Challenges to equity in American public education
A talk by Professor Linda Darling-Hammond
At a time when education as a public good and responsibility is increasingly under attack by donor-driven agendas or market forces, the talk by Professor Linda Darling-Hammond at IIEP on 27 June 2012 was especially thought provoking.
Some 80 participants from OECD, UNESCO, the American community in Paris and students from Sciences Po and IIEP trainees responded to the invitation by IIEP and the Democrats Abroad France Education Policy Group to hear one of the foremost American educators speak on what it takes to ensure that each and every young person has a nurturing and equitable learning environment in public schools.
Khalil Mahshi, IIEP Director welcomed the participants and spoke with feeling about the lack of equity found in many countries, referring to the Arab spring. Leslie Limage, Moderator and Organizer, reminded participants why Prof. Darling-Hammond’s talk is so important today in an interdependent world of increasing inequality and poverty. “This is a critical time to re-commit ourselves to equal opportunity in national public education systems in order to offer young people a real chance to fulfill their own potential and become globally responsible citizens. There are increasing national and international trends to outsource and privatize public education in the name of reform, crisis, security and efficiency,” she said.
Professor Darling-Hammond's talk provided an in-depth analysis of American public education, indeed of what is known worldwide, to ensure equity for all young people through education. Her book, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future, written to inspire President Obama in 2010 and her talk stress: (a) the necessity of professionally-qualified and experienced teachers and administrators in schools; (b) the necessity of ensuring equitable public funding of schools, teachers and infrastructure; and (c) the importance of a rich curriculum rather than reliance on high-stakes standardized testing to reward and sanction schools, teachers and learners.
About Professor Linda Darling and her book
About the event: