“Sending your kid to college is the nation’s great unifying aspiration. It increases life’s choices and doubles average incomes.”– Ivy League Aspirations – Newsweek
References & Sources:
Newsweek article About KIPP Key Academy School’s “Ivy League Aspirations”
: “Schaeffler’s school for impoverished children has the highest test scores in the city. Fifty-eight of the first 62 students who completed KIPP will be going, as she promised, to college. Like other students in the class of 2009, Bernard Palmer says that emphasis on college, college, college seemed goofy to 10-year-olds who rarely heard the word at home. But Palmer, raised by his housecleaner aunt, is about to graduate from St. Albans, a selective high school more associated with lawyers’ kids. He has a good chance at his first-choice college, Duke. “KIPP taught us to work hard, and everything was possible,” he said.
The most-studied public-charter network in the country, KIPP (for Knowledge Is Power Program) has nine-hour days, required summer and Saturday sessions, music, sports, weeklong field trips, discipline and energetic teaching. But its focus on college for every child, no matter how underachieving, is probably its most noticeable feature, and the most difficult for Americans to understand. There are 66 KIPP schools in 19 states and D.C., a total of 17,000 students—81 percent low-income, 60 percent African-American and 35 percent Hispanic. It has the greatest test-score gains of any public-school network. Since most KIPP schools are for fifth to eighth graders, KIPP keeps track of its graduates in high school, too. Of the 688 students who have completed KIPP eighth grade so far, 576 have gone to college, an 84 percent matriculation rate.
Since I met Schaeffler, and then began writing a book about KIPP cofounders Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg, I often hear people say of the KIPP fixation: “College is not for everyone, you know.” They have a point. But I notice that most of the people who say this are middle-class Americans who would bridle if anyone suggested their own children would be better off in trade school.
Sending your kid to college is the nation’s great unifying aspiration. It increases life’s choices and doubles average incomes.”