Don’t eat the marshmallow: Students from a ‘no excuse’ charter grow up to tell the tale

The third season of Schooled asks the questions “What does it really mean to get a good education? What is educational success?” One of the episodes featured the graduates of KIPP Middle School, a “no excuses” charter school in Philadelphia that initially used fairly extreme militaristic methods to prepare students from low- income neighborhoods exclusively for college.

Listen in here.

Journal Prompt

  • The goal of “everyone goes to college” was a high bar, and the experiences and outcomes for the first “graduating class” of KIPP Philly were mixed.
    • What was your reaction to the militaristic and punitive nature of KIPP’s approach with a segment of the population that is often told that the military is one of the few places they can succeed?
    • How much of KIPP’s approach during the 3 years they had with the students had a positive and/or long-lasting effect on the students? Do you think any school that sets a lofty long-term goal and follows up on it might have a similar effect?
    • What do you think KIPP got right for these low-income students and what did they miss in terms of giving them tools for a happy and productive life?
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