Publication Date: January 7, 2010
Series: Multicultural Education Series
Linda Darling-Hammond is the 2023 National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Policy Leader of the Year
In this bestseller and Grawemeyer Award winner, Linda Darling-Hammond offers an eye-opening wake-up call concerning America’s future and vividly illustrates what the United States needs to do in order to build a system of high-achieving and equitable schools that ensures every child the right to learn.
Today in the United States only 1 in 10 low-income kindergarteners goes on to graduate from college. At a time when education matters more than ever, the U.S. high school graduation rate has dropped from first in the world to the bottom half of rankings for comparable nations. While such sobering facts inform her new book, it is the successes of effective school systems in the U.S. and abroad that the author focuses on to develop a clear and coherent set of policies that can be used to create high-quality and equitable schools.
Drawing on her broad experience, Darling-Hammond examines the roots of our modern education system and how the skills required for our 21st century global economy cannot be learned in traditional education systems, which have been in place since the early 1900s. She identifies an “opportunity gap” that has evolved as new kinds of learning have become necessary — a gap where low-income students, students of color, and English language learners often do not have the same access as others to qualified teachers, high-quality curriculum, and well-resourced classrooms.
After setting the stage on current conditions in the U.S., Darling-Hammond offers a coherent approach for effective reform, focusing on creating successful systems, inducting and supporting quality teachers, designing effective schools, establishing strong professional practice, and providing equitable and sufficient resources. The Flat World and Education lays out what the United States needs to do in order to build a system of high-achieving and equitable schools that ensures every child the right to learn.
Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond is currently Charles E. Ducommun professor of education at Stanford University, where she founded and oversees the School Redesign Network. The program works across the nation to transform schools to teach 21st-century skills and support student success through innovations in district and school redesign, as well as in curriculum, teaching, and assessment. She also founded and co-directs the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, which conducts research and policy analysis on issues affecting educational equity and opportunity. Recently, Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the past decade, and she served as the leader of President Barack Obama’s education policy transition team.
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 National Academy of Education. She served on the White House Advisory Panel’s Resource Group for the National Education Goals, the National Academy’s Panel on the Future of Educational Research, the Academy’s Committee on Teacher Education, and on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Spencer 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.
She received the 2022 Yidan Prize for Education Research. She received the 2023 AERA Distinguished Public Service Award. She received the 2023 National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Policy Leader of the Year.
"There are few who are as strong as Darling-Hammond in using and analyzing statistical data and scholarship…and in fighting for educational equity; when she talks about leaving no child behind, she truly means it. This book is a must for graduate education students, educators, (and) policy makers...Essential." — Choice
"Contains a valuable lode of practical and research-based advice about how to improve our schools." — Washington Post
"Darling-Hammond identifies the policies and the practices that could turn the tide from educational mediocrity to educational excellence for all if we only had the will." — The School Administrator
"Given the accessible and yet sophisticated way that Darling-Hammond analyzes past educational reform efforts and provides policy direction for the future, it is no surprise that many in the field of education had hoped that she would become the Secretary of Education under President Obama." — Teachers College Record
"Darling-Hammond reveals the successful educational strategies around the world that are toppling the old educational guard, including a high degree of personalization that allows stronger, closer relationships among students, faculty, staff, and parents...Scholarly and factual, well-researched and packed with astounding examples of the current climate of American education, this text should prove highly informative for educators, educational administrators, and involved parents throughout the U.S." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This is a work I wish would be read and absorbed by all who are attempting to 'reform' our schools” — Daily Kos
“Darling-Hammond’s book gives us an idea of where we could have been headed if she were in charge of the country's education policy.” — The Washington Post-The Answer Sheet
"Linda has done it again. She combines vision with hands-on policy and school understanding as virtually no one else does. This is a must."
—Deborah Meier, 45 years of experience working in public schools
“We are so fortunate that Linda Darling-Hammond has provided this roadmap for educational excellence for allchildren in today's flat world.”
—Richard W. Riley, Former U. S. Secretary of Education
“When Linda Darling-Hammond speaks, America’s teachers listen! I listened and learned from her as we together led the National Boardfor Professional Teaching Standards and created the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.Excellent schools are the key to America’s economic future, and superb teaching is the key to great schools. This book makes clear as abell how to organize schools for successful teaching and what state andnational policies are required to support it.”
—James B. Hunt, Former Governor of North Carolina
“Anyone who desires a quantum leap in the educational achievements of American students—as opposed to the 'quick fix'—must address the issues raised in this carefully argued and well-documented work.”
—Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“Once again Linda Darling-Hammond brings clarity to complexity, thoughtful analysis to politically charged issues, and sound policy recommendations to the hysteria of what to do to save America’s public schools. In this volume the macro meets the micro on terms that let all democratically minded citizens breathe a sigh of relief.”
—Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Her arguments are sound, rooted in evidence, and unencumbered by the kinds of ideological partisanship that characterizes too much of current debates on education. After reading this book, one will understand why it was that candidate Obama, when seeking advice from the sharpest minds in education, turned to Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond.” —Pedro A. Noguera, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, New York University
"Linda Darling-Hammond has written the definitive description of the problems that drag down the quality and equity of our educational system. Writing with passion, solid scholarship, and compassion, she presents a vision of the changes that are necessary to build a better education system and a brighter future for all our children and our nation."
—Diane Ravitch, New York University, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System
“Linda Darling-Hammond’s latest is a profoundly important book. She provides both a powerful rationale and a clear, detailed roadmap for how public education must be transformed to meet the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessment in the 21st century. It is a ‘must-read’ for educators, policymakers, and others concerned about the future of our country in a ‘flat’ world.”
—Tony Wagner, co-director, Harvard Change Leadership Group, author of The Global Achievement Gap
2012 The Grawemeyer Award in Education
2011 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist in Education
2010 Association of American Publishers Prose Award Honorable Mention in Education
2023 National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Policy Leader of the Year to Linda Darling-Hammond
2023 AERA Distinguished Public Service Award to Linda Darling-Hammond