WWC review of this study

KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes. Final Report

Tuttle, Christina Clark; Gill, Brian; Gleason, Philip; Knechtel, Virginia; Nichols-Barrer, Ira; Resch, Alexandra (2013). Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED540912

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    590
     Students
    , grades
    5-6

Reviewed: January 2018



Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

Reviewed: November 2013

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

State assessment

Knowledge is Power Program vs. Business as usual

2-year follow-up

2-year follow-up;
441 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
9
 
More Outcomes

TerraNova 3: Math Survey Exams

Knowledge is Power Program vs. Business as usual

3 year follow-up

3-year follow-up;
589 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
8
 

State assessment

Knowledge is Power Program vs. Business as usual

1-year posttest

1-year posttest;
536 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
4
 
Reading achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

State assessment

Knowledge is Power Program vs. Business as usual

2-year follow-up

2-year follow-up;
441 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
4
 
More Outcomes

TerraNova 3: Reading Multiple Assessment

Knowledge is Power Program vs. Business as usual

3 year follow-up

3-year follow-up;
590 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
3
 

State assessment

Knowledge is Power Program vs. Business as usual

1-year posttest

1-year posttest;
535 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
1
 


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 10% English language learners

  • Female: 51%
    Male: 49%
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    Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas
  • Race
    Black
    66%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    30%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    70%

Setting

The experimental portion of the study was conducted in 13 KIPP schools located in California, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas. The quasi-experimental portion of the study was conducted in 41 KIPP schools located in Arkansas, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

Study sample

For the experimental portion of the study, each of 13 KIPP schools used a lottery to randomly assign students either to receive an offer to attend the KIPP school or to not receive an offer. The schools included in the analyses varied depending on the availability of outcome data, and a list of schools used in each analysis was provided by the authors after an inquiry by the WWC. Specifically, the analysis of state assessments in reading and mathematics included 725 students (260 intervention and 465 comparison) entering fifth or sixth grade who applied to attend 10 of the KIPP schools that used a lottery. The follow-up sample in these schools included 536 students (202 intervention and 334 comparison) 1 year after random assignment and 441 students (181 intervention and 260 comparison) 2 years after random assignment. The experimental portion of the study also included the administration of the TerraNova reading and mathematics assessment at 10 schools, some of which were different than the 10 schools included in the analysis of state assessments. The sample for this portion of the study included 1,016 students (431 intervention and 585 comparison) at the beginning of the study and 590 students (272 intervention and 318 comparison) at the time of the TerraNova assessment, which was administered in fall of the third follow-up year. For the quasi-experimental portion of the study, students in 41 KIPP schools that were established before or during the 2009–10 school year were matched to comparison students who had never attended a KIPP middle school. KIPP students enrolled in a KIPP school in the fifth or sixth grade, and they were matched to non-KIPP students enrolled in the same district who had similar demographic characteristics and prior achievement scores using nearest neighbor propensity score matching without replacement. Between two and 10 cohorts of students per school were included in the study, depending on data availability, and outcome data were drawn from the 2001–02 through 2010–11 school years. The study included 31,832 students in the investigation of reading and math outcomes in year one (half were KIPP students and half were non-KIPP). Students were matched once and then followed over time and across subjects. Therefore, study sample sizes in later analysis years and for science and social studies outcomes vary depending on the availability of outcome data for the originally matched sample.

Intervention Group

The intervention groups for both the experimental and quasi-experimental portions of the study attended KIPP schools, which are designed to engage students and parents in the educational process, expand the amount of time dedicated to learning, reinforce students’ social competencies and positive behaviors, and improve academic achievement. The KIPP model rests on the “Five Pillars”: (a) high expectations for academic achievement; (b) choice and commitment of students and families to college preparatory education; (c) more time spent learning, both in academic and extracurricular activities; (d) power to lead for school principals, who are given freedom in budgeting, personnel, and other decisions; and (e) focus on results by regularly assessing student learning and driving accountability.

Comparison Group

In the experimental design, 62% of students in the comparison group attended traditional public schools, 20% attended non-KIPP charter schools, 14% attended KIPP schools, and 4% attended private schools. Students in the quasi-experimental comparison group attended non-KIPP middle schools in the feeder school district.

Outcome descriptions

Both the experimental and quasi-experimental studies measured state assessments in math and reading, which are typically administered in spring of the school year. These outcomes were measured for 4 follow-up years in the quasi-experimental study and for 2 follow-up years in the experimental study. In addition, science and social studies state exams were included in the quasi-experimental study. These outcomes were measured by the latest available middle school score in each jurisdiction, which was typically eighth grade (i.e., 3 to 4 years postenrollment). The TerraNova reading and mathematics exams were administered in the experimental design only, in fall of the third follow-up year. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

The study did not provide information about implementation support; however, authors noted that staff at KIPP schools had considerable autonomy in the implementation process to set the direction of the school.

 

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