Hot...For Education (2008)
With that in mind, the third annual "Hot...For Education" issue is finally out.
No, there are no painted-on bikinis or six-pack abs. (Maybe next year?) As you will see, "hot" is defined broadly here -- think "multiple measures." Among the selected include those who are good looking, those who have had a great year, those who are particularly passionate about school reform, or some mixture of the above.For example, one of the "honorees" is no longer with us, in the traditional sense. Another of the honorees doesn't exist, in the traditional sense.
As always, your suggestions and comments are welcome -- pictures, too. Who did I miss? What did I get wrong? Remember, previous honorees aren't eligible. Neither are folks who don't have a picture I can find on Google images.
Click images to enlarge.
What could be hotter in education circles right now than being Barack Obama's domestic policy adviser, Heather Higginbottom? No one's going to vote "present" when it comes to Heather. All those who say "Aye!"
It's not just that Chicago's Arne Duncan is one of the youngest big-city superintendents in the nation and -- despite the choirboy looks -- isn't afraid to close a school or two. He plays basketball with Hyde Park buddy Barack Obama. He's lasted way longer than anyone thought. Who knows, he could be the next EdSec if he let Obama score on him a little bit more.
Former academic Roland Fryer joined the NYC school system to help make education immediate and
real to low-income kids and their parents -- and generated heaps of
controversy along the way. But that doesn't stop him from looking
good. Do you think he motivates himself to keep all GQ with cash incentives and cell phone ring tones? Who cares, as long as the results are this good.
Still-new District of Columbia schools superintendent Michelle Rhee is one of the most prominent TFA alums out there. That's a lot of pressure on the young Korean-American -- you know how important alums are to TFA -- but she seems to be handling it just fine so far.
The New America Foundation's early childhood analyst Sara Mead is everyone's favorite education wonk. Plus, she's got a blogger boyfriend, Matt Yglesias. Now you know why early childhood education is so popular these days.
He isn't very good looking in the traditional sense, and he's been dead 10 years or so, but he was charismatic and compelling and, thanks to Rick Kahlenberg's 2007 biography, there's no one hotter in education circles than former AFT president Al Shanker.
Education reporter Pauline Vu (aka "the Vuster") has a big online
fanclub, even though she works for a tiny outlet called Stateline.org. There's no confusion she always gets the story right.
may be on sabbatical or something, but the Dallas Morning News' award winning
reporter and columnist Josh Benton makes women fall off their seats.
Not just ones he's interviewing. We've seen it happen at EWA events. Come back, Josh, come back!
The mysterious and elusive Eduwonkette took the blogging world by storm this past year. She's cute, she's fun, she's tiny. She's a superhero. She makes fun of Andywonk for me. Now just who is she? My guess is she's former Teachers College president Art Levine in drag.
New York City teachers union president Randi Weingarten is having a very hot year. She's managed to protect her members without getting left out of the reform discussions. She came out of the closet. And she's poised to become AFT president -- or Education Secretary -- in the very near future. Must find better picture.
If Green Dot founder Steve Barr isn't hot, I don't know who is. He's got the funders and reformistas eating out of his hands. He's got union presidents begging him to start charter schools in their districts. The media can't get enough of him. He's disarmingly candid and charming in a shambly kind of way. As I've said before, he's the Lindsay Lohan of school reform. (Better than being the Britney Spears.)
Chicago high school teacher Will Okun became the New York Times' first and only teacher blogger last year. Reporting from the front lines of urban education, Okun wrote about teen pregnancy, racial differences, and gangs -- generating scads of responses each time out.
In reality, recently departed AACTE press honcho Jade Floyd isn't really hot for education. She's just hot. So hot that she won hottest DC press person from DC Fishbowl. This skin-bearing come-hither shot might have helped.
He's a higher ed guy, not K12 like he should be, but there's no denying his all-American good looks and boyish charm, which have, I'm told, single-handedly persuaded legislators to lower student loan rates. Ladies and thus-inclined men, I give you Luke Swarthout.
There aren't many men who are manly enough to work on education issues, but Kennedy education staffer Roberto Rodriguez overcomes all that with his smoldering good looks and easy charm. Plus, he does whatever Carmel tells him to do. What could be hotter than that?
Give Wendy Kopp credit for something. Recent reports suggest that,
over the past decade, teachers have gotten smarter. That is, their
average SAT scores are higher. But that's not all. They've also
gotten better looking. As illustrated by this TFAer profiled in a recent USA Today article, Caitlin Woo.
With ability (and ambition) to spare, the NY Sun's relatively new education reporter Elizabeth Green regularly breaks news and scoops her competitors. All the while looking snazzy. Watch out, big-time education reporters. Elizabeth is eating your lunch.