This from Ed Week:
KIPP Study Finds High Student Attrition Amid Big Learning Gains
The final report from a three-year study of a batch of KIPP charter schools in the San Francisco Bay Area probes key issues that have sparked debate about the national network of independently run public schools, including student achievement and attrition. The independent analysis, issued Sept. 16, comes amid wide acclaim for the KIPP network, along with charges that the schools “cream” the strongest students from low-income communities.
The study concludes that the middle schools run by KIPP, which stands for the Knowledge Is Power Program, have posted “strong achievement gains,” especially in the 5th and 6th grades, and points to signs that the schools are not simply drawing better students. “Bay Area KIPP schools do not appear to have attracted higher-scoring students over time, and the three schools for which we have comparison data have attracted lower-scoring and more minority students relative to the neighborhood population,” the study says.
At the same time, the report, by SRI International, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based research institute, finds high student attrition at the KIPP schools, and notes that lower-performing students leave most often. Of the cohort of entering 5th graders at four Bay Area campuses in 2003-04, a total of 60 percent had left before the end of 8th grade, the report says...
"KIPP Student-Attrition Patterns Eyed," June 13, 2007.