Writers use poetry and prose in protest of Trump’s election

The “promise of democracy” that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about in his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech feels very distant today, but not just because of the controversial recent election, Daniel Evans Pritchard told a somber audience at a “counter-inauguration” hosted by a group that called itself Writers Resist.

“The president-elect’s role in this drama is small compared to the forces that put him where he is,” said Pritchard, an organizer of the event, to a packed auditorium in the Boston Public Library. “The forces that today, here, across the globe, we have come together to resist.”

Michelle Garcia, an 18-year-old high school senior at KIPP Academy in Lynn, deftly switched between lines that were humorous and painful, slow and quick, light and deep all at once, in her poem about being “bougie.”

The word, which means acting higher than your class, is never used for white women, she said. Only women of color, like her — and her mother.

Read more here.

Study: Massachusetts Charter Public Schools Have Lower Attrition Rates Than Sending School Districts

BOSTON Pioneer Institute Study – Data from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) show that Massachusetts charter public schools have lower attrition rates than the district schools from which their students come, according to a AttritionWhitePaper published by Pioneer Institute.
“These data disprove the false argument that the charter schools only outperform their district counterparts because charters supposedly ‘push out’ students who are less likely to perform well academically and on state tests,” said Dr. Cara Candal, author of “Attrition, Dropout and Student Mobility in District and Charter Schools: A Demographic Report.”  Read AttritionWhitePaper here.
DESE has been tracking attrition since the 2010-11 school year and finds that charter school attrition (the rate at which schools lose students from one year to the next) is dropping and approaching the statewide average. Charters would be expected to have higher attrition rates because they are disproportionately located in urban areas.
Boston charter schools have a lower overall weighted attrition rate than the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and it is also lower for 8 out of 12 grade levels.
Boston charter schools also have a lower dropout rate and higher graduation rate compared to BPS. Charters have a four-year graduation rate of 81 percent and a five-year 91 percent graduation rate. BPS’ four- and five-year graduation rate is 76 percent.
The data show that charter public schools are recruiting increasingly diverse student bodies and helping those students achieve strong outcomes.
In the wake of 2010 state legislation that requires districts to share student addresses with charter public schools and obliges charters to demonstrate efforts to recruit and retain English language learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities, charter public schools have been educating more of those students.
If the current enrollment pattern continues, Boston charter public schools are on track to serve the same percentage of ELLs as BPS. Boston charters are already approaching parity when it comes to students with disabilities, who make up 16 percent of their student population, compared to 19 percent at BPS.
A 2015 study of Boston schools by MIT researcher Elizabeth Setren found that “special needs students are overall similarly or less mobile in charters,” and that special needs students in Boston charters outperform their BPS counterparts. Setren also concluded that attrition is “unlikely” to drive the excellent results Boston charter public schools achieve.
It would be reasonable to expect that charter schools would see decreasing test scores as they educate increasing numbers of ELLs and students with disabilities, but Boston charters continue to outperform BPS.

KIPP Academy Boston Hosts Three Lottery Application Information Sessions for Prospective Families

KIPP Academy Boston will host 3 lottery application information sessions to help prospective families fill out the Boston public charter school common application (published here in 9 languages) on January 10, 19 and February 5, 2017.  Student Ambassadors will be at the information session to  give tours of KIPP for interested families.

Click here @ walk-with-kipp to learn more.

Five Teaching Fellows, Five Stories

Student’s results improve when their teacher has more than one year of experience.  Supporting our Teaching Fellows program impacts the success of our students.   Increasing teaching opportunities for Teaching Fellows, provides students with the best education possible.

Character Counts

Wamakonzi Alognon, KIPP Academy Lynn Teaching Fellow

Wamakonzi was born in Togo, Africa.  He graduated with a BA in sociology from Colby Sawyer College and is a Rugby player, with teaching experience working with children in after school programs, day camps and other outing experiences.  He came to KIPP because he wanted to give back and loves working with children.  When his middle school lead teacher went on paternity leave part way into the new year he took over the class and was very excited because of all the experience he gained.  He wants to improve as a teacher, for his students, to give them the best education possible.

Highly Skilled Teaching and Learning

Rachel Glasser, KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate  Teaching Fellow

Rachel graduated from Wake Forest University with an MA in English.  She has experience as an AmeriCorps VISTA coordinator for Youth Leadership and Education, as a Teaching Assistant in English and an after school tutor. She joined the Teaching Fellows program at KIPP because she knew she wanted to be a teacher and had a lot to learn.  She was impressed by KIPP’s innovative teaching philosophies, and passion for the well-being of students that is so evident in teachers and staff.  “Being a Teaching Fellow has been both challenging and rewarding so far.  I’ve had many opportunities to grow, have learned so much from both my department and my lead teacher, and work with a great group of students.  After this year, I plan to continue teaching!”

Safe and Structured Learning Environments

Berenice Burgos, KIPP Academy Boston Elementary Teaching Fellow

Berenice graduated with a BS in Nursing at Catholic University of Puerto Rico.  She is bilingual and active in the Roxbury community.   She came to KIPP Academy Boston because her son was picked in the lottery for Kindergarten and when she went to the first open house and asked how to volunteer, leaders asked her if she wanted to apply for a position as a Teaching Fellow.  She shares that the position has been a huge challenge because the job is a little out of her comfort zone, but it has been the best decision she has ever made. “I have learned so much, and discovered another side to myself that I never knew I had.  The people at KABE/KAB have made this experience even better.   I have an amazing lead teacher, and we have built a great relationship, where we discuss the progress/needs of our students. We both take each other’s feedback and focus on growing even more as a team, always keeping our student’s learning in mind. I would like to become a lead teacher someday.”

High Expectations

Taliana Jeune, KIPP Academy Boston Teaching Fellow

Taliana graduated from the Cambridge College School of Education with a BA in Multi-Disciplinary Studies.  She speaks English and Haitian Creole, leads dance and a vocabulary club after school.  She shares, “I was beyond excited to begin my journey at KIPP, a place that has helped me grow each day without me even realizing it. I love looking back at my accomplishments and saying “Wow! I really did all of that?” Being a Teaching Fellow is nothing short of adventurous and has begun a new chapter in my life with which comes new challenges every day.  You are able to dip your feet into so many different things during the school day and every single day you learn something new. I can definitely say I’ve grown so much as a person and as a teacher since I have joined this program.   With my experience as a Teaching Fellow, I want to become a lead teacher and hopefully a VP, Principal, or even a Dean. I feel like my options are limitless because of the preparation this program has provided for me.”

KIPP Through College and Coming Back to Teach at KIPPMA

Chyna Hope, KIPP Academy Lynn Elementary Teaching Fellow

Chyna is an alumni member of the KIPP Academy Lynn Class of 2012, KIPPMA’s first class of college graduates.  She graduated this year with a BA from the College of the Holy Cross, MA.  While at KIPP, she was an Alumni Ambassador, Intern at Multicultural Peer Educators in Lynn and captain of the Holy Cross Rhythm Nation Steppers. She shares, “After graduating college I wanted to return to KIPP to give back to the community that helped raise me.  I also wanted to serve as a leader and representative of KIPP Through College (KTC) because I persevered through KTC and want to encourage other students to persevere too.  It has been hard work being a Teaching Fellow for young Kindergarteners and first graders, but worth it knowing I’m making an impact on student’s lives.  Seeing the smiles on my student’s faces everyday motivates me to be better for them.   I would like to be an author and professor at an ivy league institution someday. “


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