Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New WWC Quick Review on "KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes, Final Report"

What is the study about? This study examined whether attending a Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) middle school improved students’ reading, math, social studies, and science achievement for up to 4 years following enrollment. The study analyzed scores on state assessments for approximately 16,000 students attending 41 KIPP middle schools in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Students were followed for 1–4 years, depending on data availability. KIPP middle school students were matched to students who had attended the same feeder school districts but subsequently attended non-KIPP middle schools.

What did the study report? The study reported that students attending KIPP middle schools scored statistically significantly higher than matched students on all of the state assessments and follow-up periods examined, including reading and math 1–4 years following enrollment (effect sizes ranging from 0.05 to 0.36), and social studies and science 3–4 years following enrollment (effect sizes of 0.25 and 0.33, respectively).

How does the WWC rate this study? The portion of the study that used a quasi-experimental design meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. The study established that KIPP and non-KIPP students were similar on measured characteristics such as baseline test scores and demographics, and controlled for baseline characteristics of students in the analysis. The study also presented results on student achievement and behavioral outcomes for a subsample of 13 schools that used a lottery to randomly assign students to attend KIPP schools. However, the WWC does not yet have enough information to determine a study rating for that portion of the study. A more thorough review (forthcoming) will determine the rating of the lottery portion of the study and report on its results.

Citation: Tuttle, C. C., Gill, B., Gleason, P., Knechtel, V., Nichols-Barrer, I., & Resch, A. (2013). KIPP middle schools: Impacts on achievement and other outcomes, final report. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.

Absence of conflict of interest: This study was conducted by staff from Mathematica Policy Research. Because Mathematica operates the WWC, this study was reviewed by staff from subcontractor organizations.

This study was identified for review by the WWC as a result of receiving significant media attention. You can find this new quick review on the WWC website.

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