The Economist, Education and Wendy Kopp
For an insightful British take on education in New York City and elsewhere, see Off to School, on Economist.com. The Economist’s education correspondent uses the occasion of chairing an education conference in New York City to also visit various schools there and in nearby Newark, NJ. There are some quotes from an interview with Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America, and a visit with a TFA alum to speak to current TFA teachers at a Bronx middle school. In Jim Collins’ recent Inc. magazine interview, he called Kopp “my entrepreneur for this decade.” He continued, “Her organization is truly an entrepreneurial creation that is out to utterly transform education. It’s taking an entrepreneurial, let’s-do-something approach to tackling a massive social problem.” Last year, I saw a dynamic presentation by Elissa Clapp, Teach for America’s Senior Vice President of Recruitment, at the Drucker Global Symposium, in Claremont, California.
The piece in Economist.com is divided into four days (so far, anyway); three for school visits and one for the conference itself. Besides the visit to the TFA teachers in the Bronx, there are also reports on the Bronx Lab, a transformed public school that is mainly run by TFA alums, and two private schools; one relatively new (Claremont Prep) and one 130 years old (Fieldston). The next day moves on to Newark, and schools operated by KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), a charter school organization started by two TFA alums. The reports from Newark and New York City paint a hopeful yet challenging picture for the future of education in the United States.