Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Excellent Education for All Paperback – February 28, 2012
|New from||Used from|
2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2010
An optimistic narrative about school reform from an author with an unusual perspective Kopp’s insistence on aiming high should make it required reading for all professional educators.”
More Magazine, January 2011
Kopp offers a perspective on lessons learned as she spotlights particularly effective teachers and techniques that have helped poor children from underperforming schools to exceed standards and get into college. Following profiles of teachers and schools, she offers lessons that are widely applicable.”
Time.com, January 6, 2011
The group's 20th birthday coupled with its growing network of alumni means that TFA and Kopp, who is about to publish a new book and is becoming more vocal on school reform issues, will be in the news a lot this year.”
Washington Post, February 4, 2011
Kopp's new book written with Steven Farr, A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Education for All,’ offers an intriguing summary and analysis of all she has wrought Kopp's book makes many valid if counter-intuitive points about why Teach For America makes sense.”
Education Next, February 3, 2011
The strength of A Chance to Make History’ is in documenting that genuine reform can and is taking place throughout the country. Its limitation is that by focusing on certain key individuals in what she calls Transformational Leadership,” Wendy Kopp has chosen not to delineate broader questions of culture, educational policy at both local and national levels, and systems of student and teacher evaluation without which no substantial and nation-wide system of educational reform can take place.”
Basil and Spice, February 1, 2011
When I picked up A Chance to Make History,’ I expected to read a glowing history of Teach For America. While Kopp is justly proud of the organization she founded two decades ago, her book goes beyond TFA to explore realistic solutions to the chronic problem of underperforming schools that turn out underperforming students. This exploration makes it a valuable addition to the vast amount of literature on educational reform.”
MotherJones.com, February 10, 2011
High school freshmen and veteran policy wonks alike will find A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Excellent Education for All to be accessible and engaging.”
Huffington Post, March 14, 2011
Over the last two decades, Teach For America has become an engine for bringing talent to struggling public schools, and in the process, generated a force for reform. Wendy Kopp's recent book, A Chance to Make History, makes that case powerfully.”
School Library Jounral, June 7, 2011
I'm halfway into Wendy Kopp's A Chance to Make History, and it's excellent. Every time I visit schools, I can't stop thinking about how we can do better by kids; this covers it.”
Top Customer Reviews
First, the program would provide an opportunity for a recent college graduates who had not planned to become teachers a chance to" test the waters." In an era of teacher shortages, it might have served to attract new recruits into the profession who had not considered teaching previously. Second, Kopp could have made a case for a national service committment for all college graduates. With an all volunteer military,a required term of national services could have included the Peace Corps, Americorps, Teach for America or a military option.
Instead, " A Chance to Make History" focuses on Teach for America alums who moved to educational leadership rather than classroom positions.The greatest success in my view was the KIPP Academy program created by two TFA alums, Michael Feinberg and David Levin.
However, Kopp continues to champion Michelle Rhee, another TFA alum who went on to become the controversial chancellor of DC public schools. Kopp calls her a " transformational leader." Others have labeled Rhee a union busting bully. That should not have been the intent of Teach for America.
I concur with Kopp's assessmeent that there are no "silver bullets " out there" to cure the problems of public education in America. But given the current war against the teaching profession being waged by a number of governors, Kopp would better serve the profession by convicing TFA alums to stay on the front lines in the classroom and help students. That can help make Teach for America an enduring success.
Beyond believing that absolutely all children are capable of amazing things and each one deserves an excellent education (that they're just not getting right now) - this book really brought home the many ways we all contribute to seeing this dream realized. Yes, we need exceptional teachers who will do whatever it takes - and there are many anecdotes of when this alone can change the life path for a student. We also need families, communities, school and district leaders, our elected government officials - and everyone in between. I hope my husband and family and friends are ready for me to recommend this book to them at every opportunity - because I think this is something we should all read, discuss, and take action on.
I was hoping to find inspiration in Wendy Kopp's book but instead found the entire book to be an advertisement for KIPP Charter Schools, and organization headed by the author's husband, Richard Barth. The book also functions as a propaganda tool for Wendy Kopp's "Teach for America" non-profit organization" which pays Kopp generously for her services, $265,585 in 2008 for example. Richard Barth was paid over $300,000 by KIPP the same year. So it appears the couple is not entirely driven by altruism in their pursuit of education excellence. KIPP schools are referenced and promoted hundreds of times through the book by Kopp.
Kopps' argument that KIPP schools are superior to regular public schools is correct. However, Kopp refuses to explain why and how the KIPP schools outperform regular public schools serving essentially the same communities. In her book she touts the outstanding improvements in test scores and graduation rates, but is reluctant to explain the results other than hard work, "heroic teaching", going above and beyond, and expecting greatness, etc. But a closer look reveals that KIPP schools, the kind Wendy Kopp says are superior to regular public schools, enjoy better funding, higher paid teachers, and retain superior students over time.
In truth the reason KIPP charter schools outperform regular public schools is that the teachers and the students are cherry picked through a process of attrition. A study published by Western Michigan University and jointly released by Columbia University in 2011 showed that KIPP schools receive greater amount of public funding and have higher drop out rates than do other public schools in the same communities they serve.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is well organized and very helpful for my study. especially, the price of the book is quite acceptable for any student.Published on July 19, 2013 by Dao Tran
I had to read this text for a college teaching course this past semester, it was a very nice read. Very inspiring for young teachers, and the author is able to tell her story in a... Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by Annie A
The product showed up in the condition advertised. It was in good condition with no missing pages and no damage.Published on December 26, 2012 by Natasha Brooks
It's a great perspective on what is happening nationally in education, and helps us to understand what we should strive for, which I appreicate, given that we too often accept the... Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by No excuses teacher
TFA is great, but the downside is that the teachers keep moving on. Its like term limits having little institutional history or permanent ties to a community.Published on March 10, 2012 by Tony Guarisco