Sunday, May 1, 2011

Selection Bias at KIPP again

It's getting rather repetitive. Lots of people have said it, Jim Horn, for one. It seems as though the journalists aren't listening, or at least are swallowing the bait hook, line and sinker when it comes to the press releases from that grandfather of charter schools, KIPP.

Education News put out this blurb committing that journalistic sin: copy without critical thinking.
As of Fall 2010, 33 percent of students who completed 8th grade at a KIPP middle school ten or more years ago have graduated from a four-year-college. This rate is above the national average (30.6%) and four times the rate for students from low-income families.
It's never been about the money and it certainly isn't about the KIPP program. Socio-economic status is an indicator of educational success not because money is the key factor but because selection is.

What kids are likely to apply to KIPP, suffer through the selection process, stay in KIPP throughout the 8th grade, have the ability to maintain focus under pressure, put up with the incredible stresses and challenges demanded of them, and attend the mandatory summer and Saturday classes? These same traits are a damn good indicator of college success, too.

KIPP isn't the key to their success - it's merely the spotlight that shines on them, taking all the credit for their success while ruthlessly weeding out any child who isn't up to the standard, in much the same way that the average height would increase if you shot all the short people.

Education through academic eugenics.

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