School reformers explaining why I should be more enthusiastic about Vergara and the copycat lawsuits being filed in New York and elsewhere have repeatedly drawn a parallel to gay marriage. Without wading into the gay marriage debate, I'll just note three big problems with the analogy.


Some folks in positions of educational import are shading the truth, big time. How do I know this? Because I'm hearing two very different things that can't be reconciled.


Late last week, Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced that the DC Public Schools would be "pressing pause" on using value-added as part of its IMPACT teacher evaluation for one year. There are three things worth noting here.


On Wednesday, AFT president Randi Weingarten joined me over at AEI to share some thoughts about teacher evaluation, tenure, the Common Core, testing, and more. Here, I offer five thoughts sparked by Randi's remarks and our conversation.


Back in March, I took to the blog to ask three questions about concerns I had regarding Common Core testing to PARCC and SBAC, the two consortia that are building and field testing the assessments. Last week, Wayne Camara, senior vice president of ACT, emailed and offered responses from ACT.


Earlier this month, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) announced a $25 million donation from businessmen and philanthropists Charles and David Koch. I thought it'd be interesting to discuss all this with Dr. Michael Lomax, the president and CEO of UNCF. Here's what he had to say.


Continuing an admirable and heartening trend in the charter space, Houston-based YES Prep charter schools yesterday released a probing analysis of its graduates' postsecondary performance and the strategies it's using to improve the same. The report documented some terrific results, while reflecting an equally impressive humility and commitment to getting better.


There's lots and lots to be said on Vergara. I don't feel inclined to join the pile, so I'll make three points and then call it. The bottom line: I agree with the verdict but am worried about where this leads.


It's been a tough stretch for the Common Core. South Carolina and Oklahoma have followed Indiana in abandoning the enterprise. North Carolina may be about to join them. Education Week's Catherine Gewertz reports that, as things stand, just 42% of K-12 students will be assessed using PARCC or Smarter Balanced next year. On Sunday, the Washington Post's Lyndsey Layton penned the kind of measured but skeptical big media dive into the hows and whys of the Common Core that Mike McShane and I have urged but which has been hard to find. Now, if you're a regular RHSU reader, you ...


I was struck by some of the feedback to last Thursday's post on the whole "why can't pols get out of schooling?" question. Meanwhile, reform skeptic John Thompson continued our occasional, engaging, correspondence, penning a thoughtful missive that took the blog to heart while arguing that reformers ought be equally willing to make their peace with the ways of liberal democracy. His take is constructive and applies the insights usefully (though you'll note parts that I obviously don't buy), and I agreed to run it as a follow-up.


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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