Friday, February 18, 2011

A Community Discussion with Wendy Kopp, Teach for America

With opening remarks by Mayor Kasim Reed
Moderated by Dr. Beverly Tatum, President of Spelman College
With an infusion of federal funding to raise student achievement, four Metro Atlanta School districts searching for new superintendents, and with persistent achievement gaps along racial and economic lines, this is a moment of great opportunity and challenge for public education in our community. Across the nation, state governments and school districts are experimenting with a number of possible solutions – from reduced class sizes and greater funding, to higher standards and increased accountability. Join us for a discussion on what works, and what doesn’t, in providing an excellent education for all with Teach For America Founder and CEO, Wendy Kopp.
This event is inspired by Wendy's recent book A Chance to Make History. Informed by twenty years of experience in urban and rural schools and communities, A Chance to Make History moves us beyond current debates and blame games and provides hope that we can ensure educational opportunity for all of our nation’s children, regardless of their racial or economic background.

Click here to Register

Monday, March 7, 2011 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Doors open at 6:00 PM

Rich Auditorium at Woodruff Arts Center
1280 Peachtree Street Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30309

Seating may be limited... Register today!


Anonymous said...


Should I go hear this lady speak of should I go to Fernbank for the Dekalb "Farm to School" meeting?

Who is serving food?

Anonymous said...

Teach for America is an incredible success story. Would love to see DCSS get involved with this fantastic organization.

Anonymous said...

Research shows that overall Teach for America teachers are doing amazingly well. The difficulties that some of them encounter are the same as any first year teacher-how do I teach at risk kids who come from economically disadvanted families, how do I teachkids who do not want to be in school, how do I teach kids who did not grow up in a milleau that values education. Attirtion for any kind of new teacher is very high. Over 40% leave teaching in their first 5 years. The reasons they give is lack of discipline, lack of support from admininstration (on discipline) and lack of parental interest. New teachers who have a mentor or coach are more often retained. One of the problems is that one learns to teach and at the end of that education you actually get to try to teach-sort of like learning to drive without a car. Having teach for america will be another resource to help improve our DCSS schools. Of course, it is not the one answer-if there was a one answer don't you think we would have done it already?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:54 provided another reason why coaches can be valuable. It costs school districts around the country both time and money with the high turnover rate with teachers. I'm sure teachers will admit that some should not be in the classroom. At the same time, there are some that can improve with coaching/mentoring and can become successful teachers.

I will go an a limb and say that if schools can improve their retention rates, we will see improvement in schools. BTW, does anyone know the retention rates for TFA teachers?

Anonymous said...

TFA is a national program that places high-achieving college graduates as teachers in some of the nation’s most challenging schools and requires them to teach for at least two years. Since 2007, TFA applications have increased by approximately 39 percent and the program will place 3,700 new TFA teachers into the classroom this fall.

The study’s author, Morgaen Donaldson, Ed.M.’97, a Harvard Graduate School of Education advanced doctoral student and Project research assistant, surveyed all TFA corps members who entered the classroom between 2000 and 2002, which garnered a 62 percent response rate and a sample of 2029 individuals.

The results were as follows:

43.6 percent of TFA corps members voluntarily remained in their initial low-income placement schools for more than two years and 14.8 percent stayed in those placements for more than four years.
60.5 percent voluntarily remained in the teaching profession for more than two years and 35.5 percent stayed in teaching for more than four years.
13.2 percent of TFA corps members’ transfers and 2.4 percent of their resignations from the profession were involuntary.

In my honest opinion as a new teacher it took me 2-3 years to hit my teaching stride and really become effective. I learn something new almost every day to improve my teaching. Most Teach for America teachers aren't really staying in the profession long enough to hit their strides.

Anonymous said...

@5:54. For years DCSS has been paying tons of money to hire foreign teachers to fill empty spots. I wondered what you think of this practice.
My son has had two of these foreign teachers. One was good although the students had some trouble with the heavy accent; the other was absolutely awful and parents insisted that he leave.

At this point, I'd rather have an optimistic, highly educated rookie.

Anonymous said...

If there's a way for DCSS to botch TFA, they will. How much control does DCSS get over the TFA staff? A possibly good program for our failing schools could go the way of all the others if DCSS and Beasley implement it.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:44

You are correct. That if can be screwed up, DCSS will do it.

Ella Smith said...

TFA can be a very inportant program in the future to get teachers in our classrooms. Teachers are going to start retiring shortly and there will be a need for many new teachers. Hopefully we can find enough qualified teachers to meet the demands in this field.

The qualifications to get into this program are very high. However, being a teacher is not as easy as many may think. Dealing with high school students today can be very difficult.

Anonymous said...

This is sick. We are paying for not only the prosecution of Lewis, but we continue to pay his legal fees as well. Seriously, the board and the county need to rethink how they write contracts. I want my money to go to TEACHERS and to EDUCATIONAL SUPPLIES, not lawyers who defend corrupt school officials!

Someone said on another blog topic that we need to get can we actually DO something. I have gone to the meetings, I have voted, I have donated. NOTHING CHANGES! I am so, so frustrated!

Anonymous said...

School board members, principals, APs, area superintendents, superintendents, et al, should be paying for their own liability insurance and it should be clear that the district is not paying anything for any law suits filed against the district because of wrong doing on the part of the employees. The school offers this insurance and it's not expensive for one to buy. The district should not be paying for the wrong doings of its employees, as it's taking millions away from the children. Employees should be taking care of themselves and then maybe they would think before they acted.

Anonymous said...

Another miracle program - great. I'll believe that change in DeKalb is possible when I see us pay for a program called "Parenting for America."

There are some bad teachers. There are a lot of bad parents.

Anonymous said...


Dekalb likes to hire foreign teachers so they can stick them in the worst schools and abuse them terribly and they are stuck....... I worked in a terrible elementary school in South Dekalb. I can't imagine what it would be like to work in the high school or middle school.

Anonymous said...

Ella says that teachers will be retiring shortly. I wonder which ones will get the "Tyson Salary Bump up" to fatten the old pension check. Maybe Super Auditor could check into that one.

Ella Smith said...

According to the educator predictors we will have a shortage of teachers when all the baby boomers go. I guess we will wait and see.

Anonymous said...

NEWS FLASH: To all the people that were laid off this news is about the friends and family that is still going own. We all remember Pat Pope, remember when she came to the county she had her owned staff, ok they search her lady friend's office and her computer was taken. This was in december, ok in january 2009 she laid-off this person entire dept. which included her. This person had no college and was making something around seventy. Ok she has about three years with the system. Well get this she is coming back to the sam moss system as a executive sec. Now is this fair to bring her back when we have people out there with more time and more experience? Let me just say she and pat were very good friends, they party together and what ever this person wanted she got it. Everyone at the sam moss center knew not to mess with her. Lewis gave his college friend the job as her admin/sec and the first time she went up against her she was gone, last i heard she was at east dekalb. I know this is off the subject but i wanted this out there to all those people who have lost there jobs and the teachers who are not being paid what they should. It is pretty hard for someone to make this amount of money with no college and our teachers have went to school many, many years. Ok she is from Honduras
and boss is going to be a former principal at sam moss. I don't know if the blog will let me do her name. But if they say it is ok i will. Sorry for any mistakes but i am pretty po.

Anonymous said...

Re: News Flash 7.08 p.m.

There are a lot of secretaries with years of experience who cannot move up because they are not in the group that you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Hey, TFA huckster, site your source, please.

"Research shows that overall Teach for America teachers are doing amazingly well"

Because everything I have ever seen said just the opposite. They leave the profession quickly and do no better than any other group.
TFA types are, in my experience, (and I have worked with several of them) affluent young climbers looking for a "charity type" resume items before they go on to fame and fortune running something. I have never met one who really wanted to be a teacher or gave a whit about the students. (Including Michelle (duct tape) Rhee).