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Popular Educational Classics

A Reader

Edited By Joseph L. DeVitis

The last half century has created deep tensions in how we analyze educational and social change. Educators, policymakers, and concerned citizens have had to cope with competing belief systems in evaluating and acting upon school policies and practices. This illuminating book untangles many of the roots of those persistent debates that have divided the nation for so long. It offers readers a critical opportunity to reflect on our continuing ideological struggles by examining popular books that have made a difference in educational discourse.
The editor has specifically selected key books on social and educational controversies that speak to wide audiences. They frame contextual issues that so-called «school reformers» have often neglected – much to the detriment of any real educational progress. Ultimately, this text is meant to stir our consciences, to disorder our certainties, and to compel us to treat education and culture with both reason and passion. It is highly relevant for courses in social foundations of education, school reform, educational policy studies, philosophy of education, history of education, politics of education, curriculum studies, and teacher education.
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Chapter Thirty-Four: Linda Darling-Hammond, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (2010)


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Linda Darling-Hammond, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (2010)

John Smyth

The Author

Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University. After completing her doctoral studies at Temple University in 1978, she worked as a social scientist for the RAND Corporation, becoming Director of Education and Human Resources. From 1989 to 1998 she was a professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and, while William F. Russell Professor, co-founded the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST). From 1994 to 2001 she was the executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. She was education advisor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. She holds honorary doctorates from a number of universities and was named in 2006 by Education Week as one of America’s most influential people on education policy in the last decade. Her research and policy interests focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality, and educational equity.


This book positions itself as a “wake-up call” regarding the condition of American education as compared to that of educationally high-performing countries. The report card provided is not good, and the purpose of the book is to provide a “roadmap” for what needs to be done to organize schools for successful teaching and learning and the policies needed to support them. The essence...

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