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Mathematica Research on KIPP Schools
In 2007, KIPP commissioned independent research firm Mathematica Policy Research to conduct a multi-year study of our schools. We wanted to find out whether we were truly fulfilling our promises to students and families, and to make that information publicly known.
Mathematica’s most recent report, released in 2015, examines KIPP’s K-12 impacts as well as our middle school impacts over time, in conjunction with our federal Investing in Innovation (i3) Scale-Up Grant. The first two reports, released in 2010 and 2013, examine the impacts of KIPP middle schools.
Mathematica 2015 Report
Understanding the Impact of KIPP as it Scales
Released September 2015
In 2015, Mathematica released the report from their five-year i3 Scale-Up Grant Evaluation of KIPP schools. This is the first report ever to include KIPP schools at all K-12 levels, including elementary and high schools as well as middle schools. The report also examines KIPP’s middle school impacts over the past decade.
- KIPP elementary schools have positive, statistically significant, and educationally meaningful impacts on three of four measures of reading and mathematics skills.
- Consistent with prior research, KIPP middle schools have positive, statistically significant, and educationally meaningful impacts on student achievement in math, reading, science, and social studies. Average impacts of middle schools were positive and statistically significant throughout the 10-year period covered by the study, though higher in earlier years than recent years.
- KIPP high schools have positive, statistically significant, and educationally meaningful impacts on student achievement for high school students new to the KIPP network. For students continuing to KIPP high schools from KIPP middle schools, impacts on achievement are not statistically significant. For this group of continuing KIPP students, KIPP high schools have positive impacts on a variety of college preparation activities and the likelihood of applying to college.
- On surveys of student motivation, engagement, behavior, and educational aspirations, KIPP schools showed no significant impact. However, KIPP elementary and middle schools had positive impacts on parent satisfaction.
PublicationsDownload Executive Summary Download Full Report Download Fact Sheet
“KIPP charter school students show lasting achievement gains, study finds”
Houston Chronicle, September 2015
“Study: Nation’s largest charter school network has huge educational impact”
Washington Examiner, September 2015
Mathematica 2013 Report
KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes
Released February 2013
In 2013, Mathematica released the second report from their multi-year study of KIPP middle schools. This report looks at KIPP’s middle school impacts on student achievement and other outcomes, while also addressing prevalent myths around KIPP’s enrollment practices, attrition, and parental motivation.
- KIPP middle schools have positive and statistically significant impacts on student achievement across all years and all subject areas examined. According to a matched comparison design study, KIPP students showed gains in math, reading, science, and social studies on state assessments. This finding confirms that we have been able to maintain the quality of our middle schools as we have expanded our network.
- The magnitude of KIPP’s achievement impacts is substantial. Across all grade levels and subjects studied, KIPP’s achievement impacts are large enough to be educationally significant.
- The matched comparison design produces estimates of KIPP’s achievement impacts similar to estimates of the same impacts based on an experimental, lottery-based design. Researchers found that KIPP’s achievement gains are similar for the matched comparison design and the experimental lottery analysis–demonstrating that parental motivation cannot explain our student’s achievement gains.
- In the lottery sample, average KIPP impacts on a nationally normed test that includes items assessing higher-order thinking skills were similar to impacts on high-stakes state tests. For students in the lottery sample, gains on the national norm referenced test mimicked those on state tests.
PublicationsExecutive Summary Download Full Report
“Mathematica 2013 Study: KIPP Charter School Students Outperform Public School Peers”
Huffington Post, February 2013
“KIPP Schools Boost Academic Performance, Study Finds”
Education Week, February 2013
Mathematica 2010 Report
Student Characteristics & Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools
Released June 2010
Mathematica’s first major study on KIPP schools was released in 2010. At the time, this report was the first to apply a rigorous methodological approach to studying achievement across multiple KIPP schools.
- The vast majority of KIPP middle schools produced positive and statistically significant impacts on student achievement. Students from these schools showed gains in reading and math in all four years after they entered KIPP.
- Achievement gains at KIPP middle schools are large. Three years after entering KIPP schools, many students experience achievement gains that are approximately equivalent to an additional year of instruction—enough to substantially narrow race- and income-based achievement gaps.
- Students who enter KIPP middle schools typically have lower achievement than the average for their school districts. Compared to neighboring district schools, KIPP middle schools have student bodies characterized by higher concentrations of poverty and racial minorities, but lower concentrations of special education and limited English proficiency students.
- Most KIPP middle schools do not have higher levels of attrition than nearby district schools. When compared to other surrounding public schools, Mathematica’s researchers did not find a pattern of high attrition among the 22 KIPP schools they studied.
PublicationsExecutive Summary Download Full Report
“Study supports KIPP success; Review shows school isn’t gaming system”
Houston Chronicle, June 2010
“KIPP Middle Schools Found to Spur Learning Gains”
Education Week, June 2010