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Journal of Public Management & Social Policy

Abstract

Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) charter schools are regarded as among the most academically successful schools serving high poverty populations. KIPP schools serve students that are more likely to be poor and from racial minorities than their peers in nearby traditional public schools. Nevertheless, it is possible that, as parents become aware of KIPP’s seemingly successful track record, the student population at KIPP might become less disadvantaged over time. Using Common Core data, we examined demographic changes in 81 KIPP schools that opened between 1995 and 2011, finding no quantitative evidence that KIPP students are growing more advantaged over time. Interviews with KIPP leaders suggest that such stability may reflect purposeful marketing aimed at attracting the most disadvantaged students, though more research is needed.

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