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Thompson: What Malcolm Gladwell Asked Wendy Kopp

KoppLast week in New York City, Wendy Kopp told Malcolm Gladwell that TFA is not a teaching organization but rather a leadership development organization.  That's good to know.  Then the conversation briefly turned to ways to make teaching sustainable so their elite cadre of, er, future leaders would not burn themselves out.  The discussion became weird, however, as they discussed an entrepreneurial system where successful leaders would gain full autonomy but where others would "crash and burn."   Gladwell worried whether "we" are prepared for the anxiety that would be produced by those innovations.  I waited in vain for Gladwell or Kopp to voice a concern for the students in those failed experiments.  It became clear, however, that the interview was not about poor children but about the leaders who want to help students.  I guess we need another leadership organizational institution to address the children left behind in schools where experimentation failed. - JT (@drjohnthompson)   Image via

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