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] Greetings RHSU readers, and thanks for tuning in! I'm thrilled that Rick invited me to guest blog this week. While I can't hope to fill his flip flops, I'll try to add some insights about what the next few days might mean for education policy. The management informs me that there's an election tomorrow, so there's little time for exposition or pleasantries. But before I begin, a few tid-bits about myself: I'm a ...


Next week is election week. So it seemed only fitting to hand the reins over to my go-to expert for education politics, my AEI colleague Andrew Kelly. He'll be guest-penning RHSU next week, and will be providing a thoughtful look at the election results and what they mean for schooling. I'm confident you'll find it well worth your time to track what Drew has to say. Not only is he one of the most creative and interesting writers in higher education (see here or here), he's also a talented political analyst with a deep understanding of polling, elections, and legislative ...


As luck would have it, I'm down here in New Orleans, and the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) is holding its annual conference just a few blocks away. I'm even invited to a Saturday breakfast for an advisory board I sit on. This is all mildly ironic because, for those who read Tuesday's post on the "Enemies List" that ran in the most recent UCEA Review, I was deemed the fifth most significant enemy of public school leadership in the U.S. (For those who missed all this, check out Tuesday's RHSU post here and then UNC-Chapel Hill professor ...


Just had an exceptionally energizing lunch. I'm down in New Orleans, at the invitation of the Grantmakers for Education, to debate my friend Linda Darling-Hammond on the most promising tack for reform-minded philanthropy. Linda and I were the luncheon entertainment in a concise debate, ably moderated by Kent McGuire. The focus wound up being on the question of "systems" reform. And it occurred to me that there's a real problem with how we usually address this. On the one hand, Linda accurately flagged the problem with "popcorn" reform--when a slew of little initiatives bubble up across districts, and then fade ...


If the Republicans take the House next week, as many pundits expect, it's unlikely the administration will win its hoped-for rounds of additional RTT funding. At least, that's the signal being sent by John Kline (currently in line to chair the House education committee) and by a slew of GOP House candidates running to rein in federal spending. Yet, even in that case, RTT will remain very much with us for years to come. First, the administration is stuck ensuring that states implement their vague, grandiose plans, and that paper assurances of union and school board "buy-in" translate into reality. ...


Yesterday, the Department of Ed rolled out its new anti-bullying initiative, featuring a "Dear Colleague" letter regarding requirements under federal antidiscrimination laws. ED's press release quoted Secretary of Education Duncan declaring, "Bullying is a problem that shouldn't exist. No one should ever feel harassed or unsafe in a school simply because they act or think or dress differently than others." It's a nice sentiment and, as a guy who took my share of abuse back in the day, I'm all for kids feeling safe and secure. That said, the heavy-handed tenor of the announcement made me uneasy--especially when I envisioned ...


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 ...


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