The Urgency of Transforming Education
for an Equitable, Diverse Society
A special forum hosted by the School of
Educational Studies featuring leading educators
Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, born in Los Angeles, is a lifetime resident of
California’s 33rd Congressional District, which includes Culver City, portions of the City of Los Angeles, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
Representative Watson attended Birdie Lee Bright Elementary School (formerly 36th Street School), Foshay Junior High School, and Dorsey High School. After graduating from High School, Congresswoman Watson attended Los Angeles City College and matriculated at UCLA, where she received a B.A. in Education. She also holds a M.A. in School Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the Claremont Graduate School.
Her lifetime commitment to education stems from her involvement in the Los Angeles public schools where she worked as an elementary school teacher and school psychologist. She has lectured at both California State Universities at Los Angeles and Long Beach. In 1975, Congresswoman Watson became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Her legacy there
includes efforts to expand school integration and toughen academic standards. The year 1978 marked her election to the California State Senate where she was chosen to chair, from 1981 to 1998, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. She also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee. During her tenure in the California State Senate, Congresswoman Watson became a statewide and national advocate for health care, consumer protection, women, and children. In 1993, she authored the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program Act, which led to pioneering research into the causes of birth defects, and the Residential Care
Facilities Act, to ensure that senior citizens receive quality care in nursing and assisted living homes. In 1997, she introduced legislation to toughen food health safety requirements for restaurants. She also played a key role in the enactment of legislation to promote breast cancer research.
Congresswoman Watson has been an advocate for commonsense welfare reform in the State of California. She played a major role in formulating the State of California's TANF program, which provides education, child care, and employment to welfare recipients. She sought funding to help teen mothers complete their education and gain jobs through the Cal-Learn program. >
In 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Congresswoman Watson to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia. Watson served in this capacity until 2001 when she returned to California to run for Congress in a special election held on June 5, 2001, after the death of Congressman Julian Dixon. She was reelected on November 5, 2002 to a full two year term and has served in each succeeding Congress. Congresswoman Watson is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and is the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement. The Congresswoman is also on the Subcommittee for Domestic Policy and the Subcommittee for on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives. The Congresswoman as well serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In that capacity she serves on the Subcommittee for Africa and Global Health, the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Global Environment, and the Subcommittee on Terrorism,
Nonproliferation, and Trade. The Congresswoman is also the Chair of the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus and a Co-Chair of the Korean Caucus. She is also a member of the Women’s
Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, and the UK Caucus.
Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she has launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality 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. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation's ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade. She recently served as the leader of President Barack Obama's education policy transition team.
Among Darling-Hammond's more than 300 publications are The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Teachers College Press, 2010); Powerful Teacher Education: Lessons from Exemplary Programs (Jossey-Bass, 2006); Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do (with John Bransford; Jossey-Bass, 2005), winner of the AACTE Pomeroy Award; Teaching as the Learning Profession (co-edited with Gary Sykes; Jossey-Bass, 1999), which received the National Staff Development Council's Outstanding Book Award for 2000; and The Right to Learn (Jossey-Bass, 1st edition, 1997), recipient of the American Educational Research Association's Outstanding Book Award for 1998
Claude M. Steele is the twenty-first Provost of Columbia University, as well as a Professor of Psychology.
He was educated at Hiram College and at Ohio State University, where he received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1971. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, Yale University, Princeton University, and from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
He taught at the University of Utah, the University of Washington, and the University of Michigan. Before joining the University, he was a faculty member at Stanford University, holding appointments as the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, as Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and as the Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
He is recognized as a leader in the field of social psychology and for his commitment to the systematic application of social science to problems of major societal significance. His research focuses on the psychological experience of the individual and, particularly, on the experience of threats to the self and the consequences of those threats. His early work considered the self-image threat, self-affirmation and its role in self-regulation, the academic under-achievement of minority students, and the role of alcohol and drug use in self-regulation processes and social behavior. While at Stanford University, he further developed the theory of stereotype threat, designating a common process through which people from different groups, being threatened by different stereotypes, can have quite different experiences in the same situation. The theory has also been used to understand group differences in performance ranging from the intellectual to the athletic.
He has published articles in numerous scholarly journals, including the American Psychologist, The Journal of Applied Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. A book entitled Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us is forthcoming.
He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and to the American Philosophical Society. He is a member of the Board of the Social Science Research Council and of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Board of Directors.
He has received numerous fellowships and awards. He was the recipient of the Dean’s Teaching Award from Stanford University. The American Psychological Association has bestowed on him the Senior Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (1998). The American Psychological Society presented him with the William James Fellow Award for Distinguished Scientific Career Contribution (2000). The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues awarded him the Gordon Allport Prize in Social Psychology (1997) and the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award (1998). He received the Donald Campbell Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2001).
With a career in education that spans over thirty-five years, Carlos A. Garcia has built a strong track record for boosting student achievement and narrowing the achievement gap through his work as a teacher, principal, central office administrator and leader in classroom instruction.
In 2007, Mr. Garcia began his tenure as Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Under his leadership, the district has seen consistent improvement in achievement for all students, including increased academic gains for Latino and African American students. He has also led the way for district policies aimed at graduating all SFUSD students with bilingual skills and the credits required for admission to California’s university system. Before joining SFUSD, Mr. Garcia was Vice President of Urban Advisory Resources for McGraw-Hill Education, an educational materials publishing company. Previously, he led several large urban school districts, including the Fresno Unified School District (Fresno, CA) and the Clark County School District (Clark County Nevada), which was the fifth largest and fastest growing school district in the nation during Mr. Garcia’s tenure, averaging one new school opening per month. Before being a superintendent, Mr. Garcia taught at Rowland Unified School District (La Puente, CA) and Chaffey Joint Union High School District (Ontario, CA) before going on to serve as a principal for schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (Watsonville, CA) and SFUSD’s Horace Mann Middle School. During his time at Mann (1988-91), student achievement significantly improved, and the school was designated a California Distinguished school.
Mr. Garcia received his B.A. from Claremont Men’s College with a major in political science in 1974 and a M.A. in education from Claremont Graduate School in 1976. In 1979, he completed requirements for his administrative credentials at California State University at Fullerton. Mr. Garcia and his wife Gail have two grown children.