Van Schoales, Executive Director,  Education Reform Now published a great top 10 list.  He “had an impossible time narrowing the list to 10 in a remarkable year for reform, so here’s the best 14 or so for 2010.”

1.     Joel Klein for setting the standard for superintendents.

2.     Mike Johnston for showing us how to lead in the state house.

3.     Davis Guggenheim and Madeline Sackler for their powerful filmmaking and help popularizing the ed reform movement.

4.     Deborah Gist for demonstrating the power for good in a state department of education.

5.     Rick Hess for being a true thought leader even though he sometimes plays the contrarian for fun.

6.     Michelle Rhee for taking no prisoners and getting “s***” done, watch out adult interests!

7.     Alan Gottlieb for developing a new standard for quality regional education journalism.

8.     John Danner of Rocketship Education for creating a truly innovative and effective school design.

9.     Geoffrey Canada for taking the “Zone” national and making American Express ads sexy and cool for ed reform.

10. Arne Duncan for leading the most effective of federal education reform program in decades, even if Colorado and Louisana were robbed.

11. Doug Lemov and Steven Farr for documenting what works and how to do it.

12. Chris Christie teaming up with Cory Booker and doing ed reform jersey style.

13. Michael Bennet for winning so we can have ed reform leadership in the US Senate.

14. Media powerhouses like NBC for setting a new standard with Education NationOprah for spreading the word on reform, Colbert for making reformers hip while the LA Times fostered a great debate even if I don’t entirely agree with their methods.

There were thousands of other people, ideas and projects that pushed the education reform envelop in 2010.  For those interested, you can see a short description of our work.  2011 is lining up to be an even more productive year as the reform movement grows deeper and broader.

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Tom Vander Ark
Tom Vander Ark is author of Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and Learn Capital and serves on the boards of 4.0 Schools, eduInnovation, Digital Learning Institute, Imagination Foundation, Charter Board Partners and Bloomboard. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.

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