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January 22, 2010, 04:14 PM ET

Charity Takes Leading Role in Charter-School Movement

Starting 17 years ago as an experiment that lifted 50 Houston fifth-graders' academic performance through expanded school hours, the nonprofit Knowledge Is Power Program has grown into the country's biggest charter-school provider, Bloomberg reports in a profile of the organization and its founders, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin.

KIPP, as it is known, now operates 82 schools in 19 states, primarily serving poor and minority students. The program has been cited by the Obama administration as a model for education improvement and won strong financial support from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which has been financing school-overhaul efforts.

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