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But as the product of a KIPP school, Mercado is at the vanguard of a rapidly growing class of students whose success or failure could make or break the reputation of a closely watched group of charter schools and the sometimes-controversial, muscular brand of education they have pioneered.In 2015, more than 10,000 students from KIPP and other major charter-school highfliers will be on college campuses across the United States.Outside the education bubble in the broader public mind, however, these high-flying charters are much-adored, attractive young upstarts, and the antidote to the dark, dispiriting “dropout factories” of media caricature.
“Nothing is going to keep me from graduating,” she insists, adding for emphasis, “nothing.” Mercado’s story—both her struggle and her determination— will be repeated over the next several years on college campuses across the U. At one level, she’s just one more kid trying to pass biology, graduate, and make something of herself.
Like many freshmen, Mercado experienced the distraction of being on her own for the first time, which took a toll on her grades.
Holding down a job while taking more classes than she could handle didn’t help.
The Coming KIPP Bubble You can’t play the ingenue forever.
For much of its brief history, there has been something of a halo over the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP).