One thing I wanted to note: The Quick and the Ed's Kevin Carey, in a post about Jonathan Chait's take on the issue for the L.A. Times, takes up the KIPP myth that all its teachers work 16-hour days. Write's Carey:
Chait also repeats a point that I've seen a lot in the last week, that schools like KIPP are un-scaleable because the teachers there work "16 hours days." I remember being startled when Tough threw that assertion into his article--for the record, teachers in KIPP schools do not average 15-16 hours days, as at least one KIPP teacher notes in the comments section here. Can Mike Feinberg and David Levin please post something on the KIPP website to clear this up?
Well, the KIPP website doesn't seem to have this info handy, but Whitney Tilson, a board member for KIPP in New York City, notes in one of his legendary blast emails:
The 16-hour-day is a bit of myth. Indeed, KIPP teachers are on call 24/7 and work long hours, but no longer than consultants, investment bankers and lawyers (all of whom, unlike teachers, have to do a great deal of travel in addition to long hours), not to mention doctors and many other professions -- and I don't hear people saying investment banking isn't sustainable because of the long hours.
Like all things KIPP, these remarks are generating lots of counterpoints (teachers don't have nannies, investment bankers sometimes take uppers to get through the day, mother's shouldn't let their babies grow up to be consultants, etc.)
I'd join Carey in urging Levin and Feinberg to get some good information out there on this, since it seems to be the most consistent argument against trying a little bit harder to give kids the education they need to catch up.
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