KIPP Among the Nation's Top Charter School Systems

May 15, 2013

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The Edith and Ely Broad Foundation named the three finalists for the 2013 Broad Prize for Charter Public Schools: Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and Uncommon Schools. The winner of the top prize-$250,000 for college readiness efforts for their students-will be announced on July 2 at the 2013 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C.

According to the Foundation's press release:
The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is an annual award to honor the urban public charter school system that has demonstrated the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement in the nation in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for poor and minority students.

School Systems Producing Remarkable Success:

Achievement First is a network of 22 schools serving more than 7,000 students in four cities in Connecticut and New York. Nearly 80 percent of students are low-income, and 98 percent are African-American or Hispanic.

In 2012, Achievement First's students performed better than their peers in school districts with similar income demographics in Connecticut and New York in all available comparisons elementary, middle and high school reading, math and science in Connecticut, and elementary reading, math and science and middle school reading and math in New York.

KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, collegepreparatory public charter schools. There are 125 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia serving more than 41,000 students. More than 86 percent of students are from low-income families, and 95 percent are African-American or Hispanic.

In recent years, participation rates and average scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams increased simultaneously for KIPP's Hispanic students. For example, AP participation by Hispanic students increased an average 10 percentage points each year between 2009 and 2012, while Hispanic passing rates increased an average 6 percent each year

Uncommon Schools is a network of 32 public charter schools across Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, serving more than 7,900 students. More than 78 percent of students are low-income, and 98 percent are African-American or Hispanic.

In 2012, 100 percent of Uncommon Schools' high school seniors took the SAT exam and achieved an average score of 1570--20 points above the College Board's college-readiness benchmark.

"These charter systems demonstrate that success is possible for all students, regardless of socioeconomic background," said Rebecca Wolf DiBiase, managing director for programs of The Broad Foundation. "They serve as an example for all public school systems that can learn from the practices behind their student achievement results."

A nine-member review board of prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from around the country evaluated publicly available student achievement data on 27 large established urban charter school systems and found that Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and Uncommon Schools had the best overall student academic performance in recent years. The Broad Foundation did not play a role in selecting the top three charter systems.

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is the sister award to The Broad Prize for Urban Education that is awarded to traditional public school districts. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation launched both awards to help schools and school districts across American learn from innovative public school systems producing the strongest student outcomes.

*The following KIPP charter schools have been recognized as California Distinguished Schools:

  • KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy, San Francisco
  • KIPP Bridge Charter, OaklandĀ 
  • KIPP San Jose Collegiate, San Jose
  • KIPP Summit Academy, San Lorenzo
  • KIPP Academy of Opportunity, Los Angeles
  • KIPP Los Angeles College Preparatory, Los Angeles