"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Welcome to Planet Gladwell

The snippet below is from a recent interview/conversation between Malcolm Gladwell and Wendy Kopp. Just after the 25:00 mark, Gladwell and Kopp have this exchange:
Gladwell: I only ask because whenever I see Teach For America spoken of in a derogatory manner, it's invariably by someone on the right, which confuses me because because I would have thought that it was almost the other way around. Do you have a sense of this? Am I wrong in thinking this?

Kopp: Um...I doubt it. I mean, you're saying our folks are largely from the left? We have a diverse group of people.

Gladwell: What percentage of TFA alumni voted Republican in the last election?

Kopp: I don't know, I can't answer. It's maybe not that high of a percentage. But I'm not sure. (laughing)
Wowzers. What planet is Gladwell on? TFA criticism only from the right?

Kopp either didn't understand the question, didn't want to correct Gladwell, or somehow agrees with his armchair analysis. Baffling, to say the least.

If the above isn't confusing/frustrating enough, skip to the chapter titled, "Is Katrina the Best Thing to Happen to Education?"

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