Darling-Hammond to chair California agency on teacher standards

Linda Darling-Hammond

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing works to ensure that the state’s principals, assistant principals and teachers are appropriately prepared for their jobs. They have elected School of Education Professor LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND to lead the effort. On Friday, Darling-Hammond was elected chair of the commission, which sets standards for educator preparation for the state’s public schools, oversees their licensing and credentialing, enforces professional practices and takes responsibility for disciplinary actions. She was appointed to the commission last year by GOV. JERRY BROWN and served as vice chair until last week.

“Darling-Hammond has advocated making teacher and administrator training programs more rigorous and holding universities and programs that grant credentials accountable for producing effective teachers,” wrote JOHN FENSTERWALD for the website EdSource. “California’s requirement that all teaching candidates pass a performance assessment, which she helped create at Stanford, is a step toward that goal.” In a recent interview with Fensterwald, Darling-Hammond said that one priority for the commission would be incorporating the new Common Core standards in math and English into the state’s standards for teaching. She also identified rewriting standards for administrators and rethinking the credentials required to teach special education, where there is a critical shortage of teachers, as priority issues.

Among Darling-Hammond’s more than 400 publications are The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future, winner of the 2011 Grawemeyer Award in Education; Powerful Teacher Education: Lessons from Exemplary Programs; and Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do (with JOHN BRANSFORD, 2005), winner of the AACTE Pomeroy Award. From 1994 to 2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching in the United States. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential papers affecting U.S. education, and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s 10 most influential people affecting educational policy over the previous decade.

—JONATHAN RABINOVITZ, School of Education