How are New Jersey charter schools really doing? In the coming weeks, KIPP New Jersey will be posting more data and other information about the kids we serve, and how well we serve them. Some of these are in response to questions that have been raised, while others are just facts we think are interesting or telling.

One question that has been raised recently is how KIPP New Jersey public charter school boys do compared to boys in the school districts we serve. This has been asked in particular as we have expanded to Camden, with specific emphasis on how our African American boys do.

So we looked at our most important outcome – how many of our kids go to a 4-year college (ok, second most-important – most important is how many graduate from college, but districts don’t tend to track the comparison data)? And, specifically, how do our African-American boys do compared to African American boys in Camden?

Well, when we looked at actual number of kids from our high school going to a 4-year college vs. the actual number from the districts we serve who go to a 4-year college, here’s what we found:

KIPP New Jersey currently has one public charter high school: Newark Collegiate Academy. And that one school, which had just over 100 total graduates last year, sent more African American males to a 4-year college than all schools in Camden combined. (Using most recent available data. Note that these are actual numbers, not projections.)


So how does our general population do? The numbers are even more stark. Last year, our one high school sent twice as many African-American kids (of any gender) to a 4-year college than the entire Camden school district did.

Twice as many kids to a 4-year college as the whole city. From one high school.


Now, Newark is not Camden, and we don’t know how our kids will be similar or different when we have seniors in Camden. So, how do our numbers stack up against the Newark district? Well, our high shool sent more African American kids to a 4-year college than any other high school in Newark, too. By a wide margin.


(KIPP NJ numbers are hard counts, all others are inferred from NJDOE school performance reports using this methodology:
A) Record the number of 12th grade students (p.2).
B) Record the percentage of the student body that is African-American (p.2).
C) Multiply A by B to infer the number of African-American seniors.
D) Record the percentage of African American students who matriculated to college (p.9).
E) Multiply D by C to infer the number of African-American students who matriculated to college.
F) Record the percentage share of 4-year colleges (p.9)
G) Multiply F by E to infer the number of African-American students who matriculated to 4-year colleges.
There were two district schools with no reported matriculation rate - Bard and Newark Bridges. For Bard, we assumed a 4-year 100% college matriculation rate, as Bard is an 'early college' program. For Bridges, we assumed the NPS district average, which is probably generous, as Bridges was an alternative diploma program. All of the calculations can be found here.
There was no matriculation data reported for North Star in 2012-13. we used the 2011-12 enrollment rates (83% African-American college matriculation) to estimate their 2012-13 African-American matriculation. If updated data can be located for North Star, that figure will be updated.)

We’ll be releasing more data and analyses in the coming weeks. Our goal is not to contrast our work with the hard work being done by district educators, but rather to show some of the reasons why over 10,000 Newark parents have applied to have their children placed in our schools.

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