66. Linda Darling-Hammond
Her name is not widely recognized by the general public, but Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the State Board of Education, is well-known indeed to educators, not only in California but across the country. California’s state education bureaucracy is sometimes, rightly, described as byzantine – we also have a Department of Education and a state schools superintendent – but Darling-Hammond deftly navigates the shoals and reefs. The board sets academic standards and curriculum for California’s K-12 educational system, which serves about 6 million students. If anyone was qualified for this gig, it’s Darling-Hammond. She’s a professor in education at Stanford University, the founding president of the nationally known Learning Policy Institute, and at Stanford founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. She started out as a public school teacher and founded a pre-school and high school. Darling-Hammond has a B.A. from Yale, and her doctorate in education from Temple.
Updated Aug. 9, 2022