Victoria Soto and Wendy Kopp!


As enabled by Charlie Rose: Victoria Soto, 27, was a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary.

This morning, Joseph Berger describes her funeral in the New York Times. The whole piece is well worth reading:
BERGER (12/20/12): Remembering the Passion of a Teacher Who Died Protecting Students


Ms. Soto’s aunt, Debbie Cronk, a teacher who was her professional inspiration, remembered how exuberant Ms. Soto was when she called five years ago to say she had secured a job at Sandy Hook Elementary. But Ms. Cronk also remembered her mischievous side, how as a little girl Ms. Soto loved feeding the ducks near her grandmother’s house, though not as much as eating the bread herself.

Ms. Schiavone, her best friend, recalled Ms. Soto’s devotion to the profession—spending every evening working on lesson plans and designing poster boards—and the extra mile she went for her students.

“It does not surprise me at all that Vicki died protecting her kids,” Ms. Schiavone said.

Gary MacNamara, the chief of the Fairfield Police Department, who rushed to the Sandy Hook school shortly after the shooting, said Ms. Soto had “pushed children into a closet and allowed other kids to escape” before she herself was killed by Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old armed with a semiautomatic rifle and other guns.

“All of law enforcers are asked what will we do if given that moment when a life-threatening decision has to be made,” Chief MacNamara said in an interview. “She answered that question: through her strength, she took action to save the life of the students. I know, because I’ve spoken to children in that class who are alive because of what she did.”
With apologies, we thought of the interview Charlie Rose did with Wendy Kopp in 2008.

At the time, we said it might be the worst interview ever conducted. During the interview, Rose let Kopp go on and on with her patently ridiculous stories about the astonishing exploits of teachers in Teach for America. Rose never challenged the highly improbable things Kopp was saying, although studies had long since shown that her claims tend to be grossly misleading.

Or wrong.

In these ways, regular teachers have been slimed and disparaged in recent years. But Manhattan’s powers that be were on Kopp’s side, so Rose let her stories run on.

(For links to all parts of our five-part report, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/16/08.)

Needless to say, we respect and admire the many teachers who have entered classrooms through Teach for America. But regular teachers got slimed and disparaged as Kopp’s tales went on and on.

Question: Is any sector driven by bigger dissemblers than the “education reform” sector? You have Michelle Rhee and Kopp—and as it turns out, you also have the fairy-tale autobiography pushed by Joel Klein.

In October, Richard Rothstein reported this remarkable story in the American Prospect. We’ve planned to review the tale before the end of the year. Today, we will at least link to Rothstein’s report.

It too is well worth reading, especially if you want to ponder the difference between the very best of our real people and our grasping plutocrat swells.

The disparagement of American teachers has been endless in recent years. Soto’s life, recalled in Berger’s report, suggests a different tale.


  1. In that 2008 Charley Rose interview, Wendy Kopp was repeatedly L-Y-I-N-G and not "grossly misleading."
    Ms. Kopp and her husband are, and were, little more than hedge-fund shills mendaciously claiming to be education reformers while advancing the corporate wingnut goals of destroying unions and public education in America and abroad.

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  11. Victoria Soto was a cousin of Benjamin Franklin!
    Peter Folger
    Joanna Folger-(siblings)-Abiah Folger
    Phebe Tobeyha Coleman-(1st cousin)-Benjamin Franklin
    Mary Cathcart-(1st cousin, once removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Robert Hatch Sr.-(1st cousin, twice removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Robert Hatch Jr.-(1st cousin. thrice removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Henry Hatch-(1st cousin, 4x removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Henry Robert Manning Hatch-(1st cousin, 5x removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Waverly Hatch-(1st cousin, 6x removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Helen Victoria Hatch-(1st cousin, 7x removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Janice Louise Biebel-(1st cousin, 8x removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Donna L. Fagan-(1st cousin, 9x removed)-Benjamin Franklin
    Victoria Leigh Soto-(1st cousin, 10x removed)-Benjamin Franklin

  12. Also, Victoria Soto is the cousin of William Franklin and William Temple Franklin!

  13. Explanation to the relationship of William Franklin to Victoria Soto:
    Peter Folger
    Joanna Folger-(siblings)-Abiah Folger
    Phebe Tobeyha Coleman-(1st cousin)-Benjamin Franklin
    Mary Cathcart-(2nd cousin)-William Franklin
    Robert Hatch Sr.-(2nd cousin, once removed)-William Franklin
    Robert Hatch Jr.-(2nd cousin. twice removed)-William Franklin
    Henry Hatch-(2nd cousin, thrice removed)-William Franklin
    Henry Robert Manning Hatch-(2nd cousin, 4x removed)-William Franklin
    Waverly Hatch-(2nd cousin, 5x removed)-William Franklin
    Helen Victoria Hatch-(2nd cousin, 6x removed)-William Franklin
    Janice Louise Biebel-(2nd cousin, 7x removed)-William Franklin
    Donna L. Fagan-(2nd cousin, 8x removed)-William Franklin
    Victoria Leigh Soto-(2nd cousin, 9x removed)-William Franklin

    Explanation to the relationship of William Temple Franklin to Victoria Soto:
    Peter Folger
    Joanna Folger-(siblings)-Abiah Folger
    Phebe Tobeyha Coleman-(1st cousin)-Benjamin Franklin
    Mary Cathcart-(2nd cousin)-William Franklin
    Robert Hatch Sr.-(3rd cousin)-William Temple Franklin
    Robert Hatch Jr.-(3rd cousin, once removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Henry Hatch-(3rd cousin, twice removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Henry Robert Manning Hatch-(3rd cousin, thrice removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Waverly Hatch-(3rd cousin, 4x removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Helen Victoria Hatch-(3rd cousin, 5x removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Janice Louise Biebel-(3rd cousin, 6x removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Donna L. Fagan-(3rd cousin, 7x removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Victoria Leigh Soto-(3rd cousin, 8x removed)-William Temple Franklin

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