Los Angeles students like these are increasing their focus on a college education by participating in KIPP.
KIPP [Knowledge Is Power Program) is a nationwide charter school system that is leading the educational system with increasing the number of low-income high school students who go on to college within the United States.
Nationally, fewer than twenty percent of low-income students attend college, but more than eight-seven percent of students within KIPP Schools nationwide have gone on to college.
Within Southern California, KIPP also has charter schools. For example, KIPP Academy of Opportunity is one of five charter schools within the KIPP Los Angeles Charter Schools. KIPP LA currently serves approximately 1,300 students with two middle schools and three elementary schools in South and East Los Angeles.
There approximately 80 teachers for all five of the schools.
The school system has received praises from parents and students in regards to how its curriculum prepares its students. Administrators and parents said eveyrone at KIPP makes a commitment to help one another and to do the best they can.
“I love the teachers and how they prepare us,” KIPP Academy of Opportunity Seventh Grader Nasar Baker said. “We all act like a community and help each other.”
Baker who has attended KIPP since fifth grade said KIPP has completed changed his viewpoints on education and its importance: “Education is really important. I think KIPP’S Curriculm and teachers are the solution to the current educational system.”
In fact, according to the 2010 Academic Performance Index (API), which measures the performance of California schools based on how their students perform on the California Standards Tests (CST), KIPP LA’s middle schools were ranked among the top 20 percent of middle schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. KIPP LA Prep earned the second highest API score of all district middle schools, and each KIPP LA school outperformed all its neighboring public middle schools.
During the day, KIPP students are in school for more than nine hours a day. They also have schedule extra curricular activities. For example, Baker is apart of band and is also an ambassador for the school.
“Sometimes it’s a lot of work, but I enjoy it,” Baker said. “I feel it is really preparing for the future and things I will have to do as an adult.”
However, there even with the great benefits that KIPP might offer to those apart of the school, many still have grrat concerns over KIPP and the charter school system. For example, some are concerned about the amount of education the teachers have, the curriculum, and how the schools are financed.
Still, KIPP parents and students said regardless of what society may say, they have seen the result and the positive changes that KIPP has made in their lives.