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Doug Mann LPN, LNC

KIPP - now more than ever?

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KIPP - now more than ever?

Carla Bates writes:

"I think it would be great if MPS teachers voted to endorse KIPP and extend the school day by one hour district-wide in an acknowledgment that the vast majority of our kids just need more school.  Maybe an extra hour would let kids have an extra 15 minutes for recess at lunch so that the hours children are in school would be even more productive!"

[Doug Mann responds]

Is it possible for students to spend enough time-on-task while in school without spending more time in school?

Why not also look at other factors that the district is expected to evaluate (per mostly unenforced mandates such as provisions of the MN Desegregation Rule and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and are known to impact student performance, such as the stability of teaching staff, ability-grouping practices, etc.


No Child Left Behind and the charter school movement are really about ending public education as we know it, not saving it. For a majority of students of color, school choices have been narrowed to the worst of the public schools and charter schools. A majority of charter schools are no better than the regular public schools from which students are fleeing.

KIPP schools enjoy the financial support of charter-school friendly foundations, such as the Broad Foundation. Most charter schools are not as well capitalized and subsidized. See KIPP donors -


Compared to an average public school, the school year for KIPP middle school students is 67% longer.

"...Actions speak louder than words: we are in school from 7:25 am to 5:00 pm during the week, for four hours on Saturdays, and for an extra month during the summer. Each night, every KIPPster, big and small, is bringing home homework, as the students do 2-3 hours of homework and the teachers meticulously prepare their lessons while [they] take calls on their cells phones from students who need homework help." -
"Letter from the Superintendent" KIPP Houston, Mike Feinberg, KIPP Co-Founder

Can the KIPP model work for most students?

Is extending the school day / week / year really the most effective and efficient way to improve educational outcomes and close the learning gaps between racial groups?

I expect that a majority of students would be unwilling to spend 56 hours per week in school, plus spend another 10 to15 hours per week on homework, especially if they have access to school programs which get comparable results with half the time spent in school, and less homework.


"Are you experienced? Teachers with less than three years of experience are twice as likely to work in schools with high proportions of minority and low income students, yet students learn better under teachers with five or more years of experience."
[two sources cited] September 2004

Minnesota Public Radio, idea generator: Closing the gap, teachers

"In an analysis of 900 Texas school districts, Ronald Ferguson found that teachers’ expertise—as measured by scores on a licensing examination, masters degrees, &experience—accounted for about 40% of the measured variance in students’ reading and mathematics achievement at grades 1 through 11..."

-Nov. 1997 "Doing What matters Most: Investing in Quality Teaching," by Linda Darling-Hammond, Prepared for the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.
See "Evidence that school policies matter"


Research on ability-grouping indicates that students assigned to"high-ability" classes and in-class instructional groups spend the most time-on-task and cover the most ground. Students in the lowest-ability instructional groups spend the least time on task, and are more likely to be engaged in the least effective type of learning activities, e.g., doing worksheets, rote memorization, etc.

In the fall of 1997 I observed a reading class for 15 first grade students deemed to be the lowest-ability readers at Audubon elementary school (a Minneapolis Public School). The students were divided into 4 different instructional groups. The teacher spent an average of 12 minutes with each group. For the most part, students were not productively engaged in learning activities during the rest of the 50 minute hour. The "look-say" method of reading instruction was emphasized. Students in this "low-ability" reading class lacked the reading skills needed in other subjects, which translated to less "time on task" during the rest of the school day.

Re: Minneapolis public schools, board candidates, & the 2006 election