Linda Darling-Hammond

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Linda Darling-Hammond

Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University where she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign.

Darling-Hammond is past president of the American Educational Research Association and recipient of its awards for Distinguished Contributions to Research, Lifetime Achievement, and Research-to-Policy. She is also a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Education. From 1994–2001, she was executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, whose 1996 report What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future was named one of the most influential reports affecting U.S. education in that decade. In 2006, Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy. In 2008, she served as the leader of President Barack Obama’s education policy transition team.

Darling-Hammond began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded both a preschool and a public high school. She served as Director of the RAND Corporation’s education program and as an endowed professor at Columbia University, Teachers College. She has consulted widely with federal, state and local officials and educators on strategies for improving education policies and practices. Among her more than 500 publications are a number of award-winning books, including The Right to Learn, Teaching as the Learning Profession, Preparing Teachers for a Changing World and The Flat World and Education. She received an Ed.D. from Temple University (with highest distinction) and a B.A. from Yale University (magna cum laude).[1]

Obama forum

Students and community members came out en masse January 30 2008, for the "Faculty for Obama" forum held at Toyon Lounge. The talk featured candid policy discussions and a question and answer session with four presidential campaign advisors to Senator Barack Obama (D-IL). The speakers included Law Profs. Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Larry Marshall and William Gould, as well as Education Prof. Linda Darling-Hammond.

The event — hosted by Debashish Bakshi '08, head of the Stanford chapter of Students for Barack Obama — drew some one hundred fifty prospective voters, filling seats almost to capacity. The night was one of both impassioned political advocacy and thoughtful dialogue. as the four academics highlighted their involvement in the campaign and sought to distinguish Obama from his rival for the Democratic nomination. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). While all four professors gave specific examples of how the senators differ on critical issues, they often harked back to differences in philosophy and vision that, they said, were fundamental to the choice between the candidates.

Marshall, a national advocate for reform of the criminal justice system, recounted his own experience working with Obama in Illinois in 2001. It was a time, he said, when the long history of brutality and racism in the Chicago Police Department had created a crisis of inaction in the state legislature. Transformation of the justice system, it seemed, would not come through political avenues. But Obama changed that, Marshall said, by forming coalitions of people from across the political spectrum. "What we're talking about here with Senator Obama is an entirely different framework for what civility is in political discourse," Marshall said."We're talking about fundamental structural change; there's something different, there's something deep.

Cuellar, a veteran of the Clinton administration and a long-time Obama supporter, echoed Marshall's sentiments, declaring that this is the most important election with which he has ever been involved. Cuellar. who advises Obama on immigration reform, criminal justice and foreign policy lauded Obama's courage in addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system and praised his principled stance on multi-lateralism. Obama. he said, was a man of moral conviction and integrity, neither swayed by the "political winds" nor immune to compromise.

Darling-Hammond gave a broad outline of Obama's platform for comprehensive education reform, citing his "equalize and invest" approach, emphasis on accountability and career ladder incentive program. She said that Obama's strategy mirrored programs in other academically successful nations and would do much to address educational inequities.

Gould, a professor emeritus who has previously campaigned for John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Bill Clinton, said he believes Obama's campaign to be of similar historical significance. Gould said he was attracted to Obama's positions on a broad array of issues, including labor reform, social security, regional trade and taxation. What appealed to him most, however, was Obama's drive to "overcome divisiveness on the basis of class and race, and to get us to work together as a country."

As the forum closed, supporters stood fit the end of the hall, distributing pledge cards in support of Obama. "At what point," demanded Marshall, "do we start voting our dreams?"[2]

Defending Obama

The widely watched presidential and vice presidential debates have garnered much media attention with the U.S. presidential election looming in November. But on Oct. 21 2008, Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford professor of education and education advisor to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). will take the spotlight alongside Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) education advisor Lisa Graham Keegan in a Web cast debate on their respective candidates' education policies. Darling-Hammond reaffirmed her belief to The Daily that Obama will be instrumental in reshaping the country's lagging educational system. She said that the senator's campaign has a particular focus in establishing greater access to early education resources, which she sees as critical in increasing the performance of American students. "Every dollar invested in preschool nets a benefit to society of $7-10 in returns on savings because of lower drop-out rates, higher college-going rates and higher employment rates that produce money back in the economy," Darling-Hammond said.

"McCain's combined pledges for investment total less than a billion dollars," Darling-Hammond said. "Obama's [ pledges] total more than 30 billion dollars." Darling-Hammond also stressed the importance of reform of NCLB and said Obama wants to restructure the comprehensive legislation so that there is less emphasis on standardized testing and more on tangible measures of academic achievement. Obama's plan, she claimed, would change the dizzying array of requirements that schools must fulfill in favor of a system that measures academic progress. "We need to create assessments that look more like other countries' where there are essays and oral examinations and include scientific examination and research projects." Darling-Hammond said. Darling-Hammond's list of changes planned by the Obama team also includes radical changes in school design. She said school design has not changed significantly in over 100 years, and that the Obama campaign seeks to create learning environments that are more technologically advanced.[3]

Tapped by Obama

With the presidential inauguration rapidly approaching. President-elect Barack Obama recruited a number of Stanford professors as advisers for his transition team. Among those selected advisers include Profs. Linda Darling-Hammond, Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Michael McFaul, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and Peter Blair Henry.

Linda Darling-Hammond will head the Education Policy Working Group. For Darling-Hammond, leading the education team is a natural progression from her long-running involvement with Sen. Obama's presidential campaign. "I started working on the campaign way back in the very beginning, before anybody thought Barack Obama was going to be a major candidate," she said. "It's been a long, long haul over the last two years. I worked on his education policy team, helping to draft his policies, and I [then] got to DC. to work on the transition." Darling-Hammond now divides her time between Stanford and Washington D.C., simultaneously teaching courses and trying to build what she terms "an education nation." "Our job is to take the campaign promises and platform, and figure out how to implement those legislatively and develop a set of options that are going to be handed to... the president and the new secretary of the agency." [4]

Candidacy for Secretary of Education

Stanford University Education Professor Linda Darling-Hammond helped Barack Obama draft his educational plan when he was a presidential candidate, and advised him on education issues during the transition between Obama’s 2008 election and 2009 inauguration. [5]

In 2008, Darling-Hammond was viewed as one of the most likely candidates for United States Secretary of Education in the Obama administration.[6] At the time, others rumored to be under consideration included New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Jonathan Schnur, chief executive of New Leaders, and Arne Duncan, chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools. Obama eventually chose Duncan for secretary of education.[7] Citing commitments in California, Darling-Hammond later indicated that she would not be taking any other positions in the Obama administration.[8]

Race Will Win the Race conference

PowerPAC+ June 25, 2014;

Today's the day! #WINin2014 Race Will Win the Race conference is finally here. Check out what's to come and join us on Twitter @PowerPAC_Plus using #WINin2014. — with Stacey Abrams, Cory Booker, Trey Martinez Fischer, Representative Marcia Fudge and Mark Takano in Washington, District of Columbia.[9]

Race torace.JPG

Plus speakers Aimee Allison, Deepak Bhargava, Susan Sandler, Steve Phillips, Ingrid Nava, Andy Wong, Subodh Chandra, Linda Darling-Hammond, Alida Garcia, Julie Martinez Ortega.


Alida Garcia and Linda Darling-Hammond.


  1. [1]
  2. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 232, Issue 65, 31 January 2008]
  3. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 234, Issue 11, 3 October 2008 ]
  4. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 234, Issue 47, 3 December 2008]
  5. [2]
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named The_New_Team:_Linda_Darling-Hammond
  7. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Time, December 17, 2008
  8. Darling-Hammond Out for Education Dept. Post, The New Republic, February 19, 2009}
  9. [3]