The KIPP Foundation, a network serving 50,000 students in 141 schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia — and current grantee of the Office of Innovation and Improvement’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) and Investing in Innovation (i3) program — is the winner of the 2014 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. The $250,000 award, which will support college readiness efforts for KIPP students, was announced on July 1st at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ annual conference in Las Vegas.
In a press release announcing the winner, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation congratulated the KIPP Foundation for its “ability to scale and to bring an increasingly high-quality education to thousands of low-income students and students of color who otherwise might not have the opportunity.” More than 86 percent of KIPP students are eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch and 95 percent are students of color. Citing KIPP’s “no excuses” policy “when it comes to ensuring every student the opportunity to a great education,” Bruce Reed, president of The Broad Foundation, said, “KIPP Schools is providing a quality education to low-income students and students of color on a scale that naysayers of public charters thought was impossible.”
Stephen Mancini, the KIPP Foundation’s director of public affairs, said the results of KIPP’s efforts “are showing that demography doesn’t determine destiny,” and gave credit for the award to “the teachers, school leaders, and families who work hard to climb the mountain to get kids to and through college every day.”
Since 2010, the KIPP Foundation’s three grants from the CSP’s Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools program have supported the opening of 78 new schools in 16 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) and the expansion of 10 other schools in five states and D.C. The Replication and Expansion program grants support charter management organizations (CMOs) with proven records of success in increasing student academic achievement, closing achievement gaps, and achieving results for low-income and other educationally disadvantaged students. Click here for more information on the CSP’s support to the KIPP Foundation and the other Replication and Expansion program grantees since 2010.
“Every school and school system has something to learn from KIPP’s success,” according to Broad Foundation president Reed. Support from OII’s i3 program is helping a consortium of KIPP schools and regional organizations share its research-proven approach to improving student achievement and attainment outcomes with school districts and CMOs nationwide. The $50 million i3 Scale-up grant project, Success as the Norm: Scaling-Up KIPP’s Effective Leadership Development Model, is training 1,000 future principals of KIPP and non-KIPP schools, enhancing its performance evaluation system, and disseminating KIPP’s leadership development best practices to high-needs urban and rural school districts and CMOs. By 2015, the final year of the five-year project, more than three million students will benefit from the best practices dissemination.
The Broad Prize for Charter Schools, now in its third year, is determined by an independent review board comprised of education researchers, practitioners, policy leaders, and executives. The board, according to Jane Hannaway, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, looked for both strong academic results and “a charter network that has demonstrated a sustainable track record of scale, an admirable commitment to provide high-quality education for more … students over time, and evidence of continuous improvement.”
From 20 established public charter school systems considered for this year’s award, the review board’s other two top choices, Achievement First and IDEA Public Schools, are past grantees of the CSP’s Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools program. IDEA Public Schools is also an i3 Development grantee and, along with KIPP DC, received an ED Race to the Top-District grant in 2012. In a magnanimous gesture, the KIPP Foundation announced plans to share the monetary prize with the two other charter networks that were up for the prize.
Doug Herbert is a special assistant in the Office of Innovation and Improvement and editor of the OII home page.