Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obama, Education Secretary; petitions for, against

Wednesday afternoon, November 19, 2008, it became official: Stanford University education professor Linda Darling-Hammond is leading President-elect Barack Obama's education working team.

Gotham Schools interpreted her ascendancy as a rebuke to the policies of New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and New Leaders for New Schools CEO Joe Schnur.
Her opponents include the unnamed “reformers” that today some GothamSchools readers have commented should be called “idealocrats” — people like Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and New Leaders for New Schools founder and CEO Jon Schnur who support high-stakes testing, alternative teacher certification programs, and other efforts to shake up schools.

Darling-Hammond opposes those policies, according to an earlier article at Gotham Schools:
Darling-Hammond has been consistently skeptical of the nameless movement’s efforts to shake up public schools. She has criticized Teach For America, the alternative certification program for teachers; criticized high-stakes testing, and criticized No Child Left Behind for narrowing the curriculum.

A petition against Klein as education secretary is leading a petition for Darling-Hammond as secretary, by a ratio of 3 to 2.

The selection of Darling-Hammond, to lead the education working team is a step in the right direction. She agrees with educators and parents that view policies such as NCLB as misguided. Thank you, President-elect Obama.

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