A new study of the five Bay Area KIPP schools by the respected research firm SRI International confirms what we already knew: KIPP students overall perform well academically, usually outperforming their peers in other schools.
But it also confirms what those who look beyond the test scores have found: Those KIPP (two in San Francisco, one in Oakland, one in San Jose, one in San Leandro) schools suffer from very high student attrition. .
Sixty percent of the students who enter the Bay Area KIPP schools in fifth grade leave before the end of eighth grade (page ix of the study, repeated in several places throughout). And the study also confirms what some might suspect -- it's consistently the lower performers who leave:
"On average, those who leave KIPP before completing eighth grade have lower test scores on entering KIPP and demonstrate smaller fifth-grade effects than those who stay," the study reports on Page ix…
Bay Area KIPP schools
BAY AREA KIPP SCHOOLS LOSE 60% OF THEIR STUDENTS, STUDY CONFIRMS, September 17, 2008, San Francisco (CA) Education Examiner