Here is her bio from Stanford
"Bureaucratic solutions to problems of practice will always fail because effective teaching is not routine, students are not passive, and questions of practice are not simple, predictable, or standardized. Consequently, instructional decisions cannot be formulated on high then packaged and handed down to teachers."
- from her award-winning book, The Right to Learn
Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she has launched the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network. She has also served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994-2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching and teacher education. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation's ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade. Among Darling-Hammond's more than 300 publications are 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 the Pomeroy Award from AACTE), Teaching as the Learning Profession: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (Jossey-Bass: 1999) (co-edited with Gary Sykes), which received the National Staff Development Council's Outstanding Book Award for 2000; and The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Schools that Work, recipient of the American Educational Research Association's Outstanding Book Award for 1998.
* EdD (Urban Education),with Highest Distinction, Temple University, 1978
* BA, magna cum laude, Yale University, 1973.
There is a petition being circulated in her favor.
In addition, the National Network of Teacher Activist Groups has a petition outlining the sort of Secretary they'd like to see, mentioning no names:
...Our vision of educational justice, access, opportunity, and equity includes having a Department of Education whose officials embrace the idea of a quality education as part of the common good. We wish to turn away from a corporate model of education that claims that teaching and learning can only improve by imposing market perspectives and processes onto our public
education system. Education should be a fundamental human right, not subject to privatization by firms whose primary concern is a profit motive and the bottom line. We have all witnessed the failures of this free market system in recent months and do not support this model for our key member of Mr. Obama's education team. We want a person who is a professional, experienced, and knowledgeable educator, not a corporate executive such as New York City's Education Chancellor Joel Klein or Chicago CEO Arne Duncan, who have demonstrated their vision of privatized, corporatized, and anti-democratic schools.
Over the last 20 years in the U.S., education is becoming the business of education, and we emphatically reject that model. We call upon the President-elect to choose someone who will embrace the ideas of civic involvement and public participation. We look forward to
collaborating with that person, as well as with students, parents, and the broader public, in developing a truly meaningful and just education for all students in the U.S.