Stanford scholar Linda Darling-Hammond launches educational think tank

Linda Darling-Hammond
Linda Darling-Hammond

Stanford education Professor Emerita LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND has a new project – and it comes in the form of a think tank.

Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Emerita, aims to cultivate education policies nationwide with the recent launch of the Learning Policy Institute. With offices in Palo Alto and Washington, D.C., the institute will connect research and policy in innovative and collaborative ways, with an emphasis on turning knowledge into action.

“It is time to get serious about how to support and enable our education system to respond to the massive changes in learning that some other nations’ systems have been addressing more systemically, with much better results, over the last two decades,” Darling-Hammond wrote in the Huffington Post on Sept. 3. She will serve as president and CEO of the organization.

Darling-Hammond said the think tank will focus on policies and research on pre-K through high school grade levels, and work with leaders in education, government, business and other fields who share a commitment to education and the use of evidence as a guide for developing smart educational policies.

In the institute’s news release, she said, “We’ve arrived at a new moment for public education in America.”

In a fast-changing, knowledge-based society, the pressing challenge is to give students the right tools and educational experiences early on – and research is the key. “All children need to be able to inquire deeply, think critically, communicate and collaborate to solve challenging problems,” she said.

This effort, Darling-Hammond said, will involve bridging the often far-apart worlds of research and policymaking.

Darling-Hammond will be joined by PATRICK SHIELDS, who will serve as the institute’s executive director after 20 years overseeing the education research center at SRI International.