Wednesday, May 31, 2006

KIPP trips

I just got off the phone with Randy Dowell head of KIPP Academy in East Nashville. To my surprise he and a group of his students were in the Smithsonian at the time!

We had a great conversation about the school and its place in the MNPS system and have agreed to meet together when they return.

Randy also told me that they are blogging the trip at

It looks like they're hitting all the usual destinations to include the Zoo, Senator Frist's office and the Senate floor, the war memorials and presidential monuments as well as the Smithsonian, the White House, cruising the Potomac and the ESPN Fun Zone.

Be safe guys. Enjoy. Soak up our heritage. See you when you get back!


Anonymous said...

What a great school! I wish every child in Nashville had this opportunity.

Anonymous said...

How many students go to this school?

Kay Brooks said...

According to their web page here they have 60 5th graders. They'll add 6th grade this next term and 7th the year after and then 8th grade after that.

Anonymous said...

They have 60 students total at the school? What size are the classes? Do they accept every child that applies? Sounds wonderful and, yes, it would be great if every child could have this opportunity. Of course, then you get into the problem in most schools...classes too large for effective teaching; teachers spending most of their time as referees, attendance clerks, truancy officers, data compilers.

By the way, Ms. Brooks, have you spoken with any of the principals of the schools in your district, besides this one, I mean? Have you spoken with any teachers? How many parents have you spoken with?

I see lots of information from you (mainly pulled from other Internet resources), but no plans of action. Would really appreciate seeing some of that from you. Think that might be possible?

Anonymous said...

If I understand correctly, no the school doesn't accept every child that applies. Unfortunately, they are limited by the school system to only accept children who currently attend a failing public school. If your child attends a marginal program, or even if they attend a great school but would personally benefit from a program like KIPP, they aren't allowed to make that choice.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea for every child to have an education like this.

"We had a great conversation about the school and its place in the MNPS system and have agreed to meet together when they return."

How is this possible? Its not, we believe in giving every child a great education. Not just giving 60 kids at a time a "quality education" which does not cut it. It appears that this would be nothing short of a magnet school if it is incorporated into the MNPS schools. How exactly does a child enroll into this school? What are the standards by which they are accepted? Is this open to EVERY child? I know that change in the MNPS system is needed. I'm just not confident that the solutions that are being thrown out there are the right ones.

Kay Brooks said...

No, this school doesn't accept every child that applies. But who gets to enroll is not entirely the schools decision.

This school is a charter school of the MNPS. I'm told these enrollment parameters were created by the BOE reading of the charter school law and the AG opinions on that law.

TCA 49-13-100 is the Charter School law enacted in 2002. Here's a snip:

49-13-106. Creation or conversion of charter schools.

(a) Public charter schools may be formed to provide quality educational options for students. The prospective student population shall be:

(1) Students who were previously enrolled in a charter school;

(2) Students who are assigned to, or were previously enrolled in, a school failing to make adequate yearly progress, as defined by the state's accountability system, giving priority to at-risk students;

(3) Students who, in the previous school year, failed to test proficient in the subjects of language arts/reading or mathematics in grades three through eight (3-8) on the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program examinations; or

(4) Students who, in the previous school year, failed to test proficient on the gateway examinations in language arts/reading or mathematics.

The Attorney General has been queried several times about the entire code. You can search the AG opinions here. I typed in 'charter school' and several popped up.

Charter school info from the folks at Ed Reform and the NEA.

Anonymous said...

Also - it should be noted that the trip to washington dc was paid for by a local company - not KIPP or Metro.