Darling-Hammond, a teacher-friendly educator, has been tapped by President-elect Barack Obama to head his transition team on education policy.
Her name appears on some – not all – of the guessing-game lists put out by education observers speculating about who Obama will pick to head the huge U.S. Department of Education. And she is the subject of an online petition begun by a teacher in Hawaii that’s attracted thousands of people – many of them teachers – urging the president-elect to choose her.
“I have no idea who it will be,” says Darling-Hammond, switching the topic to what she described as an education agenda “more bold and ambitious than anything we’ve seen since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 … and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act” a decade later.
At this point, it’s still all about big money and big concepts: $10 billion to develop preschool programs for all children; $8 billion to narrow the achievement gap in elementary and secondary schools; $11 billion to send more students to college.