Teach for America founder says Chicago needs schools chief "on a mission"

Kopp: "We should not be tolerating incremental progress at this point."

March 11, 2011

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Wendy Kopp (Photo courtesy of The Harvard Independent)

More than 800 teachers and principals in Chicago share a common beginning: they got their start in education through Teach for America.

In the coming years, the national teacher corps wants to nearly double the number of teachers and principals it has in Chicago, from 850 today to more than 1500. And it wants its alumni to head 15 percent of all public schools here. 

The founder of Teach for America, Wendy Kopp, was in Chicago this week to promote her new book, “A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All.”

WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton talked with her about what needs to be done to erase inequities in education—not in a few schools, but in whole school systems. 

Click on "Listen to this Story" above to hear that interview. Or click below to hear unfiltered audio of Kopp speaking at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago on March 10.  She talks about the current trend of blaming teachers and teacher unions for stymieing education reforms. She also talks more about who should be Chicago’s next schools CEO, and taking successes systemwide.

kopp for web.mp3