. . . Shanker transformed American education. His efforts significantly boosted teacher salaries, equalized pay between men and women, assured minimal standards in schools (not least by capping class sizes), and forced the National Educational Association, the nation’s most powerful teachers’ union, to embrace collective bargaining. He also encouraged his sometimes reluctant membership to embrace necessary reform; the American Federation of Teachers, under Shanker’s leadership until his death in 1997, backed provisions for ousting incompetent teachers, public school choice, and the standards movement.
I met Shanker once. He was an incredibly dynamic and fearless man.
Update: Cecilia Le has more on Education Sector.