Letter -- Unfair Post Criticism of Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In its Dec. 5 editorial "A Job for a Reformer," The Post inaccurately described Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who is considered one of the top candidates to become President-elect Barack Obama's education secretary.

The claim that Ms. Darling-Hammond represents the "status quo" is ludicrous. Indeed, she has been an articulate advocate for young people throughout her professional life.

She was the founding executive director of the National Commission for Teaching and America's Future, a panel whose work catalyzed major policy changes to improve the quality of teacher education. She has been a powerful voice for the fundamental principle that all children deserve a well-prepared and properly supported teacher. She has advocated for strong accountability and has offered thoughtful alternatives -- a balanced system of measures to evaluate higher-order thinking skills. And she has urged federal policies that would stop the micromanagement of schools and start ensuring educational equity -- an issue only the federal government can tackle.

If she becomes education secretary, Ms. Darling-Hammond will seek to reform the department in ways that reflect her deep understanding of how schools can best be empowered to educate the whole child and prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century. If such a goal were ever to constitute the "status quo," our schools and our young people would clearly be the better for it.

SAM CHALTAIN

National Director

Forum for Education and Democracy

Washington


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