Our nation's founders believed that high-quality public education is a requirement for a robust and functioning democracy.
This week will examine current efforts that are dramatically improving the performance of public education in the United States. Specifically, we will look at the impact of talented and motivated superintendents, leadership training for principals, trends in teaching teachers, and innovations in curricula. We will discuss the responsibilities, interactions, and support from national, state, and local government leaders, parents and grandparents, and local community groups.
We'll leave with a better understanding of what is required and what is working, and what each of us can do to fulfill the goal of greater academic excellence for students in our schools.
Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, where she has launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching and policy work focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity.
From 1994 to 2001, Darling-Hammond served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching and teacher education. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation's 10 most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade. She recently served as the leader of President Barack Obama's education policy transition team.
Darling-Hammond has worked with dozens of schools and districts around the nation on studying, developing and scaling up new model schools -- as well as preparation programs for teachers and leaders -- that enable much greater success for diverse students. She has also worked with civil rights and community-based organizations to leverage changes in state and local level policies and to create practices that promote greater equity in educational opportunity and access for traditionally underserved students. For this work, she has been awarded, among others, the Charles W. Eliot Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education, the Asa G. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Achievement in Racial Justice and Education Equity, the Founder' Award from the National Commission on African American Education, the Woman of Valor Award from Educational Equity Concepts, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Having written more than 300 journal articles, Darling-Hammond is author or editor of 16 books, including The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future, Powerful Teacher Education: Lessons from Exemplary Programs and Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do, co-written with John Bransford. She received her bachelor's degree from Yale University and her doctorate in urban education (with highest distinction) from Temple University.