Saturday, January 10, 2009

Charter Concerns

Ugh, I hate finding out about stuff late! But it's nice to know that I was RIGHT - even late. A 2008 study described in an Education Week article finds that KIPP schools result in teacher burnout (emphasis mine):

Annual turnover rates for the Bay Area KIPP schools ranged from 18 percent to 49 percent from 2003-04 to 2007-08, the study says.

“Teacher turnover, a result of both ambitious young teachers’ moving on and the demanding nature of the job, poses challenges for Bay Area school leaders and may have implications for the sustainability of the model,” it says.

The article doesn't give turnover rates for public schools in the same area, which I'd be interested to see. But if we go by the pseudo-statistic "half of all new teachers leave within five years," okay, bear with me, I suck - does that mean 10% a year?

Results were posted at SRI International, which added:

60 percent of students who entered fifth grade at four Bay Area KIPP schools in 2003-04 left before completing eighth grade.

It says "left," but my guess is that students who CHOOSE to leave are outnumbered by those who are disenrolled from the program. And where do they go? Public schools. If we were able to dump students who did not perform up to our high expectations, then I can guarantee we'd meet those expectations! I didn't see what the report said about students with disabilities; I don't know if that's even addressed.

Actually, I think that's why our test scores are so high - it's because our dropout rate is ALSO high. *sigh*

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