When we started KIPP Academy, our first New York City school in 1995, our insistence on a longer school day was considered unorthodox. Our commitment to do “whatever it takes to learn” – a commitment signed by students, parents and teachers – was not taken seriously. And our school management philosophy – focused on accountability and entrepreneurial flexibility – was not widely embraced.
Fifteen years later, KIPP NYC’s approach to running urban schools has proven successful and cost-effective; elements of our model have been widely adopted. Most importantly, we have set 2,000 KIPPsters on a path toward self-sufficiency and life success.
These results are only a down-payment on our vision and expectations. Proving the possible requires building out K-4 programs that will give our students a powerful start. It means building out a high school that will set new standards for college readiness. And it means setting – and achieving – aggressive goals for college completion. Our objective is to graduate 75% of our students from college. We’re currently on track to hit a 50% 6-year graduation rate in the coming years; nationally, the college completion rate in low-income communities is 11%.
In five years, when our current growth plan is realized, we will serve more than 4,900 students. While expanding, we will continue to raise the bar for student achievement from kindergarten through college. And we will continue to participate in the national debate on academic and character preparation and college completion.
Ultimately, our effectiveness is not just about results and impact; it’s also about fiscal responsibility. KIPP NYC schools spend less per-pupil than the New York City Department of Education – approximately 13% less in 2009-10. As with our academic results, we see plenty of room for continued performance improvement.
KIPP NYC is a public-private partnership. Our budget is 70% publicly funded; generous private donations cover the balance of our need. That 70/30 mix means that philanthropic support for KIPP NYC is highly leveraged. And that support – your support, we hope – yields concrete, quantifiable results that we are working tirelessly to improve.
If you’d like to find out more about supporting KIPP NYC, visiting our schools or meeting some of our other benefactors, please contact us.