There has already been plenty of blogging about Timesman Sam Dillon’s puffer on education reform’s first family, Wendy Kopp and Richard Barth. In my view they’re pretty amazing people so the praise is deserved.
What surprised me in the article was this really out of date quote from Teach For America critic David Berliner:
David C. Berliner, an education professor at Arizona State University, said Teach for America recruits brought a missionary zeal to classrooms but were unprepared for teaching. “They think, ‘We can solve the problems of urban education because we’re smarter than everybody else,’ “ Professor Berliner said. “There’s some arrogance there.”
The reality is that TFA today is not just about smart kids from top schools. Instead, they’ve developed a very effective recruitment strategy and a screening process for the non-test score, non-GPA, etc…characteristics of effective teachers. That doesn’t mean that training doesn’t matter, too, but a healthier field would be building on this mousetrap rather than attacking it.