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).
Let’s move “Forward” on educational policy.
She stood with you from the beginning. Appoint LDH.