Friday, March 04, 2011

Wendy Kopp's Growing Conflict of Interest

Teach for America advocates working within the system to help foster change.

Hope Moffett, the school teacher who spoke publicly against the School District's plan to convert Audenreid High School into a charter school is a Teach For America Alumni and was part of the national corps before she started at Audenreid three years ago.

Kopp said she had heard about Moffett's having been relegated to a "teacher Jail," but added that she didn't know enough to speak on her situation in particular.

But she did address the idea of speaking up against the system.

"In some cases I think that's what we need and in other cases I think maybe the best way to serve kids is to focus on our kids and in general we ask our core members to focus on ensuring their students fulfill their true potential that year and sometimes fighting the system can prove to be a distraction from that core goal," Kopp said.

"In part we've seen that you actually need to teach success in order to know what is possible and what it takes to meet the needs of kids," she added. "I'm not trying to cast a judgment one way or another. I do think at the same time we're calling upon our teachers to make their voices heard because they are the people who know what it takes."

This is a perfect illustration of how TFA and the Broad Academy are the new status quo. Kopp has to choose between her own activist alum and the Philly school district, and since she's got a (non-profit) business relationship with Philadelphia, she has to mush-mouth it. With this kind of backbone, KIPP would have just been another discarded pilot program in the Houston schools.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do not believe Kopp is siding with administration (which she seems to be doing) because of the financial relationship.

TfA has an interest in the permanent disruption of urban education in America. I believe that Kopp is siding with the unwarranted school closing, because in TfA's outlook, unwarranted closings make sense.