Opinion
Early Childhood Opinion

Turbo!

By Sara Mead — July 07, 2011 1 min read

My fellow Ed Week blogger Rick Hess has a great interview this week with KIPP co-founded Mike Feinberg, in which he talks about Feinberg’s “KIPP Turbo” plan to grow the Houston KIPP network to more than 40 schools, which would serve 10% of Houston kids.

One thing that Rick and Mike don’t get into is that KIPP’s expansion plans in Houston would also ramp up KIPP network’s highly successful early childhood and early elementary programs there, including this planned early childhood and elementary lab school in collaboration with the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston. Although KIPP started out focused on middle school students, over the past several years it’s made a big shift towards a K-12 pipeline model to drive greater results for kids--as Rick and KIPP CEO Richard Barth discussed in another recent interview. What a lot of folks don’t know is that, where state policy context and funding permit, KIPP’s K-12 networks also increasingly include pre-k students--building on a model that originated at Houston’s KIPP SHINE Academy under the leadership of the exceptional Aaron Brenner. Texas is one of the states where state policy enables KIPP to obtain resources it needs for pre-k (although state budget cuts have been a challenge lately), and so KIPP schools in Houston serve pre-k kids, as do KIPP schools in D.C. and New Orleans--and more KIPP schools in other states would, too, if state policies made it possible for them to do so.

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The opinions expressed in Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.