​KIPP Releases Annual Report Card, Focuses on College Prep

TOUGH GRADERS: On June 10, the KIPP Foundation released its 2013 Report Card, evaluating its 141 charter schools according to six questions centered around effective support of students and their communities. According to the report, the majority of KIPP students, 88% of which are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, continue to outperform national peers (55% in reading, and 59% in math), and 88% of students from 2012 stayed enrolled in KIPP schools for 2013. KIPP also reports high retention rates for educators and administrators, as 74% teachers and 91% school leaders from the previous year stayed within the KIPP system.

The report card also details KIPP’s college preparedness and completion results. According to the report, 82% of students who finish 8th grade at KIPP continue on to college. And 44% of KIPP alumni have earned a bachelor’s degree.

Those KIPP college graduates should feel proud: Nationally, the four-year college completion rate for young Americans in their mid-twenties is 29% for all students and 8% for students in the lowest economic quartile. KIPP sets its sights high and has long maintained that it hopes all its students will be college-bound. Of all American students who head off to a four-year program, 59% earn their degree within six years.

With more KIPP students approaching college age, KIPP Through College (KTC) counselors have developed a system of strategies to help high school students navigate the path to college. These include encouraging students to find a “match” school, “one that aligns to a student’s academic profile and field of study, as well as their social interests,” which significantly increases his or her likelihood of graduating.

The report also emphasizes KIPP’s new professional development in light of the Common Core and its launch of new initiatives focused on literacy instruction.

Has KIPP focused on answering the right questions? How can KIPP best prepare, and support, their alumni through college and beyond? Comment below or Tweet us @edsurge, and let us know what you think!

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story suggested that most of the KIPP students who are heading to college come from only two schools. That was incorrect; they’re coming from 30 KIPP schools in 26 cities. Most of those who have already earned a four-year degree got their start in KIPP's earliest schools located in New York and Houston.

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