Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Charter School Effort Gets $65 Million Lift

WaPo reported The charter school movement, begun 16 years ago as an alternative to struggling public schools, will today make its strongest claim on mainstream American education when a national group announces the most successful fundraising campaign in the movement's history -- $65 million to create 42 schools in Houston.

Wonderful news, particularly for parents in Houston
The money, which comes from some of the nation's foremost donors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would make the Knowledge Is Power Program the largest charter school organization in the country. KIPP, which runs three schools in Washington, has produced some of the highest test scores among publicly funded schools in the District and has made significant gains in the math and reading achievement of low-income students in most of its 52 schools across the country.

Betsy Newmark blogged Generations of students have entered school and left, failed by our schools. Now a system has come along that helps some of those students and critics gripe that they aren't helping everyone. They would prefer to struggle along with one failed program after another while more generations of students are failed by their schools. These schools are taking their public money, adding in private donations and providing an excellent education for some kids. Yes, those kids are lucky to get there and we wish that all students could go to such schools. But until that happens, should we deny these students at the KIPP Academies their opportunities because we want to hold them hostage in the regular public schools in the hopes that their presence will help other students.

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