May 16, 2013
Leadership Critical to the Success of KIPP Public Charter Schools, say Doris Fisher and John, Her Son
[Related: Why Some Nonprofits Are Getting Bigger]
KIPP—which stands for the Knowledge Is Power Program—was founded by Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin in 1994 to prepare children in underserved communities for success in college and in life. It does so through an academic focus as well as an attention to more holistic aspects of students' development. It was an approach that greatly appealed to Donald and Doris Fisher, co-founders of the clothing retailer Gap Inc., so much so that the Fishers bet big to help bring the schools to more cities.
See a complete archive of videos featuring John Fisher and Doris Fisher.
How big? In partnership with KIPP's founders, the Fishers invested $15 million to establish the KIPP Foundation in 2000 to bring KIPP—which was then just two middle schools in Houston and New York City—to more cities by recruiting and training top-notch leaders to open more schools. Today, KIPP is one of the biggest names in public education. The schools have grown to more than 2,800 teachers at more than 125 schools across the country. Moreover, the KIPP Foundation, through its KIPP School Leadership Programs (KSLP), is responsible for the development and training of more than 250 KIPP school leaders. As for the students, who are the recipients of that attention to leadership, KIPP devotes much attention to measuring results on a number of factors such as college completion.
Says John, "We have gotten tremendous personal satisfaction and enjoyment out of [working] with KIPP."
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