Linda Darling-Hammond is Professor of Education at Stanford University where she has launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994-2001, she served as executive director of a panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching and teacher education. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation's ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade. She recently served as the leader of President Barack Obama's education policy transition team.
In her book "The flat world and education", Darling-Hammond examines the roots of the U.S. modern education system and shows how the skills required for our 21st-century global economy cannot be learned in traditional education systems, which have been in place since the early 1900s. She identifies an "opportunity gap" that has evolved as new kinds of learning have become necessary - a gap where low-income students, students of colour, and English language learners often do not have the same access as others to qualified teachers, high-quality curriculum, and well-resourced classrooms. After setting the stage on current conditions in the U.S., Darling-Hammond offers a coherent approach for effective reform that focusses on creating successful systems, inducting and supporting quality teachers, designing effecting schools, establishing strong professional practice, and providing equitable and sufficient resources. The Flat World and Education lays out what the U.S. needs to do in order to build a system of high-achieving and equitable schools that ensures every child the right to learn.
-- Watch Dan Rather's interview with Linda Darling-Hammond on Finland
-- Watch Linda on Becoming Internationally Competitive