Linda Darling-Hammond

Linda Darling-Hammond headshot
Faculty Director

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Short biography

Linda Darling-Hammond, President of the Learning Policy Institute, is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University where she is Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her research and policy work focus on issues of educational equity, teaching quality, and school reform. She has advised school leaders and policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels. In 2008, she served as director of President Obama's education policy transition team. Her book, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity will Determine our Future, received the coveted Grawemeyer Award in 2012. Among her most recent books are Getting Teacher Evaluation Right: What Really Matters for Effectiveness and Improvement (2013) and Beyond the Bubble Test: How Performance Assessments Support 21st Century Learning (2014).

Full biography (PDF version)

Linda Darling-Hammond is currently Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University, where she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, which conducts research and policy analysis on issues affecting educational equity and opportunity, including curriculum, assessment, and teaching policy and practices. She also founded the School Redesign Network and the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute, and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign.

Darling-Hammond has conducted research on a wide range of policy issues affecting teaching and schooling and has advised policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government. From 1994–2001, she was executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching and schooling and was named one of the most influential reports affecting U.S. education. In 2006, Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the past decade, and in 2008, she served as the leader of President Barack Obama’s education policy transition team.

She began her career as a public school teacher and has co-founded a preschool and day care center as well as a public high school. She has worked with countless schools and districts on studying, developing, and scaling up new model schools and has advised many states and professional organizations on creating policies to support school and teaching quality, student and teacher assessment practices, and educational equity.

Darling-Hammond is past president of the American Educational Research Association, a two-term member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences, as well as the National Academy of Education. She co-chaired the Academy’s Committee on Teacher Education, and has served on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Spencer Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, the Center for Teaching Quality, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and the National Council for Educating Black Children, among others.

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 2012 Grawemeyer Award in Education); Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do (with John Bransford, for the National Academy of Education, winner of AACTE Pomeroy Award in 2006), Powerful Teacher Education: Lessons from Exemplary Programs, Teaching as the Learning Profession (with Gary Sykes, awarded the National Staff Development Council’s Outstanding Book Award for 2000), Learning to Teach for Social Justice (with Jennifer French and Silvia Paloma Garcia-Lopez), and The Right to Learn (recipient of AERA’s Outstanding Book Award for 1998).

Darling-Hammond received her B.A. (magna cum laude) from Yale University in 1973, and her Ed.D. in Urban Education (with highest distinction) from Temple University in 1978. She holds honorary degrees from 14 universities in the United States and abroad and has received numerous awards for her contributions to research, policy, and practice.