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Families responsible for KIPP's success

Modified: April 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm •  Published: April 5, 2013

Amen to John Brock for “KIPP-style approach needed to solve crisis” (Point of View, March 29). KIPP has truly made a life-changing difference for so many young people. And Brock listed several things that have made this happen: getting commitments from parents and their students, using proven teaching techniques, an extended school day/week/year. Its effectiveness has been unarguably proven over and over. Who wouldn't want to see that replicated everywhere?

But the flaw with Brock's proposal is that no government can legislate the main piece of this great program: parent and student commitment. That comes from the heart and requires a fierce determination to work hard and let nothing stand in the way of getting an education. Learning has to have first priority in everything a KIPP family does. And unless this unflagging desire is there, all the other pieces will ultimately turn out to be just more programs that everyone looks at and wonders why they didn't work.

I admire what KIPP students and their families are accomplishing. But their success didn't come about because of legislation. It happened because individual families took on the responsibility of investing time in their children's education and turning those young lives around. No amount of increased teacher pay or extended school hours will ever take the place of family involvement.

Pat Pierce, Midwest City