Last month I was interviewed on NPR about my critique of TFA. As a result, the Minnesota local NPR, MPR, invited me on for a 40 minute ‘live’ discussion with another TFA alum, John Kaczorek, who has become a charter school principal.
I felt that the interview last month didn’t go very well, so this time I prepared by reading a book about how to be on the radio. I also was prepared with some key facts and quotes about the charter network that John works for.
I’m not sure how it sounds to you, but from my perspective, I’m very happy. I didn’t put my foot in my mouth at all, which was the main thing I was concerned about.
You can listen to the interview here.
One thing I should make clear is that I was not saying that the school in question, Hiawatha Leadership Academy, is a bad school. I just meant that their test scores don’t really mean that much to me. I just don’t ‘believe in’ test scores that much as a valid way to judge teacher or school quality.
Also, I didn’t get to ‘rebut’ at the end, but he can’t truly say that the school is proving what is possible with harder working teachers as they just have results from 3rd and 4th grade. They are a long way from popping the champagne.
Anyway, listen if you can and let me know what you think of how I did and any suggestions for improvement for the next time. I have a feeling that it will be a while before TFA comes back into the ring with me, at least ‘live’ like that.