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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Times Union lobs softballs at the KIPP charter school.

The KIPP school is celebrating its five year anniversary and instead of asking tough questions the Times union lobbed softballs at them in a puff piece. The toughest question the Times Union asked was, how is your day going.

To be honest I think there are probably a lot of good things going on at the KIPP school but then again how couldn't there be. They spend a third more per child, have a smaller teacher student ratio, a longer school day and have been able to make sure their children  are exposed to quality arts experiences something that hasn't always happened in public schools.

Despite all these advantages their grades have been spotty; the lowest grade in Northeast Florida was followed up with a miraculous B, a grade protected D and then another B. Yo Yos aren't as up and down as them. I submit if any public school had the same advantages as them they would have received straight A grades.

Continuing, KIPP schools have a reputation of counseling out poor performers and 24 members of the first class didn't finish. Now sure kids matriculate out of schools all the time but shouldn't we know what happened to those kids before giving KIPP the key to the city or millions in tax payer dollars?

Speaking of millions of dollars that's right friends the district is about to give them millions of dollars through a charter school grant approved by the state, you know the same state that Gary Chartrand who brought KIPP to Jacksonville works for as the chair of the state board of education. Um conflict of interest much? I also think it's important to know that Chartrand has given money to five of the seven school board members.

Furthermore Broward county turned down this same grant saying they were in the business of helping public schools improve not giving more money to Charter schools. Broward which generally beats Duval on most metrics said no thank you while we said, sure we would love some money to give to charter schools. 

None of this made the Times Union article.

Like I said there are probably a lot of good things going on at KIPP but that's only a fraction of the story, and the complete story is something we get all to infrequently from the Times Union.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great example of how being worried about insider access sometimes makes your reporting worse than someone like you who's just paying some attention to what's going on around them.