First up, "Harvard Ed School Visits KIPP":
In this one, Howard Gardner is impressed by how "engaged" the kids are. He apparently doesn't know that the kids have been specifically trained to track the teacher with their eyes and sit up straight. He also comments on the "flatness" of the class, and that there is no provision for fast or slow learners.
In the conversation with a teacher, everyone takes it for granted that "doing your homework" is the measure of a good student, without asking the basic question: what is the homework, and is it worth doing?
Next up: Harriet Ball Teaching Children. Harriet Ball was a big influence on the founders of KIPP.
In this one, the content bothers me. The whole point of the metric system is that it's founded on base 10, and the Latin prefixes (centi, milli, etc.) tell you how to put it all together. She doesn't cover that here (to be fair, maybe she taught it somewhere else.) I don't see how it's helpful to tell kids that "a milliliter is an eyedropper full." No it isn't -- a milliliter is a precise measurement.
I'm not against using raps in teaching. It could be a minimally painful way to memorize. But if you take raps as your basic teaching tool, you will be stuck teaching only the kind of factoids that fit in a rap. This is a problem with Whole Brain Teaching too. There's no room for sustained thought.