Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, co-founders of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), have been named the 2013 Brock International Prize in Education Laureates for their commitment to under served students and innovative contributions to the field of education. Feinberg and Levin will receive a $40,000 prize, and present at the annual Brock Symposium on March 14, 2013, on the campus of Oklahoma State University.
The Brock International Prize in Education, named for Oklahoma natives John and Donnie Brock, is awarded annually and recognizes individuals who have made a specific innovation or contribution resulting in a significant impact on the practice or understanding of the field of education.
“Mike and Dave’s contribution to education is exactly what the Prize is designed to honor,” John Brock said.
The KIPP founders were selected by a panel of nine jurors during a recent meeting in Stillwater, Okla., where the Brock Prize is administered.
KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in under served communities for success in college and in life. Feinberg and Levin co-founded KIPP in Houston, Texas, in 1994 after completing their two-year commitment to Teach For America. Over the last 18 years, the network has grown to 125 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia. KIPP schools serve more than 39,000 students nationwide, including 600 students at two schools in Oklahoma. KIPP builds a partnership among parents, students, and teachers that puts learning first. By providing outstanding educators, more time in school learning, and a strong culture of achievement, KIPP is helping its students climb the mountain to and through college.
“I am thrilled that Mike and Dave are receiving this honor for their unrelenting commitment to KIPP students over the last 18 years,” said Tracy McDaniel, founding principal at KIPP Reach College Preparatory in Oklahoma City. “Their vision inspired me to join KIPP 10 years ago, and it has inspired so many others since. Together, they are responsible for tens of thousands of students getting on the path to and through college.”
Levin graduated from Yale University and Feinberg from the University of Pennsylvania before joining Teach for America.
The pair has been awarded the Thomas Fordham Foundation Prize for Valor; the National Jefferson Award for Distinguished Public Service by a Private Citizen; the Charles Bronfman Prize, an honorary degree from Yale University; and the Presidential Citizen's Medal, our nation's second highest presidential award for a private citizen.
“The Brock Prize is a wonderful acknowledgement of Mike and Dave’s hard work nationally, and it is especially exciting for us here in Oklahoma,” said John Wolfkill, executive director of KIPP Tulsa. “Nationwide, KIPP is making a difference for 39,000 students, including right here in Oklahoma, where our two KIPP schools are collectively helping to hundreds of students. I am so proud to be a part of what Mike and Dave started.”
The prize includes a certificate denoting the honor, and a bust of legendary Native American educator Sequoyah. To ensure its perpetuity, the prize is endowed by the John and Donnie Brock Foundation as well as the Brock Family Community Foundation.