Over at This Week in Education, the sharp-penned John Thompson offered his take on Monday's RHSU post (in which I advised educators to get over their policy allergies). Thompson wrote, "When 'smart, talented leaders complain about ill-conceived accountability systems,' Hess tells them to, 'get over themselves.'" He's got that partly right--but not entirely. I'm not telling educators to meekly accept ill-conceived accountability systems. What I'm telling them to do is stop complaining that policymakers want to hold schools accountable. As I noted Wednesday, I'm hugely in favor of educators offering up concrete, workable approaches to school and educator ...


On Tuesday, my pal Mike Petrilli penned one of those blog posts seemingly designed to woo the taste-makers at the New York Times and NPR. He offered up an enthusiastic defense of federal funding for PBS, arguing: "I used to agree with George Will and other small-government conservatives that Uncle Sam has no business subsidizing children's television on PBS. But no longer. If anything, I've come to believe that is a sweet spot for federal involvement in education." The highlight for me, though, was not Mike's argument (with which I disagree), but a bit of the email banter that followed. ...


As I wrote on Monday, edu-leaders need to get over their distaste for policy. Let me say it again: edu-leaders are spending the public's money to serve the public's kids in public institutions. Educators are in the policy business, like it or not. This means, practically speaking, the only real question is whether leaders are addressing policy in smart ways... or not. On that score, reflecting on what leaders tend to ask when we're wading into the subject of policy, let me offer a couple tips. First, understand that policymakers are not seeking to make your life difficult. They're responsible ...


Hidy, all. I'm back. I've been away teaching at UPenn and Rice, working with Clark County and the folks at UVA's turnaround program, and generally trying to catch up on writing that got stacked up while I was scrambling to finish Cage-Busting Leadership. Happily, I could once again turn RHSU over to an all-star cast--with Daniel, Trenton, Maddie, Sydney, and Evan penning a slew of compelling stuff that lit up my inbox and provoked a whole bunch of interesting conversations. So, many thanks. Anyway, thought I'd write today about something that struck me while teaching at UPenn and Rice. At ...


Note: Sydney Morris and Evan Stone, co-founders and co-CEOs of Educators for Excellence, are guest posting this week. E4E is a national teacher-led organization working to ensure that teachers have a meaningful voice in the creation of policies that impact their classrooms and careers. If there was one thing we could have asked for in our elementary classrooms in the Bronx, it wouldn't have been computers for every student in the class. It wouldn't have been unlimited copy paper (and trust us, copy paper is the equivalent of gold for classroom teachers.) It wouldn't have been smaller class sizes, or ...


Note: Sydney Morris and Evan Stone, co-founders and co-CEOs of Educators for Excellence, are guest posting this week. E4E is a national teacher-led organization working to ensure that teachers have a meaningful voice in the creation of policies that impact their classrooms and careers. We saw a lot to get excited about from the recent Education Sector survey, "Trending Toward Reform: Teachers Speak on Unions and the Future of the Profession." The findings confirmed something we've been saying since we started E4E two years ago: Teachers overwhelmingly want a strong union. It's what they want from their union that's evolving. ...


Note: Sydney Morris and Evan Stone, co-founders and co-CEOs of Educators for Excellence, are guest posting this week. E4E is a national teacher-led organization working to ensure that teachers have a meaningful voice in the creation of policies that impact their classrooms and careers. TNTP's new report on the retention crisis, "The Irreplaceables: Understanding the Real Retention Crisis in America's Urban Schools," made a big splash in Washington yesterday for the stark and somewhat depressing look it provides on the failure of schools to hold on to their best teachers. The report forces us to take a fresh look at ...


Note: Sydney Morris and Evan Stone, co-founders and co-CEOs of Educators for Excellence, are guest posting this week. E4E is a national teacher-led organization working to ensure that teachers have a meaningful voice in the creation of policies that impact their classrooms and careers. It was the spring of 2010, and we were two teachers at PS 86, an elementary school in the north Bronx. If you had asked either of us what we thought of our job, we would have told you that each day was more stimulating and challenging than the one before, and nothing was more rewarding ...


Note: Maddie Fennell, former Nebraska Teacher of the Year and chair of the National Education Association's Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, is guest posting this week. This week was my first attempt at sticking my toe in the world of blogging. I want to thank Rick for allowing me to be his guest; I would also like to thank the readers for taking their valuable time to consider my thoughts and share their comments. Rather than pick one final topic, I have three somewhat divergent pieces I will share for your reflection: The Role of the Accomplished Teacher In ...


Note: Maddie Fennell, former Nebraska Teacher of the Year and chair of the National Education Association's Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, is guest posting this week. In 2007 I was honored to be named the Nebraska Teacher of the Year. Like many of my fellow state Teachers of the Year, after the congratulations, the first question was, "When are you leaving the classroom?" Why do people immediately ask accomplished teachers why they are leaving the MOST important job in a school? Would you ask the best surgeons to put away their scalpels at the height of their careers? The ...


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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