A Catalyst of Reform
"The basic purpose was to recover the school day for learning, create an environment in the classroom in which children could learn, get back to a base curriculum and get rid of things like motorcycle riding for high school credit," he said.
An influential ally, former Democratic Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, said the Perot-inspired changes were long overdue. "He couldn't have done a more effective job," Mr. Hobby told a reporter. "The climate was there and he was, to an incredible degree the right person in the right place to do it."
Later, in 1990, Mr. Perot was one of the early funders of Teach for America, a Peace Corps-like operation that fast-tracks college graduates into roles teaching the disadvantaged students in inner-city and rural classrooms. "In the beginning, it was a desperate situation…but he was the catalyst," whose donation persuaded others to come on board, said the program founder, Wendy Kopp.
Now, that has grown into Teach For All, a global network of independent nonprofit organizations working to expand educational opportunity in their own countries.