Today, I chat with Heejae Lim, founder of TalkingPoints, a messaging app used by 150,000 families and teachers in over 3,000 schools that aims to improve parent-teacher communication—especially for parents who are non-English speakers.

I recently hopped into an Uber while jabbering into my phone about this spring's teacher walkouts. The driver must've been listening a bit because, when I hung up, she abruptly asked, "What did you think about those teacher strikes?"

Richard Buery, new Chief of Policy and Public Affairs for the influential KIPP charter schools, talks about the organization's approach to hot-button issues like immigration and school discipline.

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. What at first seems like a smart, clever, and cutting-edge way to use data can look very different in hindsight.

Today, I chat with Sandy Husk, CEO of AVID, a program working to close the opportunity gap with more than 6,000 schools; 70,000 teachers; and two million students a year. Sandy and I chat about the program, how it works, and what it means to be an "AVID student."

Common sense, practical experience, personal relationships, and old-fashioned wisdom play a crucial role in determining when and how research can be usefully applied. The researchers who play the most constructive roles are those who understand and embrace that messy truth.

Leigh McGuigan, CEO and co-founder of Vertus High School, shares a practical concern about personalized learning: How do we personalize learning for students while preparing them for what life will actually be like after high school—which, in truth, will be largely impersonal?

Today, I chat with Ryan Beale, founder of Prepare U, a new curriculum for 13- to 18-year-old students designed to address mental-health awareness and help users navigate the challenges of adolescence. Prepare U was recently endorsed by the American Psychological Association's Society for Media Psychology and Technology.

I don't think the teachers really intend to talk about "justice." What they're actually trying to do is to lend their demands a compelling moral claim, highlighting an unfortunate pathology in the public square today.

Chad Vignola, executive director of the Literacy Design Collaborative, recently reached out with an informative take on the relationship between innovation and execution in educational leadership. He explains why the boring stuff determines whether "innovative," "ambitious" ideas deliver.

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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