This analysis includes students and schools in multiple states and districts in the United States where KIPP charter schools operate. The study took place in 43 middle schools in the KIPP network in 20 cities across the following 12 states and the District of Columbia: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
The study used a lottery-based randomized controlled trial design, where KIPP applicants that won admission to the KIPP middle school through the lottery formed the intervention group, and those whose lottery draw led to their not being offered admission formed the comparison group. Of the 60 KIPP middle schools open in 2011–12, 16 were sufficiently oversubscribed to conduct a lottery and be included in the RCT analysis. The sample after random assignment included 891 students, with a intervention group of 459 students offered admission and a comparison group of 432 students not offered admission.
Among students in the intervention condition in the analysis sample, 53% were female, 51% were Hispanic, 44% were Black, 86% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, 51% lived in bilingual homes or homes where a language other than English was the main language, 44% had mothers with a high school education or less, and 35% were from single-parent households. Among students in the comparison condition in the analysis sample, 51% were female, 47% were Hispanic, 44% were Black, 86% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, 44% lived in bilingual homes or homes where a language other than English was the main language, 50% had mothers with a high school education or less, and 27% were from single-parent households.
Students in the intervention condition were offered admission to a KIPP middle school, and 72% of the intervention students attended a KIPP middle school.
Students in the comparison condition were not offered admission to a KIPP middle school. The majority of comparison students attended non-KIPP middle schools, though 5% attended a KIPP middle school at some point during the follow-up period.
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 (p. 22).