Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chinese Mothers and KIPP

The other day, I posted an article by a Chinese-American Yale Professor describing the way she brought up her kids. In it, she speaks of no play dates, hours of practice at the piano and the violin, drills and drills on homework, an endless desire to get As and harsh language when the lone B arrives on a report card.

The commenters on the WSJ site were, as might be imagined, SHOCKED that such behavior wasn't considered child abuse, that the woman was mistreating her children and that there was something terribly wrong with her parenting skills. All of those commenters would be SHOCKED if their little darlings were subject to that regimen.

It occurred to me that this is pretty much what KIPP does. Drill, drill, and more drill, extremely high demands on time, teachers driven nearly crazy in their enthusiasm for success and the need to produce, more drill, Saturday classes, no sports, summer school, more drill, and lots of test preparation.

All of those commenters would be THRILLED if there were more KIPP schools.
All of those commenters would be SHOCKED if their little darlings were subject to that regimen.


  1. nailed it. America isn't number one in education because we don't push our kids as hard as other countries. And we try to teach everyone. Other countries kick kids out for not trying or good ole corporal punishment for those that screw around in class.

  2. In fact, KIPP kicks out those kids too. If I recall correctly a CA KIPP got rid of 60% of those who began with them. Judging their results on the 40% that hung around is preposterous and outrageous. Yet Jay Matthews squeezed a book out of it, and I believe he's working on another.

  3. False. KIPP does in fact implement arts, sports, and other extra-curricular activities into its curriculum. KIPP does not kick out students either unless the student poses a danger to other students. NYC Educator, you are also misinformed. KIPP's CA schools have student attrition, yes. However, they have the same attrition rates as do surrounding public schools. Jay Matthews also wrote "Work Hard. Be Nice." partially on Mike and Dave's path to starting KIPP, their successes, failures, etc. To say that Jay Matthews "squeezed a book out of it..[preposterous and outrageous]."