Giving Compass’ Take:
• Straight Talk on Evidence presents positive findings about the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), a network of charter schools that has proved to be successful and effective for student achievement.
• Straight Talk notes that if other schools were to replicate the program’s keys features, they could see results in student achievement. What could this mean for the charter school network as a whole?
• Learn why charter schools are more popular in some states than others.
Having just published two Straight Talk reports on the pattern of disappointing effects for most rigorously-evaluated programs, we focus this report on a compelling positive example of demonstrated effectiveness. The example we showcase is the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) network of charter schools.
The KIPP findings show that, in fact, some positive randomized controlled trials (RCT) findings do successfully replicate—in this case, across two well-conducted RCTs of KIPP as implemented in multiple U.S. jurisdictions, with two student samples of different ages (pre-K/elementary school and middle school). Such evidence provides strong confidence that if new jurisdictions were to implement KIPP in a similar population and similar settings—adhering, of course, to the program’s key features—they would likely see similar, meaningful gains in student achievement.
Second, the KIPP findings are an important success story for the tiered-evidence grantmaking approach of the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) and Education Innovation and Research (EIR) initiatives.
Third, the KIPP findings illustrate a general pattern in social program evaluations (which we’ve also noted in previous Straight Talk reports): Effectiveness often depends more on the specific program model that is used (KIPP) than on the general program approach (charter schools).
As a final, cautionary observation—while we can be confident that KIPP increases student achievement, we don’t yet know for certain that such gains will lead to improved longer-term life outcomes (e.g., college attendance and completion, workforce earnings, job satisfaction).
Read the full article about the success of KIPP schools Straight Talk on Evidence
Impact Philanthropy is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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