The whole education system needs to be overhauled, from teacher preparation to evaluation to professional development. We have to stop making schools - and kids - sway in the political breeze.


Research shows that teachers have the greatest school-based influence on student achievement. If teachers' presence matters so much, shouldn't we pay more attention to their absences?


Because academic achievement is linked to long-term health, implementing the Community Preventive Services Task Force's latest recommendations in minority or low-income communities will likely improve health equity.


The Cage-Busting Teacher is about mindsets. Cage-busting teachers identify obstacles in their teaching landscape, and then they explain how to eliminate them.

There is a serious demographic mismatch between teachers and students, and it is unlikely to remedy itself any time soon. How and why does this matter?


I'm turning RHSU over to a stellar lineup of guest stars for August: Raegen Miller, Maddie Fennell, Elliot Sanchez, and various members of YES Prep.


Tuesday's POLITICO piece by Stephanie Simon, "Moms Winning the Common Core War," featured earnest Common Core advocates explaining that, to get things back on track, they need to stop being so darn principled and start appealing to the "heart." What's kind of wild is that, each time the Common Core advocates say, "We get it now," they make me think that a) they totally don't get it, and b) they're about to dig themselves into an even deeper hole. As best as I could discern, here's a distilled take on what the Common Core advocates had to say.


Last week's fifth anniversary of Race to the Top left me nostalgic for its glorious early days, when everyone kept telling me what an unprecedented game-changer RTT was. I wasn't sold then (a lonely stance), and am even less convinced now (no longer such a lonely stance). Anyway, I thought it might be fun to revisit the RHSU I penned on March 5, 2010, the day after Secretary Duncan giddily named the Round 1 RTT finalists.


I've spent a bunch of time over the last month or two talking about "cage-busting" in a bunch of districts, state gatherings, and university programs. One of the interesting reactions has come from "anti-reformers" who dismiss any call for leaders to think this way as a "corporatist" attack on public education. This comes up now and again when I'm talking to school and system leaders, who nod along with the main points but sometimes wonder whether empowering school or system leaders reflects an attempt to import a "business" mindset into education. A little historical context can help.


We've just marked the fifth anniversary of Race to the Top, the Obama administration's signature education initiative. When launched, the $4.35 billion competition drew bipartisan cheers and was lauded as an example of getting school reform right. Five years on, I see it more as a monument to paper promises, bureaucratic ineptitude, and federal overreach.


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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