KIPP Charter School Plans to Open Neighborhood Location; Local Parent Group Will Discuss on Wednesday

KIPP, a national charter school network, is planning to open a location in District 3, which includes the Upper West Side and West Harlem. It’s not yet clear where the new school would be located, and it still needs approval to open.

“We are proposing to open a KIPP NYC middle school in 2020 with a first cohort of 95 fifth grade students in NYC’s Community School District 3 (CSD 3), which will eventually grow to 365 students in grades 5 through 8 by 2023,” KIPP said in a letter that you can read here. The letter notes that District 3 has particularly segregated schools with large achievement gaps between demographic groups, problems it says it wants to help solve.

The letter went on to explain the school’s philosophy.

The school will offer the following elements:

a) students and staff that broadly reflect the district’s demographics;

b) rigorous academics, with an emphasis on critical thinking and culturally relevant pedagogy;

c) a joyful and warm school atmosphere defined by our focus on character and empathy, restorative justice practices, and a robust set of co-curricular offerings;

d) the cultivation of authentic relationships across lines of difference, celebrating the diverse identities that each student, family member, and staff member brings to our community;

e) long-term support of our students that extends well beyond 8th grade, providing mentorship and support throughout high school, college, in career, and beyond through KIPP’s nationally renowned KIPP Through College and Career program;

f) No academic or behavioral screening criteria for admission.

KIPP has been praised for helping students achieve strong test scores, but has been criticized like other charter networks for high attrition rates. The Community Education Council 3, a local parent group elected by parents of public school students, expects to discuss the proposal at a meeting on Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m. at PS 241 at 240 West 113th Street.

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 7 comments | permalink
    1. your_neighbor says:

      So which current school building do they propose to take away space from to start their school?

    2. Beth says:

      If anyone is still laboring under the assumption that the aim of charter schools is to help poor kids of color, KIPP’s audacious assault on District 3 as of late lays bare the real motives – access to public money and public facilities.

      KIPP is sly. First, they hold “community meetings” to fabricate “support” and then show up to CEC3 meetings, looking to ingratiate themselves further with District 3 parents. When they were rebuffed by CEC3, a group of parent volunteers elected by public school parents, they responded with a 12 page rebuttal.

      No one should be fooled by KIPP. They may play a fancy game, spewing out the latest buzzwords – integration, diversity – but the real goal is access to public funds and facilities, to which they clearly think they are entitled.

      As a white D3 parent, I can tell you that if the KIPP schools were any good, they would already be integrated. It is also worth noting that the KIPP President sends his children to expensive private schools. That in itself, should tell you everything.

      • Parker says:

        Although I feel that District 3 is a poor choice for a charter placement, the content of this comment is suspect. KIPP has a well deserved reputation as a non-profit for launching countless black and brown students to college completion. It’s students often graduate high school with a far higher rate of college preparedness than district counterparts. The truth is, the DOE outcomes for black and brown child are terrible, and parents want meaningful alternatives. Is District 3 the best placement? I don’t know. But the disparaging and questionable claims that Beth presents sound a lot more like scare mongering than meaningful arguments.

    3. Sherman says:

      KIPP will have “students and staff that broadly reflect the district’s demographics”

      Almost 100% of KIPP students are black and Latino.

      How does this broadly reflect the district’s demographics?

      I guess there are no whites or Asians living on the UWS.

    4. Jerome36 says:

      This is good news. D3 is in dire need of more middle school seats. It could not be any worse than computer school, which my child attended. Of course, all the liberals will be carrying the water for Teachers’ union by making it a “they are taking our space” argument. The real issue has always been the charter schools dilute the power of the Union.

      • Parker says:

        Not a partisan issue. There are many liberals, including myself, that believe that charters have a place in NYC due to the historically awful performance of the DOE.

    5. LocalMom says:

      Parents vote with their feet – if charter schools were truly worse than the local public schools, and simply resource leeches, as some commenters imply, then there would be no applicants for the charters, would there? The fact there are continually applicants to attend seems a pretty compelling case in favor of the charters — or at least a compelling case for the fact that some local schools must be doing pretty poor job with the resources a more market oriented entity should get the chance to use more wisely. The documentary Waiting for Superman brought me to tears.