KIPP Schools Focus on Helping Disadvantaged Students

Students at several Bay Area schools that emphasize a longer school day, college preparation, and discipline, score consistently higher on standardized tests than students at comparable public schools, according to a study released today.  

The study examined five KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it was conducted by the Center for Education Policy at the well-respected research firm, SRI International, with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.  The findings announced today mark the end of the first year of a three-year independent evaluation of the five schools.

KIPP schools are free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory charter public schools for disadvantaged students that increase the amount of instructional time by at least 50 percent over public schools, and also increase the efficiency of learning during that time.  By emphasizing college preparation and a strong culture of achievement and discipline, KIPP schools expect their students to develop the knowledge, skills, and character needed to succeed in top-quality high schools, colleges, and the competitive world beyond.

SRI’s evaluation of standardized test results in these schools suggest that KIPP schools are posting gains beyond what would be expected in most subjects and grade levels, given their demographic composition.  During the 2004-2005 school year, the percentage of students at or above the 50th percentile on the SAT 10, a norm-referenced test, increased in all five schools, ranging from six percentage points in fifth-grade reading in one school to 51 percentage points in sixth-grade math in another.  California Standards Test results indicate the overall percentage of students performing at a proficient level or above is consistently higher for KIPP schools than for comparable schools in the district.

“The results of this independent, external evaluation of five Bay Area KIPP schools are encouraging,” said Marshall Smith, Director of the Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program. “The Hewlett Foundation looks forward to the next set of studies, which will tell us even more about how KIPP’s innovative model is helping students succeed.”

The five schools evaluated in the study are Bayview Academy and SF Bay Academy in San Francisco, Bridge College Preparatory in Oakland, Heartwood Academy in San Jose, and Summit Academy in San Lorenzo.  At the time of evaluation, each school was less than three years old and served more than 700 students in grades 5, 6, and 7 in 2004-2005.  On average, the schools serve 72 percent economically disadvantaged students and 75 percent African-American or Latino students.

The study, independent of both the Hewlett Foundation and KIPP, is the first to document how the national KIPP model is implemented in the Bay Area. The full report can be found at:

About SRI International
Silicon Valley-based SRI International, is one of the world’s leading independent research and technology development organizations. Founded as Stanford Research institute in 1946, SRI has been meeting the strategic needs of clients for 60 years. The nonprofit research institute performs contract research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses and private foundations.  SRI’s Center for Education Policy conducts research and evaluations on the design, implementation, and impact of K-16 educational programs, especially improvement efforts targeted at disadvantaged students.

About KIPP Schools
KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) is a network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory public schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States.  KIPP emphasizes more time in school, a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, and a strong culture of achievement.  KIPP was originally founded in 1994, and today there are 45 KIPP schools with 400 teachers serving over 9,000 students in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

About the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,, has been making grants since 1966 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world.  The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, environment, global development, performing arts, philanthropy, population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.  A full list of all the Hewlett Foundation’s grants can be found at