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Ed Knows Policy

EKP -- a local (Washington, DC) and national blog about education policy, politics, and research.

Who is Ed Researcher?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Extry, Extry, Get yer KIPP findings here

SRI just put out a study of 5 KIPP schools (Knowledge is Power Program) in the San Francisco area. It's a 90 pager, so brace yourself and your printer. Actually, you can skip right to chapter 6, which has the test score results.

Here's a quote from the executive summary:

Because the data are cross-sectional and school-level rather than
student-level, we cannot draw conclusions about the impact of KIPP schools; that
is, we cannot answer the question, Do students who attend KIPP schools perform
better than they would have had they not attended a KIPP school?

I agree that they can't answer the question, but disagree on why. It's not "because the data are cross-sectional." It's because the comparisons are not really valid. You have self-selected students in schools of choice compared to the schools that those choosers abandoned. But they go on and answer it anyway:

With these limitations in mind, standardized test score results suggest that
KIPP schools are posting gains beyond what would be expected in most subjects
and grade levels, given their demographic composition. Based on publicly
available CST data for 2 years, the percentage of students scoring proficient or
above is consistently higher for KIPP schools than for comparableschools in the
neighborhood—in a few cases dramatically so. Based on cross-sectional fall to
spring SAT 10 data, the percentage of students at or above the 50th percentile
increased in 16 of 17 cases (as defined by subject area and grade level),
ranging from an increase of six percentage points in fifth-grade reading in one
school to an increase of 51 percentage points in sixth-grade math in another

At a minimum they should have conducted an experiment, for example, by comparing test scores of kids who applied to the KIPP schools and were selected in by lottery vs. those randomized out by lottery. Not a perfect design, but still better.


Blogger Ed Researcher said...

If someone can tell me how to work this here blogger thing I'll figure out how to post quotes without the awkward line breaks. Sorry.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a hasssle and there may be an easier way than this but here is what I do:

Just select take what you want to post, paste it in a word document, select all the text, and click "clear formatting" then reformat how you want. When you paste it into blogger you'll lose the formatting again but you can just manipulate the text at that point however you want it to look. I think the block quote feature on blogger sucks so I do it by hand.

Hope this helps, good blog you have, keep it up.

11:55 AM  

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