On the radio program Sound Off With Sasha, Nation writer and Stanford University professor Linda Darling-Hammond diagnoses the ills of the US education system and its possible solutions. Darling-Hammond discusses her founding role in the School Redesign Network, a nationwide program that works to teach schools twenty-first-century skills and supports students through curriculum redesign and assessment. Channeling her article, "Restoring Our Schools," which appeared in the June 14, 2010, edition of The Nation, Darling-Hammond describes how the United States ranks fairly low in international assessments, due to its unequal structure and outdated philosophies. She says that the US needs to take a lesson from other countries and adopt more open-ended ways of testing students. "We are very stuck in this country on the 1950s multiple choice test. It’s not a multiple choice world out there."

Later in the program, Philissa Cramer, assistant editor of GothamSchools, a new independent news source for New York City public schools, talks about what skills are important for students in this new technological world. Drawing from her Nation article "Bright Ideas," Cramer says, "students know how to learn facts," and that educators should teach students how to use new technologies to learn what they don’t know.

Go here to listen to the show.

—Melanie Breault