Former AERA President Linda Darling-Hammond Appointed Head of California State Board of Education
Former AERA President Linda Darling-Hammond Appointed Head of California State Board of Education

February 2019

On February 12, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced during his State of the State address that former AERA president Linda Darling-Hammond will head the state Board of Education.

“We need a new president for the State Board of Education, to lead the way and work alongside State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, and to lift up all of our students,” said Newsom. “And my pick for that position is nationally recognized education expert Linda Darling-Hammond.”

In addition to serving as AERA president in 1995–1996, Darling-Hammond has received the association’s Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award and Relating Research to Practice Award, as well as AERA Division L's Lifetime Achievement Award.

“This is a clear win for California’s students,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “Dr. Darling-Hammond holds the credentials, leadership track record, and commitment to education policy to be an outstanding leader of the California Board of Education. We wish her tremendous success in her new role.”

Darling-Hammond began her career as a public school teacher and has co-founded a preschool and a public high school. She served as founding executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and, in 2008, served as the leader of President Barack Obama’s education policy transition team.

Currently, she is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University and president of the Learning Policy Institute, which she founded in 2015 to bring high-quality research evidence into education policy deliberations at the federal, state, and local levels. 

Darling-Hammond’s extensive body of research examines the policy and practice approaches that will ensure all children, especially the most vulnerable, have access to excellent teachers and empowering learning experiences. Among her more than 500 publications are a number of award-winning books, including The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work; Teaching as the Learning Profession: Handbook of Policy and Practice; and The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future