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.

2015 Report | 2013 Report | 2010 Report | Related Publications

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.

Key Findings

  • 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.

Study Publications

Executive Summary

Full Report

Open Letter from Richard Barth, CEO KIPP Foundation

Related News

"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 

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