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Marian University Joins National Effort To Improve Schools - 3/23/2012

To help improve K-12 schools, Marian University is now working with KIPP (the Knowledge is Power Program), a San Francisco headquartered, national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college. Over 95 percent of students enrolled in KIPP schools are African American or Hispanic/Latino.

KIPP is launching its inaugural KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship (KLDF), an eight-month program that introduces public school administrators from districts and charter schools to KIPP’s leadership development model. The first of the program’s three interactive summits is taking place March 20-22 in Houston, Texas.

This is the first time that a dozen or more large urban school districts have participated in a leadership institute run by a charter school network. KLDF will give participants an in-depth look at KIPP’s principal selection, training, and development model, as well as exploring other innovative leadership models around the country. The goal is not only to share KIPP’s best practices and experience, but also to encourage participating organizations to learn from each other.

The KLDF summits were made possible by the United States Department of Education, which selected the KIPP Foundation to receive a 2010 start-up grant from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund. These funds have enabled KIPP to train more leaders, accelerate the growth of the KIPP charter school network, and share effective practices with other schools and networks.

“We are excited to have participants from so many districts and charter schools for our inaugural year,” said KIPP chief executive officer Richard Barth. “This fellowship represents a unique opportunity for us at KIPP to not only share what we’ve learned over the years, but also to learn even more from our partners across the spectrum of public education.”

President Daniel J. Elsener“I am pleased and excited that Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership is participating in KLDF,” said Daniel J. Elsener, president of Marian University. “Partnering with organizations like KIPP will not only strengthen our work, but will encourage public educators everywhere to learn from each other in our quest to keep improving educational opportunities for all children.”

Since 2000, KIPP has trained over 100 school founders and school leaders to take the helm at KIPP schools across the United States. KIPP’s leadership training focuses on identifying and strengthening 14 key areas of competency, which KIPP school leaders can then rely on to help capitalize on the strengths of their staffs, identify areas for growth, effectively manage others, build relationships, and drive results in their schools.

During the March 2012 summit in Houston, KLDF participants will explore effective practices for developing a leadership pipeline of talented, skilled school leaders. The second summit will take place in June 2012, and will focus on principal training and residencies. The third summit will be in October 2012, and will cover principal support and evaluation.

Senior officials from 15 school districts are participating in KLDF. These include Boston Public Schools (Massachusetts), Fulton County Schools (Georgia), Charleston County School District (North Carolina), Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (North Carolina), Denver Public Schools (Colorado), D.C. Public Schools (District of Columbia), Houston Independent School District (Texas), Spring Branch Independent School District (Texas), Los Angeles Unified School District (California), Ascension Parish Schools (Louisiana), Tennessee Achievement School District (Tennessee), New Haven Public Schools (Connecticut), Newark Public Schools (New Jersey), West Contra Costa Unified School District (California), Chicago Public Schools (Illinois), and New York City’s Department of Education (New York).

There are also representatives from four charter management organizations participating in KLDF, including the Tennessee Charter School Incubator (Tennessee), Uplift Education (Texas), Achievement First (Connecticut), and Rocketship Education (California). We also have participants from seven educator training programs including the Arkansas Leadership Academy (Arkansas), Chicago Leadership Collaborative (Illinois), Get Smart Schools (Colorado), Southern Methodist University’s ED Entrepreneur Center/Teaching Trust (Texas), Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership (Indiana), Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education (Louisiana), and Teach For America.

About KIPP
KIPP—the Knowledge Is Power Program—is a national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. KIPP was founded in Houston in 1994, and has grown to 109 schools serving over 32,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C. Over 95 percent of students enrolled in KIPP schools are African American or Hispanic/Latino, and more than 80 percent qualify for the federal free and reduced-price meals program. To date, over 85 percent of students who have graduated from KIPP middle schools have matriculated to college. To learn more, visit