Wendy Kopp, quoted by Dana Goldstein:
“If you look at the data on the aggregate level, the achievement gap has not closed at all in the last 20 years. But I’m so optimistic,” Kopp says. “We have the chance to do something completely unprecedented in this country’s history and really the whole world’s history, which is to provide kids with an education that is transformational. We really haven’t done that, not on average.”
Thats... a really strange thing to say. We have an unprecedented opportunity to do what now? Educate poor kids while keeping them poor in such a way that transforms them into successful professional adults? It hasn't been done because it is a stupid, cruel idea.
I often get exasperated with teachers who have never done anything other than teach or go to school, but I think Wendy Kopp is worse. She's only gone to school and run TFA. She apparently has no perspective, historical, international or otherwise. She's like one of Frank Murphy's kids:
Earlier, Arthur had started a conversation with me by asking, “So Mr. Murphy, what do you have planned for our eighth grade trip? Are we going somewhere like New York City?”
“Where do you want to go? Where have you been?”
“I don’t know where I want to go. I’ve never been anywhere.”
When he said he hadn’t been anywhere, he meant it. Apparently his house and Meade school are the only world he has ever known. Cindy and friends drank away their lives in her living room while Arthur played with his games alone in his bedroom. The world he lived in was indeed small.
I've made this point about TFA folks generally, and poster girl Michelle Rhee in particular. I believe that it's why they are so wed to test scores. Most of them have spent their whole lives score-grubbing. That 1600 SAT is what got them into UCLA, or the Ivy league school they went to (unless they were legacy admits, which Rhee clearly was not). That's been their validation their whole life. After working in the corporate world, you get a different perspective. I was never asked my GPA by my employer. The only profession I can think of where that is an issue is with top law firms. They certainly never asked me for my SAT scores. They gave me a very remedial test just to make sure I wasn't illiterate, and voila, I was a low-level analyst at a bank.
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