Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?
by Pasi Sahlberg
Teachers College Press, 167 pp., $34.95 (paper)
A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All
by Wendy Kopp with Steven Farr
PublicAffairs, 229 pp., $25.99
Teach for America is a worthy idea. It is wonderful to encourage young people to commit themselves to public service for two years. The program would be far more admirable if the organization showed some modesty, humility, and realism in its claims for its inexperienced teachers. Many foundations, corporations, and even the US Department of Education treat TFA as a systemic solution to the critical needs of the teaching profession. But it is foolhardy to expect that a profession of more than three million teachers will be transformed by the annual addition of a few thousand college graduates.