I was amused to learn this morning that the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) is now in the business of issuing "enemies lists." A hat tip to NC State's Lance Fusarelli for the heads up. It's actually even better than that. In the same quarterly issue of the UCEA Review that begins with a piece titled "Diversity-Responsive School Leadership" (presumably embracing intellectual diversity, no?), UNC-Chapel Hill's Fenwick English has penned "The 10 Most Wanted Enemies of American Public Education's School Leadership." English is no marginal figure in ed leadership--he is credited by Wikipedia with being the "father" of the ...


The 2010 Republicans who win next Tuesday will be coming to Washington to dial back the federal government. It's also been noted--most recently by the President in a fairly self-serving National Journal interview--that there's a good bit of bipartisan support for administration's efforts on charter schooling. Many friends in the charter school world focus on the second and discount the first, suggesting this augurs happy trails ahead. They figure that Congressional Republicans and the administration will be looking for places they can do business, that education will be a natural fit--and that charter schooling is the easiest piece of that ...


In my experience, few topics are more assured to provoke yawns (oh, and the ire of NEA and AFT officials) than talk of teacher benefits and underfunded pensions. But they matter. Big time. Mostly because benefits consume scarce dollars that would otherwise go to schools, students, and classrooms. But they also matter because the deals required to address such unaffordable benefits get really bizarre. Take the deal on guaranteed tax-deferred returns that New York City and the UFT struck last year. In addition to their generous pension, New York City teachers are also eligible for a voluntary tax-deferred annuity retirement ...


Last week, the Department of Education announced plans for a "national education reform conference on labor-management collaboration" to be held early next year, where they plan to "highlight examples of progressive collective bargaining agreements across the country and promote opportunities for management and labor to forge reforms at the state and district level." Our earnest Secretary of Education, along with AFT chief Randi Weingarten and NEA honcho Dennis Van Roekel, grandly made this announcement down in Tampa. The most striking thing, to me anyways, was the continuation of Secretary Duncan's tendency to talk tough in friendly venues and then pander ...


Yesterday, Gwinnett County, Georgia, claimed the Broad Prize in a classy awards ceremony at New York City's Museum of Modern Art. The event featured New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NBC anchor Brian Williams talking about the vital role of school reform, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan naming the winner. Unmentioned by all, and for good reason, was that Gwinnett is in the middle of a very unreformish attempt to prohibit the Georgia Charter Schools Commission (GCSC) from approving or funding charter schools. Awk-ward.... Gwinnett has been one of several districts suing the state since 2007 over the GCSC's "imposition"...


I was in New York this morning to moderate a panel preceding the Broad Prize announcement. I was given the chance to chat with the superintendents of two recent Broad Prize winners: New York's Joel Klein and Wanda Bamberg of Aldine, Texas. I was musing last night on what I'd really like to talk about with these acclaimed district chiefs. A series of chats in recent weeks with supes and state chiefs in a number of locales have got me thinking that we often don't ask the right questions. Here are the ten that I found myself most inclined to ...


In D.C., the inevitable post-Rhee lust for consensus and buy-in is in full gear. I said my piece on the lessons of the Fenty-Rhee effort in the Daily News on Friday, so let's turn the page. The standard narrative dictates that Rhee's successor be touted by Mayor-to-be Vincent Gray and heralded by the community as a conciliator. So, news accounts and columnists are prattling about how Rhee's successor and former deputy Kaya Henderson is so much nicer and more reasonable than Michelle and how, as a black woman with deep D.C. roots, she understands the community. George Parker, ...


Given today's shrinking budgets and the tough half-decade that looms for K-12 funding, we can no longer afford to remain wedded to "this...and that" reform or to be blasé about whether we're getting sufficient bang for our buck. However, the necessary shift in mindset will not happen on its own. After all, K-12 schooling has long been a place where superintendents and principals earn much grief for making cuts but little recognition for smart savings or boosting cost-effectiveness. What's needed most are politically viable proposals that make it easier for local, state, and national leaders to get serious about ...


Given today's shrinking budgets and the tough half-decade that looms for K-12 funding, we can no longer afford to remain wedded to "this...and that" reform or to be blasé about whether we're getting sufficient bang for our buck. However, the necessary shift in mindset will not happen on its own. After all, K-12 schooling has long been a place where superintendents and principals earn much grief for making cuts but little recognition for smart savings or boosting cost-effectiveness. What's needed most are politically viable proposals that make it easier for local, state, and national leaders to get serious about ...


Given today's shrinking budgets and the tough half-decade that looms for K-12 funding, we can no longer afford to remain wedded to "this...and that" reform or to be blasé about whether we're getting sufficient bang for our buck. However, the kind of shift in mindset that's necessary will not happen on its own. After all, for decades, K-12 schooling has been a place where superintendents and principals earn much grief for making cuts but little recognition for smart savings or boosting cost-effectiveness. What's needed most are politically viable proposals that make it easier for local, state, and national leaders ...


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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