Walter H. Annenberg | Terrel H. Bell | David C. Berliner and Bruce J. Biddle | Ernest L. Boyer | Milo Cutter | Doyle Disbrow | Michael P. Farris | Howard E. Gardner | Louis V. Gerstner Jr. | John I. Goodlad | Kenneth S. and Yetta M. Goodman | Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold | Steven Jobs | Wendy Kopp | Christa McAuliffe | Seymour Papert | Diane Ravitch | Christopher Whittle | Polly Williams
Michael P. Farris
Lawyer who in 1983 founded an organization to defend home schooling parents in legal battles with state and local officials. The Home School Legal Defense Association has helped move such schooling out of the shadows and pushed states to codify parents' right to teach their children themselves.
Ernest L. Boyer
As the president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, his influential reports provided a fresh look at nearly every level of schooling, from High School in 1983 to his 1991 examination of preschool education.
Howard E. Gardner
His "multiple intelligences" theory, introduced in 1983, argues that verbal and mathematical abilities are just two ways of knowing the world. His work, which challenges the belief that intellect can best be measured by conventional tests, has been widely- and sometimes inaccurately- translated into school curricula.
Flamboyant media entrepreneur who recognized in the 1980s that there was money to be made in K-12 education-if he could just figure out how. His Channel One brought advertiser-supported newscasts to classrooms. Though his vision of a chain of for-profit schools fell flat, Whittle's Edison Schools Inc. now runs 79 traditional or charter public schools under management contracts.
As a Princeton student, Kopp came up with a plan for a national corps of liberal arts graduates who would teach in impoverished urban and rural schools. Since she founded Teach For America in 1989, the organization has sent more than 4,000 young college graduates into some of the neediest schools in the country.
Kenneth S. and Yetta M.
For three decades, the University of Arizona husband-and-wife team has led a fight against the kind of back-to-basics reading instruction popularized in Why Johnny Can't Read. They pioneered the whole-language movement, which emphasizes the importance of good children's literature and reading in context.
John I. Goodlad
A moral compass in the battles about education, the University of Washington scholar argued in A Place Called School (1983) that schools are the primary unit of educational change, a maxim now widely accepted in policy circles. He has spent two decades encouraging rigorous training for teachers.
The plan to send a teacher into space captivated Americans, and McAuliffe's cheerful determination made her an ideal choice. Though triumph turned to tragedy when the shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, her example inspired millions of schoolchildren and lent new respect to teaching as a career.
Terrel H. Bell
President Reagan's first secretary of education convened the national commission whose 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, declared that "a rising tide of mediocrity" in education threatened the nation's future. That warning still reverberates in an era of "get tough" measures.
David C. Berliner and Bruce J.
Their 1995 book, The Manufactured Crisis-"written in outrage"- contested the view that U.S. schools were failing and charged powerful school critics with a politically motivated campaign to undercut public education.
Wisconsin legislator and former welfare mother who pushed through the 1990 passage of the pioneering law that gives low-income Milwaukee students tuition vouchers for private schools. The plan survived lawsuits, and it aided some 7,600 pupils in fall 1999.
Walter H. Annenberg
The publishing tycoon and former ambassador pledged half a billion dollars to the cause of better schools-the largest private gift ever to American public education. His 1993 philanthropic initiative spawned grassroots projects across the country, but bureaucratic squabbling and a fuzzy focus have blunted its impact in some places.
By March 1993, the Kalkaska, Mich., superintendent had had enough. Fed up with perennial budget shortfalls and local voters' rejection of a tax increase, he and the school board shut down the 2,300-student district two months early and sent everybody home. The move helped spur a dramatic overhaul of the state school finance system a year later.
Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
Big corporations have sought a seat at the table in discussions about the schools, and ibm's chairman has helped lead that push. Gerstner was a prime mover behind the national education summits held in 1996 and 1999.
As a scholar, author, and federal official, she has championed higher academic standards for all students. At the U.S. Department of Education, she launched standards- writing efforts in subjects from science to civics in the early 1990s.
A Minnesota teacher, she helped launch the nation's first charter school, the City Academy in St. Paul, in 1992. Today, more than 1,600 of the largely independent public schools are operating nationwide.
A visionary thinker about the way computers can change learning. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor created Logo, the first computer-programming language designed help children learn.
Eric Harris and Dylan
On April 20, 1999, the two teenagers walked into their suburban Colorado high school and started shooting, killing 13 before taking their own lives. The story jolted the nation as the worst in a series of such incidents and left many Americans questioning the idea of schools as safe havens for their children.
Vol. 19, Issue 16, Pages 36-37Published in Print: December 15, 1999, as Faces of A Century: 1990s