Officials Say 2012 Grawemeyer Puts Distance Between U of L and Mortenson

by Gabe Bullard on December 26, 2011

University of Louisville officials say the choice for this year’s Grawemeyer Award in Education moves the award and the school beyond the controversy with this the previous winner.

This year’s award was meant for Greg Mortenson, who wrote about his work building schools in Central Asia. Mortenson turned down the award, months after reports surfaced showing that he likely fabricated many of his accounts. That controversy centered around Mortenson, and U of L avoided high-profile scrutiny. Award committee chairwoman Diane Kyle says this year’s decision to honor Stanford Professor Linda Darling-Hammond’s book about education equality should erase any unpleasant memories around the Grawemeyer.

“I think this book does do that,” she says. “This is an incredibly significant work and I think it definitely reaches the stature that the Grawemeyer Award in Education has been over time and continues to be.”

The book, “The Flat World and Education,” stresses the importance of giving all schools equal and ample funding and support in order to improve education.

Darling-Hammond is scheduled to accept the award in April.

“We’re hoping to schedule some times for small group interactions with her and we’re hoping that members of the community will take part. She’s very accessible herself. She’s easy to talk to and she will get people engaged,” says Kyle.

For more on Darling-Hammond, click here.

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