TFA’ers Speak (And Kopp Speaks)

Not sure you need a survey to figure out what TFA’ers think since most of them seem to have blogs…nonetheless, now there is a formal survey (pdf) about their attitudes and it offers a lot of very interesting and against the grain stuff, especially in terms of the raging debate within education circles about whether or not schools contribute to the achievement gap or merely reflect it. Also some interesting pre-and post-TFA data shedding some light on how the experience changes views.

Yes, you knew it was coming…it is a must-read. But, while you read it bear in mind that these teachers are working in the nation’s most challenged schools. Columnists searching for ideas, there are about a half-dozen good ones in here starting with the low-hanging fruit of comparing the TFA’ers views to what the public thinks and a lot of politicians say…

Also, the Eduworld is indeed gossipy. Eduwonk got more than a dozen calls and emails yesterday because people noticed that TFA founder Wendy Kopp and her husband Richard Barth (an edulegend in his own right) were on the guest list for the State Dinner with Prince Charles and Camilla. It surely was not Kopp’s first WH turn, President Clinton was and is a big TFA fan. But, readers wanted details and so after some prodding Kopp agreed to dish a little about the main questions readers want to know (what she wore, who they sat with, etc…).

Here’s the dirt: She wore a black cocktail dress, her husband a tux. They sat at the President’s table, he tipped them off to this during the receiving line with a joke. They sat next to actor Kelsey Grammer and Charles and Barbara Bush (update: in response to several reader queries the answer is no, not the hot one.) were also at the table. The conversation was wide-ranging but included how to help New Orleans where TFA is a presence. Kopp was complimentary of the President’s remarks and also said: “Let me just also use this opportunity to say that it’s downright embarrassing to see what the media and the public are doing to Camilla. She’s great — very nice — ” So there you have it.

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