Skip to content
Summaries of RCT Grants

Expanding the long-term follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of KIPP charter middle schools

KIPP is a national non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools that serve thousands of predominantly low-income and minority students.

Grant Recipient: Mathematica Inc.

Principal Investigator: Ira Nichols-Barrer, Mathematica

Philip Gleason, Ph.D., Mathematica

Term: 2021 – 2023

Summary: KIPP is a national non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools that serve thousands of predominantly low-income and minority students (88% of KIPP students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and 95% are African American or Latino). KIPP’s goal is to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and character they need to succeed throughout their education and ultimately in the workforce.

A previous AV-funded analysis found that KIPP middle schools produced impacts that were meaningful in magnitude but did not reach statistical significance because the study did not have enough statistical power – i.e., a large enough sample – to detect them. Specifically, the study found that students who won a KIPP middle school admissions lottery were 6 percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college than students who lost the lottery (47% of lottery winners enrolled vs. 41% of lottery losers). The study also found a 4 percentage point increase in persistence in four-year colleges (30% of lottery winners had persisted for two years vs. 26% of lottery losers).

This grant will (i) build upon and extend the RCT of KIPP middle schools for which AV previously funded the analysis, and (ii) support a pilot effort to assess the feasibility of further extending the study to measure impacts on employment and earnings outcomes.

To address the sample size issue, this grant will extend the study's follow-up period to measure three-year college persistence for both the students included in the previous analysis (i.e., those who applied to KIPP middle schools in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years), as well as enrollment and persistence for a third cohort of students who applied to KIPP middle schools in the 2011-2012 school year. Adding this new cohort would nearly double the study’s sample size to a total of 2,034 students, substantially increasing its ability to detect meaningful impacts on college enrollment and persistence like those seen in the earlier follow-up. All impacts would be measured using administrative data from the National Student Clearinghouse.

The grant will also support a pilot effort to (i) investigate the feasibility of using administrative data to assess the impact of KIPP middle schools on employment and earnings in a future study, and (ii) determine whether it is possible to gather consent to measure workforce outcomes from a sufficient number of sample students to ultimately conduct a well-powered and valid impact analysis for these outcomes.

The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

Grants

Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

Map of the U.S. made of Arnold Ventures icons