Kopp, the founder of Teach For America, was presented today with one of the highest honors a U.S. president can confer upon a citizen.
The Presidential Citizens Medal “recognizes U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation.” According to the Whitehouse.gov statement:
Wendy Kopp is an education innovator who believes that every child can learn if given a chance. Through her determined efforts, she has created opportunities for new teachers to help disadvantaged children realize their potential. The United States honors Wendy Kopp for her strong leadership in ensuring a quality education for students across America.
To learn the story of TFA’s beginnings, read Kopp’s memoir “One Day All Children…” In it she describes her first star-eyed visit to the White House, during the Clinton Administration.
She may have a chance to spend a lot of time at the White House. A movement has sprung up to get President-Elect Obama to pick Kopp as his Secretary of Education. Others speculate the spot might go to TFA critic and Obama advisor Linda Darling-Hammond.
Update 12/16: Obama picks someone else for Secretary of Education, FYI.