Forward: Appoint Linda Darling-Hammond

In a recent Salon article, Dr. Bill Ayers was asked what he would recommend for Obama’s second term, here is what he said:

Fire Arne Duncan and appoint Linda Darling-Hammond as Secretary of Education.

This would signal a significant break with the most destructive aspects of the failed “school reform” agenda this administration has promoted: turning public assets and spaces over to private managers, obstructing any independent, collective voice of teachers, and reducing education to a single narrow metric that claims to recognize an educated person through a standardized test score. While there’s absolutely no proof that this approach improves schooling one iota, it chugs along unfazed — fact-free, faith-based reform at its core, resting on ideology and not evidence.

A teacher and recognized scholar/researcher for decades, Dr. Darling-Hammond will not be swayed by big money or political expediency or the latest fads. She will be independent, professional and principled.

We can then return to the precious but fragile ideal that must power education in a democracy: Every human being is of incalculable value, and the fullest development of all is the condition for the full development of each.

Will Duncan serve during the second term? I recently re-tweeted (join my Twitter here) Alexander Russo who recently referenced a Politico article that posited Michelle Rhee was being considered for Secretary of Education. I immediately emailed LDH tell her I was feeling ill (As a point of full disclosure, LDH was my doctoral adviser at Stanford).

Do you remember these petitions (1,2) from the 2008 Presidential appointment sweepstakes? Can we start a new one?

Dear President Obama:  Read LDH’s book. Stop listening to the Democrats for Education Reform (who have essentially co-opted their “reform” agenda from the Republicans).

Let’s move “Forward” on educational policy.

She stood with you from the beginning. Appoint LDH.

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Categories: Announcements

Author:Julian Vasquez Heilig

Julian Vasquez Heilig is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin.

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3 Comments on “Forward: Appoint Linda Darling-Hammond”

  1. Bob Calder
    February 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Please do it.
    I will promote it in the education community on G+ as best I can.


  1. Obama facing school “turnaround” civil rights complaints | Cloaking Inequity - January 28, 2013

    [...] Speaking of accountability, NCLB has not delivered as promised. Thus, the bigger question is whether Obama plans to stay the course of No Child Behind Left in his second term… will there be more high-stakes tests, more AYP, more charter schools, more TFA, more “turnarounds“? Or will he decide to go Forward and think big? [...]

  2. Express Yourself: A Lyrical Critique of Reformers | Cloaking Inequity - December 22, 2013

    […] flava in 161 countries, my behaviour is hereditary, But my technique is very necessary. Blame it on Darling-Hammond… Because she taught me how to bring it When you got a subject and a predicate. Add it on a […]

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