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Forbes 30 under 30, Education Edition: where are the practitioners?

Forbes 30 under 30, Education Edition: where are the practitioners?

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Forbes recently released its third annual "30 under 30" listing of the most influential twenty-somethings in a variety of industries. Education, missing from the inaugural 2012 list, became a category in 2013. The "30 under 30" lists for 2014 were just released, and the Education section ( includes some new faces (and some repeats) but K-12 practitioners are noticeably absent.


Well, how many of us READ Forbes? Since I'm guessing very few do, it's understandable that we collectively missed the call for reader submissions ( - but judging from the looks of that page - perhaps it's just a spam-overrun red herring? (The page doesn't appear to be displaying properly; I'm wondering if that is because it was shut down now that voting is over. But I digress...)

Without taking anything away from the winners, some of whom are quite familiar to those of us in the educational trenches, who would you have nominated / like to see recognized in this way?

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pottsedtech's picture
4-6 teacher interested in all things technology, curriculum and creative

I was disapointed to see this too. While each of these people have done significant things, I thought Forbes could have at LEAST highlighted the educational moments that inspired the people profiled to make a stronger, more meaningful overall connection to the audience of readers.I'm also not a big fan of the age labels either, but 50 under 50 would be a pretty long list. So, let's spin this positive and get inspired by their visions and become involved in their actions.

I would nominate the EdCamp movement and the union leaders in states in the midwest that have had to push back against steep challenges such as merit pay. I would nominate the teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle who stood up against standardized testing.

Last, I would nominate the students across the country who motivate us each day to do and be better.

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program; Elementary Library Media Specialist

I think it's just as you said, Kevin- teachers don't read Forbes to the degree we read other publications. Plus, in my experience, teachers are too busy doing the work of teaching to take the time to fill out nomination and submission form for awards. PLUS, we tend to be a humble bunch, loath to toot our own horns.

And I agree pottsedtech- this list was disappointing.

Gwen Pescatore's picture
Gwen Pescatore
President Home & School Assoc, #ParentCamp Organizer, Co-Moderator #PTchat

I have to agree in that the best of the best in education are many times quite humble and aren't out there self-promoting, as they are busy focusing on what truly is most important to our future...the students. I can't imagine trying to pick just 30. I can think of 30 for each category in education that I would not only add to this list - but also love for them to be teaching/leading my own children. This is where social media has opened my eyes the most (reminder...I am a parent - not educator), learning about the many phenomenal educators out there through the info they generously share in chats, blogs and places such Edcamps. Just because they are not on a "best of" list does not make me think any less of them.

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Maker Educator, Google Certified Innovator, Dreamer, Doer. Learning experience designer, workshop leader/speaker, author. Stanford #Fablearn Fellow. #GoogleEI

"Just because they are not on a "best of" list does not make me think any less of them."


We have to remember that "lists" like this are more to sell magazines and advertising space than anything else. That's the bottom line here, I'm afraid!

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