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USDE: Stanford Professor Not Joining Duncan Team


Stanford Professor Linda Darling Hammond is spreading the word that she's not going to be joining the Duncan team at the USDE after all, citing a desire to return to California and to be with family.  According to a letter that was passed on to me, she's got an ailing daughter and a policy center she aims to develop:

I'm sure she'll continue to do well at whatever she does, but this outcome -- predictable as it is -- seems like a shame.

Also, 30 days into the Obama administration we still don't have most of the USDE senior posts filled.  (Steve Robinson apparently has signed on as a special assistant to AD but that's it.) There's no stimulus excuse anymore.  What's the holdup?  Who's under consideration? Is there going to be a "stim czar" at the Department to help shovel out all the loot?

UPDATE:  A group email from LDH to friends and colleagues is below.

Dear Friends,


As many of you know, I have been gone quite a bit since last fall leading President Obama's transition team for education policy, a process that is just now winding down.  It has been tremendously gratifying to have had a role in developing his ambitious education agenda and the first steps toward implementation in the stimulus package, which allocates nearly $100 billion to education (!) So many of you have asked me about my future plans that Deborah and I thought it might be best to abuse the SUSE community listserve this once to let you know that several things have converged in the last week or so to persuade me to stay in California and support the President's agenda from here.


First, of course, is friends and family, whom I have missed and am so glad to be surrounded by once again.  You all have been tremendously supportive in a variety of ways – with courses, students, projects, ideas for the Administration, and many, many gestures of friendship and aid.  Thank you.  And my family members have some needs that I want to be available to support without traveling cross country each week, which I hardly need tell you is tremendously grueling.   


In addition, several funders have indicated they want to make major investments in the new Policy Center Prudence Carter and I were just beginning to get off the ground at Stanford when I left to work on the transition.  We will be working on issues of school reform – including standards and assessments, teaching quality, and educational equity in the US and around the world.  I've also been asked to take an important role in an international performance assessment project sponsored by several of the high-tech companies here in Silicon Valley that will greatly advance our ability, with other countries, to build better measures of learning, something the president cares deeply about.   I believe this will help move the agenda forward – and allow me to help the Administration accomplish some things it cannot do from inside the bureaucracy alone.   


So I look forward to rejoining you in our many collective undertakings here, and, yes, I will be offering my course in School Reform this spring.


Best, Linda


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Professor LDH is, and always will be, a class act.

Unlike those "reformers" (Klein?, Rhee?, Piche? Kopp?) who tried to smear her reputation after the election. They should be ashamed of themselves. The real question is why they were so threatened by the nation's pre-eminent expert on teacher quality.

Why do they have to be threatened by her? Maybe they just disagreed with her positions.

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