Our response appeared in the Times, but here's the unedited version:
David Brooks got it exactly wrong (“Who Will He Choose?” Dec. 5 Opinion column). Linda Darling-Hammond was appointed as head of Obama’s transition team precisely because she represents the real and deep education reform faction in the national education debate. Her track record of analysis of what it takes to improve the quality of teaching and teachers has been the most consistent critical voice over the past 25 years. She is anything but the establishment. On the other side, we have self-described change agents without a real plan for improving teaching and learning. Brooks does a disservice labeling Klein, who ended the successful reforms in New York’s District 2, a reformer. The question is one of deep versus superficial reform. Deep reform demands that school systems nurture skillful teaching, and that standards assess students’ higher order thinking skills, not just multiple choice tests. We can do better than the superficial reforms that have led to very mixed results over the past eight years. Obama should go with the real reformer, Linda Darling-Hammond.
The writer is a member of Teachers and Parents for Real Education Reform, DC