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California 2010 Scale-Up Grant Abstract


KIPP Foundation

PR Award Number:


Project Title:

Success as the Norm: Scaling-Up KIPP’s Effective Leadership Development Model

Project Director:

Jonathan Cowan

Amount of Award:


Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP1: Effective Teachers and Principals

List of Partners (with states for each):

Consortium of KIPP schools and regional organizations (AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, LA, MD, MA, MI, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, DC)

Project Website:


Description of Project:

In a nation in which fewer than 10 percent of students from low-income families earn bachelor's degrees, KIPP has developed a research-proven approach that is improving student achievement and attainment outcomes. KIPP has accomplished positive results across very diverse geographies and different student populations by developing principals who operate under a shared set of principles known as the Five Pillars, and who focus on a common mission — success in college. Investment in KIPP’s leadership development model through Success as the Norm will increase dramatically the number of highly effective principals prepared to lead schools that place high-needs urban and rural students in pre-K through high school on a path to success in college.

Success as the Norm objectives and anticipated outcomes are as follows: (1) Deepen and expand the reach of KIPP's leadership development programs to train 1,000 future principals of KIPP and non-KIPP schools and to enable at least 50 percent growth in annual KIPP school openings. (2) Support and evaluate the effectiveness of KIPP principals by enhancing elements of KIPP’s performance evaluation system, including the research-based Leadership Competency Model and Healthy Schools and Regions Framework. (3) Equip high-needs urban and rural school districts and charter management organizations with KIPP's best practices.

KIPP will employ three strategies to achieve the project objectives. Strategy 1 is to deepen and expand the pipeline of effective principals able to start and lead schools that successfully serve high-needs students. Activities within this strategy include expanding the capacity of KIPP’s principal training and significantly expanding the pool of principals-in-training by staffing the assistant principal role sooner in a school's development. Strategy 2 is to support, develop and evaluate current and aspiring principals by enhancing KIPP’s performance evaluation system. Activities in support of strategy 2 include staffing local performance evaluation support roles and refining KIPP’s performance evaluation tools. Strategy 3 is to disseminate KIPP leadership development practices to school districts and charter management organizations to enable them to deepen and expand their own principal pipelines.

By 2015, KIPP schools will directly serve 50,000 high-needs students (66,000 at full enrollment in 2018). More than 20,000 students (30,000 at full enrollment) at non-KIPP charter schools will have principals trained by KIPP. An estimated 3 million more students will benefit from the deliberate dissemination of KIPP’s best practices.

Description of Evaluation:

The program evaluation will focus on two major questions: (1) As KIPP scales up in numbers of schools and grades served, what is its impact on student achievement? (2) What do KIPP's leadership structure, training and pipeline development practices look like at the school, regional and national levels? To answer these questions, an independent evaluator will utilize randomized controlled trials (RCT), quasi-experimental design (QED), case studies and correlational analysis. The impact components (RCT and QED) will sample K-12 students at KIPP schools across the country and similar samples of students in non-KIPP schools.

Project Evaluator:

Christina Tuttle


Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

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Last Modified: 03/22/2011