Posts tagged "Linda Darling-Hammond"
November 20, 2012
When the five leading mayoral candidates were asked on Monday how they would select the next schools chancellor at a forum on city education policy, the presumed longshot had the most specific answer.
Newspaper publisher Tom Allon, who recently switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, was the only candidate to name names — and his shortlist contained an eclectic mix of people.
He started with Eric Nadelstern, a former Department of Education deputy who is bullish on school closures and other Bloomberg administration policies, then moved to Hunter College President Jennifer Raab before naming Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University education professor who has been critical of policies favored by the Bloomberg administration. To round out his list, he named John White, who became Louisiana’s school superintendent not long after leaving the city Department of Education in 2011.
Allon’s list elicited laugher and whoops of surprise from the audience, as well as a disapproving remark from Comptroller John Liu, who was sitting beside Allon on the stage. The forum was hosted by Manhattan Media, the company that Allon owns, with help from GothamSchools. (View the entire event.)
The one thing all of people on Allon’s list have in common is that they have experience working with schools and educators, which Mayor Bloomberg’s three chancellors have not had. Bloomberg’s first and longest-serving chancellor, Joel Klein, drew criticism because he had come from the corporate world, and most of the candidates were eager to say they would not make the same decision. Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and former comptroller Bill Thompson all promised to choose an educator to lead the schools.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the only outlier. She said she did not think the next schools chancellor should necessarily have an education background. (more…)
May 16, 2011
If the Board of Regents approves a proposal today to double the weight of student test scores in teacher evaluations, they’ll be spurning the advice of 10 leading education researchers.
The researchers — who include Linda Darling-Hammond and New Yorkers Aaron Pallas and Henry Levin — sent a letter to the Regents yesterday that summarizes studies that they say point to problems with basing teacher evaluations on student scores. Those problems include teaching to the test and disincentives to help students with special needs.
“We urge you to reject proposals that would place significant emphasis on this untested strategy that could have serious negative consequences for teacher[s] and for the most vulnerable students in the State’s schools,” the researchers say.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week told the Regents that he thought test scores should play a larger role in teacher evaluations. The state’s year-old teacher evaluation law bases 20 percent of teachers’ evaluations on student test scores and another 20 percent on local measures of student achievement. The proposal being considered today would allow districts, with the approval of their local teachers unions, to use the same measures for both parts of teachers’ evaluations.
February 24, 2009
Has President Obama finally picked a side in the education wars? Three prominent New Yorkers are worrying that he is at least leaning — and that it’s not in the right direction.
Deborah Meier, the respected small schools pioneer, said President Obama’s appointment of Arne Duncan as education secretary “leaves me sad.” Today, Diane Ravitch, the NYU historian and Meier’s blogging partner, described Duncan as “Margaret Spellings in drag.” “This is not change I can believe in,” she wrote in Politico. And on Saturday, Ann Cook, another small-school movement doyenne, said she is also concerned about Obama’s choice of Duncan.
All three women sympathize with the “Broader, Bolder” manifesto, which argues that schools alone cannot be expected to close the achievement gap and whose members are more suspicious of popular innovations such as charter schools and test-driven accountability systems. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein leads another camp, which strongly supports test-based accountability, the No Child Left Behind law, and charter schools. Klein’s Education Equality Project circulated a rival petition.
Obama made a point of not selecting a side in the debate. He chose two top education advisers, one from each camp. And he touted his chosen education secretary, Duncan, who had signed both petitions, as a pragmatist. But in the last few weeks, concerns about Duncan have begun to surface. (more…)
January 22, 2009
Linda Darling-Hammond may be feared and loathed by the younger reform set, but among the people who sat with me last night on the Upper East Side to watch her talk, she is such a star! Before the start of the panel, put on by Bank Street College of Education, all I could hear was the simultaneous sound of my Blackberry buzzing with eager e-mails about her and audience members asking their neighbors, “Has Linda arrived yet?”
She finally did, apparently via the very last available train to New York from Washington, D.C., where she had been for Barack Obama’s inauguration. At the panel, she quickly made it clear how dramatically accountability regimes would change if she is given a major role in the Obama administration. (Of course, that’s a big if: Though Darling-Hammond chaired the education policy team for Obama’s transition, it’s looking like those who have the ear of new Education Secretary Arne Duncan come from a different set. She didn’t comment on this yesterday.)
Darling-Hammond laid out a dramatic picture of how she hopes Obama will change American schools, one that (for the most part) differed substantially from the vision currently in vogue, the “idealocrat” program Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has pushed. Darling-Hammond’s big idea is to move America away from a factory model of education, where teachers are seen as trade workers, and toward a model that treats teachers as just as important as doctors or lawyers. The change, as she sees it, requires that teachers are given better and more extensive training, and that the federal government change the way it evaluates their work, moving from No Child Left Behind’s standardized test-based system into one based on sensitive open-ended assessments that schools might create themselves.
She hinted that the last part might be the biggest challenge — to “get the measuring right.” (more…)
January 21, 2009
Now that Barack Obama has been president for more than a day, it’s a good time to ask once again what his deal will be on education.
Fortunately, I have a wonderful opportunity to do that tonight, at a panel discussion Bank Street College of Education is putting on. The talk, titled “School Reform: Where have we been and where should we be going?” will feature Linda Darling-Hammond, the lightning rod Stanford professor who advised the new president on education during his campaign.
Given the latest flurry of concern about who’s going to staff the U.S. Department of Education (the going rumor is that Wendy Kopp is being considered for a top spot beneath Arne Duncan), it’ll be particularly interesting to see what Darling-Hammond has to say tonight. So interesting, in fact, that there are absolutely no available tickets for the talk. This may be a first for an education event on a weekday night.
Please send me questions you’d like me to ask via e-mail, because I need to leave now.
December 17, 2008
- Rick Kahlenberg urges Arne Duncan to think about magnet schools in addition to charters.
- Russo files a must-read on misinformation he says is circulating about Arne Duncan.
- Beth Fertig at WNYC reviews what Caroline Kennedy did at the Fund for Public Schools.
- A Harlem librarian won a national “I Love My Librarian” award.
- RiShawn Biddle writes excitedly in the American Spectator about the rise of the new ed reformers.
- Might Linda Darling-Hammond be named head of the federal education research institute?
- A Chicago ed policy expert predicts Arne Duncan will lead a dramatic makeover of NCLB.
December 8, 2008
- Malcolm Gladwell considers teacher quality in this week’s New Yorker.
- Hendrik Hertzberg endorses class size reduction.
- Diane Ravitch asks how to expand accountability beyond test scores.
- My hometown school system gets all-time high scores on Advanced Placement tests.
- Eduwonkette reminds that even the most impressive gap-closer schools are still behind.
- Linda Darling-Hammond tells Alyson Klein to wait until next week.
- Pondiscio and Petrilli school Jonathan Alter for being too casual about how hard it is to improve schools.
- Mike Antonucci finds an internal NEA document showing the union pulled many members to Obama.
- Ed in the Apple says the teachers union is at a crossroads: should it pick an all-out brawl or should it change to match the changing world?
November 26, 2008
In case you were not fully convinced, it appears that, yes, Teach For America is flexing its muscle to influence Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education pick. The organization is concerned about the possibility that Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who has criticized TFA and is chairing Obama’s education policy committee, could get a prominent role in the Obama administration.
In a mass e-mail today, Teach For America urged alumni to “stay on top of about [sic] what is happening and not happening regarding education reform at the national and local levels.” The e-mail (pasted below) also directed them to the Web site of TFA’s new political group, Leadership for Education Equity, where alumni are invited to post comments on several Web sites (including this one), saying, “Decision makers do watch online reactions.” We hope so!
This is the site’s main graphic:
Here’s the e-mail, after the jump: (more…)
November 24, 2008
“People don’t want to say anything publicly, because of the ‘No-Drama Obama’ stuff,” says one well-placed reformer with ties to the incoming administration. “But many of us were stunned that Linda Darling-Hammond is still as influential as she is. We see her as very symbolic of the ‘old school’ of reform.” Darling-Hammond responds, “The critiques of being ‘old school’ are particularly ironic since I have been fighting for a lot of reforms before they were recently on the national radar.”
And while Whitney Tilson on his blog yesterday asked people e-mailing him with worries to “CHILL THE [expletive] OUT,” he confessed to “sharing a bit of…nervousness” in his e-mail blast last night.
November 19, 2008
Just yesterday she was being cagey about her role in the Obama transition, but today Linda Darling-Hammond, the lightning-rod Stanford professor, was officially named head of Obama’s education policy working group.
The position is likely to be scrutinized by those who were looking for a sign of precisely where Obama will land in the Democratic Party’s raging debate over how to improve America’s public schools.
The thousands of people who have attached their names to an online petition supporting Darling-Hammond as a prospective Secretary of Education will likely embrace the news. They argue that she is “a key ingredient” to creating a “truly progressive public education system.”