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Events Archive

Q&A with Linda Darling-Hammond, founder of the Learning Policy Institute

Earlier this month, Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education, announced the founding of the Learning Policy Institute, a new education think tank that strives to facilitate education reforms needed in the 21st century. Darling-Hammond is a veteran educator, having served as schoolteacher, professor, director of President Obama’s education policy transition team and now CEO of the think tank. Darling-Hammond elaborated on her ideas to cope with some of the most pressing issues in the field of education.

The Stanford Daily (TSD): You mentioned the difficulty translating research findings into concrete policies. Why is there a gap between research and policy? How will you start to cope with the problem as the CEO of the Learning Policy Institute?

Linda Darling-Hammond (LDH): I think that most research is done around specific problems that are important to the individual researcher and quite often to the field as a whole. But they are not necessarily done on the timeline that policymakers need. When there’s a policy moment, you have to be ready. They often are not written and communicated in a way that policymakers can get access to and understand. And they’re often not translated into the way that would be relevant in a specific policy moment or event. So that work needs to happen. It’s like building bridges… We have to build the bridges that go between [policy and research] so that what we know about learning, schooling and teaching is made accessible at the time and in the way that policymakers can actually understand it and are helped to be able to apply it to the work they’re doing.

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