Matt Damon is a friend of education, but no friend of Wendy Kopp.
When the 10,000 delegates to last summer’s NEA RA passed a critical New Business Item about Teach For America and another one sharply critical of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, few of us thought that meant for IEA President Dennis Van Roekel to arrange a lunch date with both.
I guess he did.
And it’s not going so well for Dennis.
Valerie Strauss’s column in the Washington Post addresses the backlash to a USA Today column jointly written by DVR and Kopp and a follow up joint appearance with Arne.
There is a growing backlash against National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel’s recent collaborations with Teach for America leader Wendy Kopp on the issue of teacher preparation.
Some NEA members have written on blogs that they are furious at Van Roekel, and early childhood expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige just declined an opportunity for her and her son, actor and activist Matt Damon, to be nominated for the Friend of Education Award from the NEA.
Some might say that DVR’s meet up with Duncan and Kopp went worse. The three appeared together at a meeting on teacher training (something Kopp’s TFA pays scant attention to). Duncan then spent most of the time gushing over Wendy, claiming nobody has done more to get great teachers into classrooms than she has.
But DVR acts like someone in an abusive relationship who refuses help. He’ll probably go back for more.
And as for the delegate votes at the NEA RA? Well, that was so six months ago.