Monday, January 31, 2011

A Chance to Make History, Wendy Kopp's new book

Wendy Kopp's new book, A Chance to Make History (, is out and it's GREAT!  A companion website and video is at:  Here's what Wendy sent me:


My hope is that the book will help convey to a broader audience our shared sense of possibility about the solvability of educational inequity and that it will advance the public discussion about what it will take to realize this goal.  Hopefully, it will help people understand the importance of embracing the complexities of the issues and the hard work that is required to build a viable solution while avoiding the temptation to lurch after quick fixes.  


About A Chance to Make History


With inspiring stories, novel insights, and a clear vision of the future of education reform, A Chance to Make History charts a path to the fulfillment of our nation's most fundamental ideals of freedom and equality. Kopp shows us that we can provide children in low-income urban and rural communities with an education that transforms their life prospects, if we engage in the hard work entailed in achieving extraordinary outcomes in any endeavor - through establishing ambitious visions for success, developing capable teams to pursue the vision; building strong cultures of achievement and management systems that foster continuous improvement; and ultimately, doing whatever it takes to achieve the desired outcomes.


Drawing on what she has learned in her twenty years at the center of a growing movement to end educational inequity in America, Kopp calls for moving beyond the temptation of overly simplistic answers that can distract time and energy from the core of the solution and instead investing the energy and exerting the discipline that is producing results in growing numbers of classrooms, schools, and systems.


Here's what Wendy wrote about DFER on page 164:


In the tradition of the most aggressive political action committees in the country (entities more often associated with narrow special interests), we must create powerful organizations that shape, choose, and support candidates with the most potential.


Democrats for Education Reform offers a relatively new example of this model. Led by former award-winning education journalist Joe Williams, Democrats for Education Reform bundles resources and support for local and national candidates who are willing to stand up for reforming education. Sometimes these stances challenge entrenched interests within the Democratic Party, and this organization offers political backing for challenging the status quo.

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