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February 13, 2017
A three-year secret relationship, three TFA marriages, and other love stories from school
This Valentine’s Day, Chalkbeat is looking at the love stories that launch in teachers’ lounges, training sessions, and after-school happy hours every year.
August 14, 2014
Memphis Teacher Residency program expands, gets statewide recognition
It’s just past 8 a.m. in the basement of Union Avenue Baptist Church in the middle of the summer. A room full of 67 young…
May 13, 2013
Kopp vows that TFA's "unstoppable force" will steer next mayor
Department of Education Senior Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg and Shipnia Bytyqi, a graduate of the high school he founded who now teaches at a charter school in the city, took the stage last week at Teach for America New York's annual gala. Teach For America used its annual New York City benefit last week to wade into the city's political debate. Praising the Bloomberg administration's education record, founder and board chair Wendy Kopp vowed that Teach For America and its supporters would fight to preserve the mayor's education legacy after he leaves office at the end of the year. "No matter who takes office," Kopp said, "we are creating an unstoppable force." The remarks reflected Teach For America's transition to playing a stronger role in public dialogue about education. Kopp suggested that the organization would not throw its support behind a single candidate. "Progress isn't a function of one leader," Kopp said. Instead, she said, the educational change Teach For America supports requires "a constellation of committed souls." The strength of that constellation was on display at the nonprofit's gala, held Wednesday at the glittering Waldorf Astoria hotel. In one night, the organization announced it raised $6.7 million, and speakers included Charlie Rose and Richard Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner and Teach For America board member who also chairs Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Education Reform Commission.
February 13, 2013
Kopp, Teach for America's founder, shifts to international role
Teach for America's founding CEO, Wendy Kopp (center), is being replaced by two top executives at the 23-year-old nonprofit. (Photo: Teach for America) Nearly 24 years after first sketching out Teach for America in her undergraduate thesis, founding CEO Wendy Kopp is stepping down from running the organization, according to a decision that its board approved on Tuesday. Kopp will instead focus on running Teach for All, the nonprofit she launched in 2007 to support organizations in other countries as they adopt the Teach for America model of recruiting and training strong teachers to work in high-need schools. Two dozen countries currently have Teach for All programs. Kopp's departure marks the start of a new phase for Teach for America, which grew from 500 teachers in 1990 to more than 10,000 in 46 regions today, including nearly a thousand in New York City, along the way jumpstarting a paradigm shift in teacher preparation. Nonprofit organizations are notorious for tending to struggle after their charismatic founders move on. But Kopp's successors have been steeped in her leadership.
February 17, 2012
Reform groups are mostly mum on coming teacher rating dump
Contrasted against each other, this week's two pieces of teacher evaluation news put some education reform groups in a tough spot. As a deadline on a teacher evaluation deal neared, the groups anxiously supported Gov. Andrew Cuomo's work to add weight to test scores for assessing teachers. But in the middle of those negotiations, a court decision on the release of the city's teacher data reports reminded the public of the pitfalls of relying too heavily on data-driven metrics. Research into the reports had revealed a wide margin of error and instability from year to year. So, for the most part, groups were mum about the legal ruling, which paves the way for a data dump of two-year-old "value-added" ratings for 12,000 city teachers. The exception was Educators 4 Excellence, an upstart advocacy group that says it has support from thousands of city teachers. Although they are usually a thorn in the side of the United Federation of Teachers because of disagreement over senior-based layoffs and teacher evaluations, the two groups struck common ground on this issue. E4E co-founder and co-CEO Evan Stone sent over an email Wednesday saying he was "disappointed" with the court's decision to let the release go forward and said he thought making the ratings public would do little to boost the issue of improving teacher quality. "While we strongly support teachers receiving quality feedback about their performance, including how much they're helping their students progress on state tests, publicizing these results on the front page of newspapers will not help improve teacher effectiveness," Stone said in a statement. Stone's comments, while not as sharply worded, echo the sentiments of UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Principals union head Ernest Logan piled on criticism of the decision as well yesterday.
January 26, 2011
Wendy Kopp may or may not want to be schools chancellor
Wendy Kopp says she doesn't want to be schools chancellor, but it's a great job. Photo courtesy of…
December 12, 2008
An adjective rises to the top of the contest pool: "idealocratic"
Score one for "idealocrats." John at Teachable Moments just used that contest entry (originally scribed by a New York City principal who asked to be anonymous) in a sentence. This gives me an opportunity to explain once again why I think this contest is important — not just a ring of fire that you should be terrified to wade into, as The New Republic's Seyward Darby sort of suggested, but a good launchpad for serious debate. For those not paying attention, the point of the contest is to find an adjective to put before "reformer" that could quickly and fairly and without bias describe a certain type of education activist. The group includes Wendy Kopp of Teach For America, Joel Klein of New York, and Michelle Rhee of D.C. It does not include another set of people who consider themselves education reformers, but object to Kopp, Klein, and Rhee's methods. And that's why it matters, because as much as the Kopps and Rhees would like to own the reformer title, and as much as the mainstream media lets them get away with that, describing only one side of the debate as reformers is neither accurate nor fair nor conducive to robust debate.
November 17, 2008
Pro-Teach For America, but anti-Wendy Kopp for Ed Secretary
From the comments section, a response to Democrats for Education Reform’s boosting of Wendy Kopp for Secretary of Education: I am an alumna…
November 13, 2008
Duncan and Kopp, but not Klein, are boosted for Obama Cabinet
Wendy Kopp, the hard-driving founder of Teach For America, and Arne Duncan, the superintendent of schools in Chicago, are being touted as top candidates for U.S. Education Secretary by an influential lobbying group that pushes for aggressive changes in American schools. Their names are included in a 34-page transition memo to President-elect Barack Obama prepared by the group, Democrats for Education Reform, and obtained by GothamSchools. New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has received support from DFER, which is based in Manhattan, but the group's memo specifically rules him out as a possible Education Secretary. The memo says Klein's aggressive efforts to improve public schools are admirable, but that they make him and the like-minded D.C. school chancellor, Michelle Rhee, a poor choice for Barack Obama's White House. "The need for them to occasionally 'break some china' in order to affect much-needed change puts them and other hard-charging reforms like them in an unlikely spot to be selected for a role like Secretary of Education (a role for which either would be well suited)," the memo says.
November 3, 2008
Contest update: Brat Pack is not the answer, but we're close!
I've been getting a lot of ideas for what to call the nameless movement personified by Jon Schnur. The good news is that I think the descriptions are getting a lot more precise. The consensus points I see emerging: This set of reformers puts a primacy on data; is obsessive about getting rid of bad teachers, and views the democratic political process as a barrier. They are also young and bratty. We are getting closer, but I do not think we are there yet. I define "there" as the moment at which you the readers have delivered me a single adjective that I can slap before "reformer" without feeling a twinge of remorse. So, please send more entries! As you brainstorm adjectives, the best of the suggestions so far, which I've compiled below and which include superstar entrants including Joel Klein and Diane Ravitch, may help.
October 30, 2008
Contest: What should we call the Schnur-like "reformers"?
While I’m on the Jon Schnur-Obama education wars subject, let me raise a problem that I have when writing about said wars: How should I…
September 24, 2008
Pay teachers more, increase accountability, say ed "mavericks"
Ninive Calegari, John Woods, Wendy Kopp, and moderator Zack Frechette. <em>Photo by Adam Auriemma for ##http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/media_events/goods_convo_series_launch_promotes_education_reform_itself_95444.asp##FishbowlNY##.</em> GOOD Magazine brought together three “mavericks” of…
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