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Former Obama Education Advisor Linda Darling-Hammond to Speak at National Education Forum, beginning March 23 in Boston

BOSTON (March 18, 2010) — Linda Darling-Hammond, one of the nation's most highly respected education scholars and a former education advisor to Barack Obama, will address hot-button issues associated with national education reform, including teacher competency and the controversial charter school movement, as part of a national education forum, beginning March 23 in Boston.

Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Ducommon Professor of Education at Stanford University, is speaking at three public lectures at the "Race, Education and Democracy" lecture and book series, March 23, 24 and 25. The talks will take place at Charles Street A.M.E. Church, located at 551 Warren Street in Boston.

The lectures, which are sponsored by Simmons College and Beacon Press, are free and open to the public. For more information or to register, visit or call 617-521-2257.

Considered among the nation's most distinguished education scholars, Darling-Hammond boasts 30 years of experience in school redesign, teaching quality and teacher preparation, 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. Darling-Hammond helped draft Obama's educational program when he was a presidential candidate; she was widely considered a finalist for the education secretary position.

Darling-Hammond's first lecture on March 23 is "Leveling the Playing Field: How America Constructs Educational Inequality and What We Should Do about It," from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Her second lecture, on March 24, is "Teaching for Diversity: How Can Every Child Have a Committed, Qualified, and Culturally Competent Teacher?" from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Darling-Hammond's final lecture on March 25 is "Choosing Education: Can School Choice Improve School Quality for All Students—and If So, How?" from 4-6p.m.

Each year, the Simmons College/Beacon Press lecture and book series "Race, Education and Democracy" brings a nationally recognized scholar to Boston to deliver several lectures, in order to address contemporary understandings and practices in education, which either undermine or affirm the link between public education and participatory democracy. 

Beacon Press, a historical, highly respected independent publisher based in Boston, will eventually publish the lectures as a book. Beacon Press has published numerous groundbreaking books on a wide range of societal issues, notably Cornel West's "Race Matters," as well as dozens of highly acclaimed works in the field of education.00 Theresa Perry, Ed.D., lecture series director and Simmons College professor of Africana studies and education, said the series was conceived "to reestablish for the public the historic connection between public education and the possibility of a robust democracy, against the backdrop of the issue of race in America." To register, visit or call 617-521-2257.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston. It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, library and information science, and communications management, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women.