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A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Excellent Education for All Hardcover – January 25, 2011
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Now in its twentieth year, with more than 8,000 members teaching across the nation and an alumni influencing educational policy and challenging public schools, Teach for America has earned a respected place in the debate on educational reform. Founder 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, including the imperative to set high expectations for children from low-income families and a commitment to organizational change. Kopp defends TFA and programs developed by its alumni from charges of cherry-picking students and against the members’ short-term commitment (two years, though 60 percent exceed that minimum) and argues passionately for transformational change that includes children across the nation, regardless of race or class. She cautions against looking for silver bullets (charter schools) or “silver scapegoats” (unmotivated students), arguing that there are no simple solutions but a collection of many multilayered answers, some combination of which will work in every school. --Vanessa Bush
“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.”
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.”
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I was hoping to find inspiration in Wendy Kopp's book but instead found...Read more