James Horn, Alternet - The Knowledge is Power Program is the largest corporate charter school chain in the U. S, with 141 schools and 50,000 students in 20 states. KIPP was launched in 1994 by David Levin and Michael Feinberg, two former Ivy Leaguers and Teach for America corps members assigned to teach in Houston, where the first KIPP school was created. Since 2000, when KIPP students performed a skit at the Republican National Convention, KIPP has become the poster school model for “no excuses” education, and today it receives hundreds of millions in donations from corporations, corporate foundations and venture philanthro-capitalists.
KIPP spends a great deal of money promoting its brand of total compliance, segregated charter schools as the “tough love, no excuses” solution for schooling in urban communities disabled by poverty and lack of hope...
KIPP requires the poorest urban children, those who have received the least in life, to earn everything at KIPP, from paychecks for good behavior and working hard to the very shirts they wear. At some KIPPs, children must even earn their right to sit at a desk (rather than on the floor) for 8 to 10 hours a day.
What would your reaction would be if your fifth-grader came home every day for the first four days of school to tell you she sat on the floor without a desk?