And of course, that’s what private schools do, too. You have to take entrance exams to get into St. Alban’s, Sidwell, Maret, Phillips Exeter, and so on.
At KIPP public charter school, they don’t have an entrance exam. But the parents have to sign up for some pretty heavy responsibilities (ones what we wish all parents could do, but we know, unfortunately, that some will not and can not. After all, if you are locked up or dead, it’s pretty hard to come to mandatory Saturday classes!) or the students will not be accepted.
In any case, today’s guest Answer Sheet column in the Washington Post (conducted by Valerie Strauss but written today by Richard Kahlenberg) shows conclusively that the way that KIPP achieves its “success” is by unloading its low-achievers as they progress through middle school. Enrollments drop, and those students are not replaced with new ones.
What’s more, KIPP once tried to take over an existing inner-city school, one in which they were not allowed to select the students. Guess what: they failed, and gave it up. It reminds me of Geoffrey Canada ‘firing’ an entire grade of students in his ‘Harlem miracle’.