Thursday, February 19, 2009

NO LDH - sigh of relief

If you heard a collective sigh of relief from the education reformers in the world, you heard correctly. Linda Darling-Hammond (LDH) will not be joining the US DOE citing family reasons. Her daughter is ill and, as a dad, I will keep them in my thoughts. But for ABCTE, this is a relief.

Early in my career with ABCTE I was sitting at a lunch table at a NCTAF meeting and there was an open seat next to me. LDH was about to sit down and I stood and introduced myself – at that point someone came over and explained who I was and she immediately sat elsewhere.

It is one of those moments where you see that someone is so closed to any new ideas that they can't even sit next to you. This is borne out in her publications and speeches where she will not even consider alternative teacher certification in spite of the data that support this direction. It is also the reason new ideas are driven out of education – because the people carrying and driving those ideas are treated so rudely by the defenders of the status quo. Luckily my thick skin, stubbornness and inability to care what the status quo thinks, keeps me going.

I was very concerned during the elections that Obama was represented by LDH one day and a charter school principal the next. It appears that they were still developing their education policy and now true reform really has a chance.

And the children, not the adults, will be the real winners for a change

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