Synopses & Reviews
As "the stunningly successful nonprofit organization, Teach For America" (New York Times)
celebrates its 20th anniversary, its founder Wendy Kopp issues a passionate and inspiring summation of what she and TFA corps members have learned: that educational inequity--the achievement gap--is a solvable problem, and that the key to solving it--in a single classroom, a school, or system-wide--is leadership.
For twenty years, Teach for America has been working to end educational inequity, sending some of our nation's most promising college graduates to teach in some of our nation's most under-resourced communities. TFA and its corps members know from experience that the contributing causes of the achievement gap--dysfunctional inner-city and rural economies, poor healthcare, broken families, among others--are daunting. But they have also come to the exciting realization that educational inequity is a solvable problem. Highly effective teachers are achieving transformational progress in their classrooms despite the obstacles; and the skills and strategies that make them highly effective are specific and identifiable.
In this inspiring, optimistic book, TFA's founder and president Wendy Kopp shows concretely that the achievement gap can be closed, and delineates what it will take to close it. Through stories from classrooms and schools across America, she distills the key lessons TFA has learned from the experiences of 24,000 corps members. The heroism and hard work of an individual teacher can transform a child's life. But to transform the educational experience and opportunities of all America's children, and to ramp up the pace of change, individual teachers should be supported by schools, school systems, and policies dedicated to nurturing, fostering, and spreading their efforts.
America's failure to educate millions of its children to enable them to fulfill their potential has always been an injustice. Given the challenges we face in a competitive global economy, it has also become a national crisis. This clarifying and passionate book is must reading for anyone involved in or concerned about education--as a teacher, student, administrator, policymaker, community activist, or parent.
On the 20th anniversary of Teach For America, its founder offers an inspiring summation of the lessons learned: The achievement gap can be closed, and there's nothing elusive about what it will take.
About the Author
WENDY KOPP is the founder and president of Teach For America. She lives in New York City.KATE MULLIGAN is currently an acting company member with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Prior to her arrival in Ashland, Oregon, she worked at theaters all over Los Angeles and New York, including a nearly 20-year stint with Tim Robbins and his company The Actors' Gang. Kate has been seen in countless commercials and television shows such as Seinfeld, Desperate Housewives, ER, Judging Amy, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Practice. Her grandmother was with the Ziegfeld Follies and her dad was the original writer/creator of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.