Wed January 21, 2009
The nationwide network of public charter schools known as KIPP.
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – When Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin joined Teach for America right after college and found themselves utter failures in the classroom, they vowed to remake themselves into superior educators. They did just that --- and much more. In their early twenties, by sheer force of talent and unrelenting determination, they created the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), which today consists of more than 60 schools nationwide (including one here in Tulsa). KIPP schools incorporate what Feinberg and Levin have learned from America's best, most charismatic teachers: lessons need to be lively; school days need to be longer; and the completion of homework must be sacrosanct. On this edition of StudioTulsa, we hear about these two bright, very committed young men from Jay Mathews, the education columnist for The Washington Post. Mathews has a new book, just out in paperback, concerning Feinberg and Levin and their great, wildly successful creation. The book is "Work Hard. Be Nice. How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America."