Students at Marshall, for instance, can boast that their school is the top-performing open-enrollment high school in the city, with more than 72 percent of students scoring proficient in reading and 66 percent in math on last year’s standardized test. And for five years in a row, Marshall’s graduation classes have had a 100 percent college acceptance rate, founding President Joshua Kern said recently.
Students at KIPP, a national network of more than 80 charters in 19 states and the District of Columbia, are also mostly black or Hispanic and from low-income backgrounds. And, after three years in a KIPP middle school, students showed significant academic gains when compared with their counterparts in other public schools.
For example, KIPP seventh-graders made math gains equal to an additional 1.2 years of schooling, according to a recent study of 22 D.C. KIPP schools that was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research. The study included three D.C. KIPP schools.
KIPP schools work “because we attract some of the most phenomenal teachers in America,” KIPP Chairman and CEO Richard Barth said in an interview.
“They consistently innovate and push,” he said. “The average teacher is about 30 and they have a belief system that is incredibly and tightly aligned with our mission and commitment to achieve.”