St. Paul, Minn. (April 15, 2011) – What began as Wendy Kopp’s senior college thesis has since evolved into a national force in education reform.
The Teach For America Founder and CEO was in town Thursday for a special Minnesota Meeting at Twin Cities Public Television studios in Saint Paul. Minnesota Meeting is the public affairs forum of the Minneapolis Foundation, co-sponsored by the Robins, Kaplan, Miller&Ciresi Foundation for Children.
Nearly 150 community and education leaders gathered to hear Kopp chronicle the lessons she’s learned over the past 20 years about what it will take to close the achievement gap in her best-selling book A Chance to Make History.
“We can solve this problem. We can provide kids who face the extra challenges of poverty with an education that sets them up to excel,” Kopp said. “The evidence is all around us. It is up to us to step up and lead, the only remaining question is whether we will.”
Sandy Vargas, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, agreed. “Education is the key to individual success and regional prosperity,” she stated. “If we don’t close the achievement gap and prepare our students to compete globally, we will all pay the price.
“We believe everyone has a role to play and a responsibility for our children’s success, and Wendy Kopp certainly made a compelling case for that this evening. It is a solvable problem and we all must do our part to transform public education at the systems level so all our children succeed.”
Teach For America is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating educational inequity by recruiting the nation’s top college graduates to commit two years to teach in urban and rural schools in low-income communities and continue on as lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity.
This school year, more than 90 Teach For America corps members impacted the lives of more than 5,000 kids in low-income communities across Twin Cities alone. Minnesota Meeting will be rebroadcast on TPT and available for viewing online at www.minnesotameeting.com.
Minnesota Meeting is The Minneapolis Foundation’s public affairs forum designed to raise awareness of critical community issues and spotlight both proven and promising strategies to address them. Originally founded by local business leaders as a luncheon speaker series, Minnesota Meeting focuses each year on a topic of significant community interest. Past education programs have featured Harlem Children’s Zone founder Geoffrey Canada, Education Trust president Kati Haycock, and a gubernatorial debate.