Obama’s Education Decision. A Bit of Back Story

By Seth Freed Wessler Dec 15, 2008

Obama has yet to appoint an education secretary and those rising to the top of the list present starkly different visions of what education should look like. The inclusion of Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford professor and education expert with progressive and pro-union politics, as part of Obama’s transition team suggests that we may see a move away from the cookie cutter, test heavy, No Child Left Behind education trends of the past 8 years. New York City chancellor of schools Joel Klein has also been raised as a possible appointee. He has come under sharp criticism from parents and education advocates who say he excludes teachers, parents and communities from decision-making processes. In a recent article in Colorlines about county’s first Arabic/English dual language public school, I wrote that Klein and the NYC Department of Education do not come away looking so clean after Klein succumbed to pressure from right wing groups who lashed out against the school. Read on.