"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Darling-Hammond for Secretary of ED

If Linda Darling-Hammond succeeds Margaret Spellings as Sec., it will be as stark a contrast as President-Elect Obama with the decidedly non-curious George the Decider. How refreshing to think of a top education official with a deep knowledge (or any knowledge) of and commitment to student achievement, educational renewal, teacher quality, research, professional development, public education.

Here is one short list of favorites from CHE, as pathetic as it is with the top candidate removed:
Linda Darling-Hammond, an adviser to Mr. Obama's campaign and an education professor at Stanford University, whose research and teaching has focused on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality, and educational equity. She is co-director of the School Redesign Network, established in 2000 at Stanford University to pursue and promote research that seeks to improve secondary schools.

Arne Duncan, chief executive of the Chicago public-school system, who serves on the Board of Overseers of Harvard College. Mr. Duncan is an adviser and friend of Mr. Obama's, as well as a fellow basketball player. The president-elect has touted Mr. Duncan's success in improving the city's public schools. Mr. Duncan also has helped Mr. Obama expand his appreciation of the potential benefits of charter schools.

James B. Hunt Jr., a former governor of North Carolina who served on the federal Commission on the Future of Higher Education, formed by the current education secretary, Margaret Spellings. A partner in the Raleigh, N.C., office of the law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, Mr. Hunt focused as governor on early-childhood development and improving the quality of teaching. He also serves as chairman of the board of the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, a part of the University of North Carolina that seeks to improve public education on a national level.

Janet Napolitano, Arizona's governor, who was considered a contender for Mr. Obama's vice-presidential pick. She cannot run for governor again in 2010 because of term limits and may consider a run for Mr. McCain's Senate seat. The daughter of a dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Ms. Napolitano has used her position as governor to emphasize elementary- and secondary-education policy, signing legislation that offered voluntary full-day kindergarten throughout Arizona.

Andrew J. Rotherham, an adviser to Mr. Obama's campaign and a co-founder of Education Sector, an education-policy research group. He is also a member of the Virginia Board of Education, which sets statewide curriculum standards, and served as a White House policy adviser in the Clinton administration.

Jonathan Schnur, chief executive of New Leaders for New Schools, a New York-based organization that uses educational research to train principals of urban public schools. Mr. Schnur was also an education-policy adviser in the Clinton administration.


  1. Obama has proposed a bold and exciting overhaul for our national education system and a new direction. Linda Darling - Hammond is no stranger to systemic reform. Her work in this area is beyond reproach. She is a focused, experienced and committed educator, researcher and scholar. Her hand prints can be found on everthing in education over the past fifteen years from the teacher professsionalization and standards movement, to system-wide school improvement, to ensuring excellence and equity for all children, to pre-service teacher education, to school choice and privitization. Dr. Darling - Hammond's work has influenced the work of thousands of educators, college students and policy - makers for the better. Powell, Klein and Sebelius. Are you kidding? It's a no - brainer. The nation needs a top educator to lead the U.S. Education Department, not some political retreads without experience. We had this under the Bush administration. Where is the change we need?

  2. Anonymous1:56 PM

    There's an online petition to get Dr. Darling-Hammond appointed Secretary of Education. It's at http://www.petitiononline.com/DHammond/petition.html