Terrel H. Bell is best known for his leadership in establishing the National Commission on Excellence in Education and his contributions to the commission’s report, A Nation at Risk. He served as U.S. secretary of education; U.S. commissioner of education; superintendent of schools in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho; administrator at Utah State University and the University of Utah; and as a high school teacher. Bell worked to transform schools into high-tech institutions, which he believed was the next step needed to reform America’s education system. He died in 1996.

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