Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wendy Kopp Blows Up the Bridge on the River KIPP

"What Have I Done?" - Colonel Nickolson (Alec Guiness), says in Bridge on the River Kwai.

You know the story. Brit Nickolson drives the building of an important bridge for the Japanese war effort in a test of wills with the Japanese commandant of the prison camp. When the British send a team to blow it up, Nicholson realizes what he's done as he falls on the dynamite fuse that blows up his loving creation.

So, one day when Nirvana has been reached and every school in America is a KIPP school and every 2 years a corps of millions of Teach for America teachers storm into urban schools as replacement troops for the old guard, some of whom have reached the mandatory 25 year old age limit for teachers, it will dawn on Wendy Kopp that the achievement gap is no closer to being closed.

And she will shout, "What have I done," as she falls on the plunger that will blow up every KIPP school.

And some chronicler will end this updated version of the movie, tentatively titled, "Bridge on the River KIPP," with the comment, "Madness! Madness ... madness!"


  1. This is great! I hope that you are right and that this experiment of hers has been done out of naïveté and not something more.

  2. This is a great call, except for the minor fact that KIPP schools DO close the achievement gap.

  3. So the answer is simple. Turn the nation's schools - sorry, only the schools in the urban poor areas - like would any suburban parent want their kid in a KIPP school - would you- and the problem is solved.

    Boy I almost would like to see this happen - after we make a nice large bet.

  4. Have you ever been in a KIPP school? KIPP schools are amazing and any parent, regardless of economic status, would be lucky to have his or her child in a KIPP school.

  5. Funny how these KIPP schools always target low income children.
    It's truly disgusting.

  6. Outstanding satire, and spot on. I have been to KIPP schools (and seen awful humiliation of children). This is not the answer their PR people claim. The kids are not independent and are frightened into "acting nice" rather than "being nice."


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