Monday, February 26, 2007

KIPP Proves Pre-K Is Not Best Use of Funds

The vast increase in test scores of students through KIPP programs is evidence that the child can reach his full intellectual potential without Pre-K. These colossal increases in test scores have occurred with students in 5th through 8th grade in high poverty schools with students without the benefit of Pre-K. Since the following types of improvement have been made after 5th grade in high poverty schools, then it is a myth that missing pre-K endangers the child's ability to reach his full capabilities. KIPP stands for Knowledge is Power Program.

Wouldn't it then make more sense to take the educational money we have and invest it at these later grade levels in programs such as KIPP when the child's ability is fully developed rather than in Pre-K which would have no benefit to these older students and would leave them behind forever?

"At an annual cost of 8,000 per child, according to the National education Association (2001 figures), preschool puts a massive strain on state budgets. Financing two additional grades undermines opportunities to increase salaries and hire new teachers – a grim prospect for a workforce that reports being underpaid and overworked. Trading Sippy Cups for School Desks by Darcy Olsen, Aug. 14, 01 Cato Institute http://www.cato.org/dailys/08-14-01.html

Numerous KIPP schools have published results such as the following: "Students on average are at the 28th percentile in reading and math on national standardized tests when they enter KIPP. "

"The first five KIPP schools in the country, including Schaeffler's KIPP DC: KEY Academy, show students rising to the 74th percentile by the end of eighth grade, Schaeffler's first class of D.C. students, all black and 84 percent from low-income households, had average math scores that went from the 34th percentile when the students entered fifth grade in 2001 to the 92nd percentile when they completed eighth grade last year, and were the highest in the city last year at the school, now run by Schaeffler's successor, Sarah Hayes." See this link on Washington Post for the KIPP success stories. "High Scores Fail to Clear Obstacles to KIPP Growth" by Jay Mathews http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/30/AR2006013001288.html

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