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KIPP Philadelphia started a middle school in 2003 that promised to change students’ lives.  It was one of the city’s first “no excuses” charter schools, where administrators implemented a militaristic discipline system and promoted a laser focus on college for kids from low-income neighborhoods. They also regularly counseled students who didn’t embrace their methods to leave the school.  Now, 15 years later, we track down dozens of former students to ask: in the long run, did the school live up to its promise? How were lives affected? And how has the school’s original vision of success evolved?

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