Monday, February 11, 2008

Washington U. in St. Louis to sponsor KIPP Academy

According to Monday's edition of Student Life, Washington University in St. Louis, a private institution, will sponsor a new St. Louis-area public charter middle school, the latest KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Academy, to open in the fall of 2009.

Trina Clark James of St. Louisans United to Attract KIPP told the paper, "These kids will learn about college and get the feeling that they will go to college.... To have a partnership with one of the top universities of this country, it makes it more real for them." KIPP spokesperson Debbie Fine said, "The primary mission is to get these kids to college and to prepare them for success in college life.... The basic premise is a lot of hard work to provide a high quality education."

If the middle school is successful, KIPP hopes to add an elementary and middle school in St. Louis.

KIPP has two charter middle schools in Oklahoma: KIPP Reach College Preparatory in Oklahoma City and KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory.

As of July 1, 2007, Oklahoma's comprehensive and regional state universities are eligible to sponsor charter schools in the larger school districts in the state's two largest counties; private colleges and universities are not permitted that opportunity. (Here is the Oklahoma State Department of Education's page on charter schools, with links to the applicable legislation.)

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