New York City Chancellor Joel Klein announced late last year that he'd be stepping down from his post and taking up a newly created position as CEO of the Education Division at News Corp. Yesterday, I had the chance to chat with Joel about his new job and the promise of educational innovation. Rick Hess: Joel, what can you tell us about the new job? Joel Klein: I'll be the CEO of the Education Division at News Corp. It's a just-launched division in which we'll be looking at a variety of possible acquisitions and opportunities. I've only been in place ...


Proponents of accountability, charter schooling, merit pay, value-added metrics, and the "reform" agenda are cheered by the strides they've made in recent years. Given President Obama's support, the fuss raised by Waiting for Superman, the emergence of Democrats for Education Reform, and so on, would-be reformers have seemingly captured the high ground in the edu-debate--even winning the approval of zeitgeist queen Oprah Winfrey. Yet, in a just-published Education Next forum piece entitled "Pyrrhic Victories?," Harvard's Marty West, Fordham's Mike Petrilli, and I ask whether these victories might not ultimately yield bitter fruit. Marty, Mike, and I are ardent champions of ...


I was fortunate to have been away during much of the recent "tiger mom" craze. Sadly, the chatter, interviews, and excerpts have lingered, leading me to think a brief postmortem is in order. For all the claims that this is about supporting her kids, it strikes me that "tiger mom" author Amy Chua is in the throes of the same "it's-all-about-me" zeitgeist as those lax parents who are just so eager for their kids to like them. Chua explains that this isn't really about her: "Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore override ...


President Obama's State of the Union remarks on education were thematic and clichéd, but his themes were admirable and his clichés were sensible. This made sense in a speech which proclaimed "the future is ours to win." Moreover, in a pleasant surprise, his bracing words were unencumbered by calls for new spending or new programs. And, for what it's worth, I found heart-warming and credible some of his conciliatory words and paeans to the American family and the American spirit. The President led off by talking not about schools or spending, but about families and parental responsibility. The President noted, "It's...


I've been down in Austin the past two days attending the inaugural convening of Texas's new center for Improving Productivity in Public Education (IPE). Those who disdain discussions of educational cost-effectiveness will dismiss the whole exercise as school-bashing. Okay... For those of us who live in a world where resources are finite, though, the question of how to get more bang-for-the-buck is a crucial one for the next decade, and beyond. This week's effort signals that Texas just might be positioning itself to lead on this front in the same way it led on academic accountability two decades ago. The ...


Hello, edu-land. Well, I'm back. Hope you missed be a bit, but trust no one missed me too much, as it's pleasingly clear that readers have found Dan, Roxanna, and Meira exactly as engaging and provocative as I do. As you've doubtless noted, all three of our guest bloggers are as likely to disagree with me as to reflect my own views. I hope that didn't unduly confound anyone. For what it's worth, I care infinitely more about whether someone is thoughtful and interesting than whether they agree with me. This is because--and I trust this has become obvious to ...


Note: Meira Levinson, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is guest-posting this week. Yesterday, I wrote about what schools could do to promote "civil dialogue"--our nation's current favorite catch-phrase, until it gets buried by the next 24-hour news cycle. I've also been thinking about another catch-phrase for a while now: namely, the claim that education is the "civil rights issue of our time." I gave a talk about this at the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Convocation ceremony last May. With Rick's unwitting indulgence (when the cat's away...), I'm going to share a condensed version ...


Note: Meira Levinson, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is guest-posting this week. In his speech in Tucson on January 12, following the tragic shootings at Congresswoman Gabby Giffords' "Congress on Your Corner" meet-and-greet, President Obama called for Americans to "use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together." He cautioned that "only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of ...


Note: Meira Levinson, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is guest-posting this week. I am grateful to Rick for letting me couch-surf on his blog while he vacations in truly surf-worthy climes. As a professor, I am a techno-enthusiast: I'm constantly asking my students to do in-class activities using GoogleDocs or wikis, and I've moved all my lectures on-line on the grounds that it's criminal in 2011 to force a bunch of people to show up in the same room just to hear one person monodirectionally deliver information. As a writer and opiner, however, I'm definitely ...


Note: Roxanna Elden, author of See Me After Class, is guest posting this week. Roxanna is a National Board Certified high school teacher and a member of the Teacher Leaders Network. District, county, and state education offices are fond of sharing "best practices" through professional development. The idea is to spread the word about strategies that work in some schools so other teachers can use these strategies and get the same great results. There are times when it works this way. Unfortunately, things can get complicated when the same people who pick and distribute best practices are also responsible for ...


The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments