How to Improve Education in a Recession

Question: How is the recession affecting education?Wendy Kopp:    I would say, this recession, as many challenges as it does present, presents an incredible opportunity for education and education reform. 

As a small microcosm of that, Teach For America’s applications are up well over 50% what they were last year [2007], and this will be the first year [2008] in our history where recruitment has not been the constraint on our growth.  We could place many more people than we could ever even muster the organizational capacity to place at this juncture. 

And the reason I say that’s an opportunity, I think anyone in education reform would say that talent and leadership is--it’s the constraint and it is the enabler.  Where we see transformational change for kids happening, it’s in the hands of incredible teachers, incredible school leaders, etc. 

I hope our country, and we’re doing everything we can to make this the case, realizes that as many challenges as we have in this environment, we do have this incredible opportunity to channel just unprecedented talent and energy against what I really believe is our country’s greatest injustice;  and honestly, if we’re worried about the long term economic competitiveness of our country and all, the first thing we should do is focus on education.

I really believe this is a time of enormous opportunity.  There are certainly enormous challenges. 

Districts are already grappling with huge budget cuts. There are many challenges to navigate. But I think we need to, hopefully, as a country, we’re keep our eye on the incredible opportunities we have .

As with everything, we’ll have to prioritize where we invest; and I think this is the time to invest in education.


Recorded Dec 18, 2008.

Teach For America founder Wendy Kopp insists education will be the long-term solution to dealing with economic downturn.

22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Keep reading Show less

Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

Keep reading Show less

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Keep reading Show less