As the "stunningly successful nonprofit organization Teach for America" (New York Times) celebrates its 20th anniversary, its founder Wendy Kopp issues a passionate and inspiring summation of what she and TFA corps members have learned: that educational inequity—the achievement gap—is a solvable problem, and that the key to solving it—in a single classroom, a school, or system-wide—is leadership.
For 20 years, Teach for America has been working to end educational inequity, sending some of our nation’s most promising college graduates to teach in some of our nation’s most under-resourced communities. TFA and its corps members know from experience that the contributing causes of the achievement gap—dysfunctional inner-city and rural economies, poor healthcare, broken families, among others—are daunting. But they have also come to the exciting realization that educational inequity is a solvable problem. Highly effective teachers are achieving transformational progress in their classrooms despite the obstacles. And the skills and strategies that make them highly effective are specific and identifiable.
In this inspiring, optimistic book, TFA’s founder and president Wendy Kopp shows concretely that the achievement gap can be closed, and delineates what it will take to close it. Through stories from classrooms and schools across America, she distills the key lessons TFA has learned from the experiences of 24,000 corps members. The heroism and hard work of an individual teacher can transform a child’s life. But to transform the educational experience and opportunities of all America’s children, and to ramp up the pace of change, individual teachers should be supported by schools, school systems, and policies dedicated to nurturing, fostering, and spreading their efforts.
Wendy Kopp does a fabulous job here, laying out example after example of where and why public schools are working across America. Moreover, it turns out that there are no secrets or magic recipes to what it takes to educate our kids. This book should be required reading for every elected official in our country, every school board member, and anyone else that is searching for a solution to the education challenges we have. Solid narration.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Boring! This book was one of the most blah books I have listened to in a long time. It is just full of statistics and the same repetative words. I was hoping the book would pick-up but it never did. Yuck!
1 of 7 people found this review helpful
There are some clear lessons here, or at least some studies to back up what might seem quite obvious. I'm not sure how transferable many of the lessons are from the American to the English education system, but there are some moments of imspiration if nothing else. A worthwhile listen.