Please sign a petition asking President-elect Barack Obama to appoint Linda Darling-Hammond as Secretary of Education.
Here’s the link to the petition:
We in the US are always giving lip service to reforming education and “high standards.” The results of this discussion has been to require states to implement yearly testing, e.g., No Child Left Behind (NCLB). This in turn saw the implementation of yearly standardized multiple choice tests across the country that hold schools hostage to improving their scores on these tests. This has had the effect of teachers having to “teach to the test” – so we have a generation of kids who are bored with school and can’t apply what they have “learned” to the real world – but are terrific when it comes to filling in ovals on a standardized test!
Case in point- the introduction of the 21st Century Skills committee’s report at the Board of Ed’s meeting in Somerville two weeks ago was from Verizion’s regional VP, President of Brigham & Women’s, and Chancellor of UMass Boston all saying – the students coming out of high school can’t think critically, can’t work as a team, can’t solve problems, don’t know how to use technology effectively – all things they need in employees and apparantly spend money on doing remedial training! These “so-called” 21st century skills are, in my opinion, the exact opposite of what NCLB is designed to do. (Those in the testing industry must be chortling behind their camouflage of double-speak of “high standards” as the dollars roll in!)
Darling-Hammond’s views on education reform are refreshing. We need a forward and clear thinker in this important cabinet position.
Darling-Hammond is a Standford University Professor of Education and is currently on Obama’s transition team.
From her award-winning book, The Right to Learn:
“Bureaucratic solutions to problems of practice will always fail because effective teaching is not routine, students are not passive, and questions of practice are not simple, predictable, or standardized. Consequently, instructional decisions cannot be formulated on high then packaged and handed down to teachers.”
An interview from PBS:
An editorial she wrote last year in the SF Chronicle:
Please sign this petition and pass it on to all the folks you know who care about public education !