saturdays to keep their students competitive with the rest of the country. These measures, according to a piece in The Guardian, were taken directly from KIPP schools.

In a speech delivered last November
, Michael Gove, the man who would become education secretary if the Tories take over, gushed about KIPP's achievements:

Keep Reading Show less
Articles