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Jay on the Web: Mathews on KIPP Charter Schools

Jay's latest book, "Work Hard. Be Nice."chronicles a breed of charter schools called the Knowledge is Power Program, or KIPP. KIPP has had stunning success at improving the test scores of low-income students by focusing on mentoring, rigorous student standards and intense involvement by teachers.

Wednesday Journal interviewed Jay about KIPP schools. Here's an excerpt:

Why do you think KIPP's approach to education isn't used as a model for all public schools?
Most Americans, and a lot of teachers, don't believe that kids from certain backgrounds can learn at that level. The first line in the book explains that is our problem, and the more KIPP schools we have showing the results that these kids are just as smart as suburban kids, the more people will adopt this approach.
What future do you see for KIPP schools?
Limitless. I think there are two things happening. KIPP schools are going to change regular schools by growing in all these communities. And then we got people who think like KIPP teachers who are taking over school districts. So we have Michelle Reed in D.C., who is essentially KIPP-terizing the whole school district. We got the KIPP leader that started a KIPP school in Tulsa. He has now taken a job as a deputy superintendent in Tulsa. He is going to take over that district at some time. Eventually, from top to bottom, the philosophy of KIPP - more time and encouragement for learning - is going to take over.

By Washington Post Editors  | May 27, 2009; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  KIPP, charter schools  
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