Sarah Ford | October 10, 2013

How Teach for America Founder, Wendy Kopp, Is Going Global

Teach for America Founder Wendy Kopp Goes Global

One Thursday evening last August at an Alpine castle in Salzburg, Austria, Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp met Tatjana Oppitz, the head of IBM in Austria. Oppitz told Kopp that after 25 years at IBM (IBM, Fortune 500), she is more worried than ever that Austria’s grammar and secondary schools are failing to groom the quality talent her company needs to grow. More than a quarter of 16-year-olds in Austria can’t read, the dropout rate is rising, and Austria’s educational standards, studies show, have slipped. While it may surprise people that Austria, with its wealthy population and relatively low unemployment rate, may be facing an education crisis, it doesn’t surprise Kopp, who hears such concern all over the world.

It’s this kind of feedback that inspired Kopp to create Teach for All, a global version of Teach for America, the educational-reform program she founded 24 years ago as a student at Princeton University. The U.S. program, which recruits college grads and restless career switchers to teach in public schools for two-year stints, currently has 11,000 teachers working in poor schools across America. Turns out, the same challenges Kopp identified in the U.S. education system — underfunded schools, poorly trained teachers, a disconnect between private sector needs and public school performance — plague education around the world. Meanwhile, globalization has pushed companies to recruit worldwide and has raised the stakes for education. It’s only natural that Kopp, too, would go global.

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Source: CNN Money

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