The economic picture remains bleak, but there's growing confidence that—so long as nothing untoward happens with Ireland or Portugal...or Italy...or Greece (again)...and so long as the Middle East doesn't implode—the worst is past. In edu-circles, there are hopeful murmurs that "this will all be behind us" in another year. Such notions echo Secretary Duncan's comment last August, while touting Edujobs, that he was "hopeful" things would be looking up by fall 2011. Unfortunately, such hopes are likely to be dashed. My colleague Whitney Downs and I explain why in the just-published analysis K-12 Budget Picture:...


The new Phi Delta Kappan features a five-article special section* on "unbundled schooling" (Full disclosure: I coordinated it). Featuring contributions by Paul Hill, Jim Spillane, Colorado state senator Mike Johnston, Harvard's Jal Mehta and Liz City, and UPenn's Doug Lynch, and a piece on the "declining significance of place" that I penned with Teachers College's Jeff Henig, the articles extend the effort to reimagine schooling that I've urged in The Same Thing Over and Over and Education Unbound. What is "unbundling"? It's just revisiting assumptions regarding the structure, delivery, and content of schooling with an eye to improving teaching and ...


Yesterday, I talked about a few of the key takeaways from the "making sense of the midterms" event I held here at AEI on Tuesday. I wanted to continue today with a final comment on oversight. It's now clear that House Republicans are going to launch an aggressive series of oversight and investigative hearings. Majority Leader-to-be Eric Cantor and Rep. Darrell Issa, in line to chair the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have been talking about the forceful hearings schedule they've got in mind. And Rep. John Kline, expected to chair the House Committee on Education and Labor, ...


We hosted a pretty boisterous "making sense of the midterms" session yesterday at AEI, featuring former NEA policy chief Joel Packer, Senate uber-staffers Lindsay Hunsicker and Bethany Little, key Rep. Kline staffer Amy Jones, AEI edu-politics guru (and RHSU guest blogger) Andrew Kelly, and yours truly. The affair was chaired by my AEI colleague, and former NCES Commissioner, Mark Schneider. You can watch the whole thing or find a summary here. You can also check out Alyson Klein's usual impeccable coverage here at Ed Week's "Politics K-12" blog. Two thoughts I'll share here. First, I'm betting that there won't be ...


Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of hosting NAACP president Ben Jealous at AEI (you can watch the video or read a summary here). Ben, whip-smart and charming, is the youngest president in the NAACP's illustrious history and is tasked with trying to lead an unwieldy board and generations-old outfit into the 21st century. It's a tough job, especially when it comes to education. On the one hand, he's got aggravated parents eager for choices and frustrated with mediocre teaching. On the other hand, a key NAACP constituency is veteran educators and municipal employees who are bitterly opposed to reforming ...


So the 2010 election is in the books. There were historic Republican gains in the state legislatures, governorships, and the House. The GOP picked up more than 675 seats in state legislatures and won control of 19 legislative chambers. Tuesday saw more modest gains in the Senate, where Republicans paid a price for nominating Palin-backed mediocrities like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell. Top to bottom, a huge setback for the Democrats—bigger than 1994 or the post-Watergate results of 1974. And now we're being treated to the mandatory post-election prattle about finding common ground—with our earnest Secretary of Education...


Note: Andrew Kelly, a research fellow in education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, is guest-posting this week. He can be reached at [email protected] In the wake of Tuesday's "shellacking," the President and Secretary Duncan have already promised that bipartisanship will be the name of the game in the coming session of Congress. Both identified education policy is a key area in which both parties can find common ground. Secretary Duncan told Kendra Marr of Politico that a bipartisan education agenda was not only possible, but could even help bridge the gulf between liberals and conservatives in ...


Note: Andrew Kelly, a research fellow in education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, is guest-posting this week. He can be reached at [email protected] Now that the election results have had a few more hours to percolate, I thought I'd offer some quick reactions (look for a more systematic run-down tomorrow in the AM). 1. Kasich and Scott win, Duncan Shudders Yesterday, I argued that the governor's races in Florida and Ohio could be key to the eventual verdict on Race to the Top. Things got increasingly interesting on this front last night and into this morning, ...


Note: Andrew Kelly, a research fellow in education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, is guest-posting this week. He can be reached at [email protected] In the wake of yesterday's remarkable Republican surge, it's hard to resist making the analogy to 1994. The Democrats' situation is not nearly as dire today as it was in 1994, as they will maintain a small majority in the Senate. But there are important parallels: an energized group of challengers swept into office by an enthusiastic and dissatisfied Republican electorate, a new Republican majority with small government on its mind and social ...


Note: Andrew Kelly, a research fellow in education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, is guest-posting this week. He can be reached at [email protected] Today's the day, folks. Yesterday we talked House and Senate. As of 5:00 pm Monday night, Buck was up 3 points on Bennet in Colorado. In Alaska, Murkowski, Miller, and Democrat Scott McAdams were locked in a close three-way race that became even more volatile over the weekend. Today I'll take a look at some state-level races with an eye toward federal policy and school finance. 1. Promises, Promises: Gubernatorial Turnover and ...


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.

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