Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama's Educ. Sec.?

Please, oh please, don't pick Linda Darling-Hamilton. That rabid anti-TFA Stanford education prof is precisely the type of person we DON'T need as Sec. Educ.

Of course, since Obama said education is his fifth priority, a new Sec. Educ. might not be able to do much. But regardless, someone else needs to be in that important role.

See also this entry from the Huffington Post. Highlights:

Yes, Darling-Hammond is an ed school professor who talks in nuanced, academic terms--not scripted talking points (see her debate here). Yes, she was among the first and most prominent critics of Teach For America--and still favors a more intensive, residency-based approach to training new teachers.

But she also has authored a recent study that acknowledged T.F.A. teachers were in some ways better than traditional teachers. And she has helped start several charter schools in California. Darling-Hammond says there's no real daylight between her positions and Obama's policy proposals, and I haven't seen any convincing evidence to contradict that claim.

So what's going on then? Part of it is just a knee-jerk response against someone who dared criticize T.F.A., the reformistas' most cherished accomplishment to date. Another part of it may be the desire for a younger, fresher name picked from their own ranks--D.C. superintendent Michelle Rhee, or New Leaders founder Jon Schnur.



Who Will Obama Pick as Secretary of Education? - TIME

1 comment:

Antoinette said...

I agree that it should NOT be Linda Darling-Hammond. Even though education is not at the top of his priority list, Obama will need to be smart about his ed pick. He has strong ties to the unions (as democrats always do) and picking a reformer like Joel Klein or Rhee will seriously piss them off. It would make me happy though... :)