KIPP Moves Ahead on New Charter Schools; Students' Progress on MAP Test Gives Encouragement to Officials

Article excerpt

Byline: Topher Sanders

KIPP Jacksonville officials are pushing forward with plans to open two new elementary charter schools next year.

The decision was made after the charter group's students in KIPP Impact Middle School showed enough progress on a national test to make officials feel comfortable with expanding.

KIPP is a national network of public college preparatory charter schools that targets underprivileged students.

KIPP Impact Middle School earned an F after its first year and the lowest Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test score in Northeast Florida.

School officials pledged to the Duval County School Board in October that they wouldn't move forward with opening new schools unless their current students showed improvement. The board approved the expansion in November on the strength of that assurance.

"I am very encouraged that if our kids perform as well [on the FCAT] as they did on the MAP - we're going to be in a very good place," said Tom Majdanics, executive director for KIPP Jacksonville.

The target for school officials was to have 64 percent of its approximately 170 students reach their learning goals in reading per the Measures of Academic Progress test. …