Solutions that don’t break the bank, reinvent the wheel or marginalize our teachers are within our grasp. We could have rigorous classes, safe and disciplined schools and treat teachers like valued colleagues rather than easily replaceable cogs, and we could do so tomorrow if we wanted. Disclaimer, this is an opinion and commentary site and should not be confused as a news site, and you should know that quite often people may disagree with the opinions posted herein.
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Monday, June 27, 2016
No excuses Tom Majdanics of the KIPP school sure has lots of exscuses
I will just let his own words do the talking for him: From the Times Union:
KIPP Impact Middle School, for instance, had the lowest passing rates in fifth grade math among charter schools in Jacksonville. It got many of its fifth-graders from non-KIPP schools, said Tom Majdanics, executive director of the three KIPP schools in Jacksonville.
“Because KIPP Impact students come to us in fifth grade performing significantly below grade level — and in cohorts that are well below the district average — it’s hard to come up with a meaningful comparison,” he said. “We meet our students where they are at and we really focus on whether our students make progress once they’ve come to us.”
He said KIPP eighth-graders’ performance is a sign of the school’s progress.
“After a few years at KIPP, our eighth-graders’ [English language arts] and science pass rates are higher than the district average,” he said, “and half of our eighth-graders earned high school-level algebra credit this year. That’s far above the Duval average for eighth-grade completers.”
Majdanics said the school doesn’t compare itself with Duval schools; it sets its sights on college or careers after high school.
Your first question might be, why do I even care. well the reason is this school is considered the model charter school in Jax, it's the gold standard and quite frankly when you consider the advantages it has, it spends about a third more per pupil, puts requirements on parents, has a longer school day and school year and at the end of the day its mediocre at best. heck it even has a lower percentage of free and reduced lunch kids when compared to other schools in the area.
KIPP is supposed to be one of those no excuses school but it seems to me Majdanics is both making excuses and overselling KIPPs accomplishments. Did you know they don't back fill? That means once they counsel out a poor performer a child leaves they don't replace that child, which is crazy once you consider that they say over and over what a waiting list they have.
KIPP and schools like them are not the answer. Charters are not the answer and as the Times Union piece points out, in Jacksonville they do more harm than good.