Student Selection, Attrition, and Replacement in KIPP Middle Schools
Ira Nichols-Barrer, Christina Clark Tuttle, Brian P. Gill, and Philip Gleason
Mathematica Policy Research
The second of two reports examining the impacts of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) on the achievement and attainment of its students, researchers at the Mathematica Policy Institute consider the issue of the extent to which KIPP schools replace students who leave with new students who transfer in from other schools. If struggling students leave KIPP schools and are not replaced, as suggested by some critics, then the average achievement levels of still-enrolled students will increase, creating the potential for positive peer effects.
This report finds that KIPP schools generally admit students who are disadvantaged in ways similar to their peers in local public schools. These disadvantaged populations have high rates of educational mobility, but rates of exit from KIPP schools are no higher than rates at nearby district schools. Students exiting KIPP schools look much like students exiting other nearby schools. KIPP schools admit a substantial number of late entrants in sixth grade, but admit fewer students in seventh and eighth grades than do nearby public schools.