America's Most Influential Educator

Who is America's most influential educator? Some would probably name Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, and cynics might suggest Bill Gates, because of his foundation's heavy involvement in education policy, or a teachers' union leader like Randi Weingarten.

In this parlor game, other names would emerge: Oprah Winfrey, anyone? Other competitors for the title would be Big Bird and friends on Sesame Street and Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America. Millions of young children learn from the former, and by now hundreds of thousands of students have been — and are being — taught by Teach for America corps members.

 

But the evidence suggests.......