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Weekly Education Column Showdown: Closing A KIPP

The weekly showdown of national education columns between the Post and the NY Times goes to the Post this week in large part because the Post column is about K12 issues and KIPP (KIPP's Mysterious Tale of Three Cities ) and also because I don't really care that much about higher education or free speech (Film Portrays Stifling of Speech, but One College’s Struggle Reflects a Nuanced Reality). Mathews explores why one KIPP school in Maryland is closing, while others have thrived. Most of the blame seems to get ascribed to the locals, of course, rather than what I suspect is also part of the problem: growing pains and rapid expansion.

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KIPP's successes have always been built on a camouflaged system of selective admissions. Selective because they screen for parent (and to some degree) student motivation, selective because they push out unsuccessful students, selective because KIPP schools are not necessarily the most welcoming places for special needs students. As they expand it gets harder to maintain the necessary control over the process.

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