Our History

KIPP began in 1994 with a powerful idea: to help children develop the knowledge, skills, character, and habits they need to succeed in college and build a better tomorrow for their communities.

Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin started KIPP in a Houston ISD classroom with 47 fifth-graders. As fifth-grade teachers, Mike and Dave saw the need for high-quality college-preparatory instruction, and developed the KIPP model to help meet that need. The core of KIPP’s model was the Five Pillars of High Expectations, Choice and Commitment, More Time, Power to Lead, and Focus on Results.

The following year, Mike and Dave opened two KIPP middle schools serving grades 5-8, one in Houston and one in New York City. By 1999, these original KIPP public charter schools were among the highest-performing schools in their respective communities. From these original KIPP Academies, a network of schools was founded. Today, there are 200 KIPP schools transforming the lives of 80,000 students in underserved communities. 

In Houston, there are nearly 13,500 KIPP students enrolled in 26 schools, committed to redefining the notion of what’s possible in public education.