On Wednesday, I recounted my visit to KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Inspire Academy, also known as KIA, in South Saint Louis. I mentioned that KIA’s executive director, Kelly Garrett, was excited about the school’s performance on the state standardized tests. I have since been able to crunch the numbers myself and the results look good.
Below I display a graph of KIA student achievement in math and communication arts. Please note, the graph has two separate figures for each subject, cohort and overall. The overall figure contains all students tested in a specific subject. The cohort figure follows one group of students as they progress through the grades. Thus it contains students in fifth grade in 2010, sixth in 2011, and seventh in 2012. I display the cohort figure because Kelly and others involved with KIPP believe students continue to grow the longer they stay with KIPP.
As it turns out, the cohort of KIA students have shown impressive growth in both math and communication arts for the past two years. As always, one must be concerned about selective attrition, where lower performing students leave the school at faster rates. Without having examined the attrition rates, I could not address that directly. Nevertheless, the test score results are improving not only for the cohort of students, but for all students.
It seems safe to say, at least from this snapshot, that KIA has a positive impact on student achievement. I hope to see these numbers grow even more in the coming year.