The wheels on the Common Core bus have developed a visible rattle of late. Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Utah have withdrawn from assessment consortia. With Tony Bennett no longer state chief in Florida, there's an excellent chance that Florida will bail. The unexpectedly high cost of assessments has sparked complaints. Florida senator and Tea Party icon Marco Rubio has come out against the standards. Jeb Bush is getting slammed by some Tea Party columnists for backing the standards. (The first rule of coalition politics: It's not good when supporting your bipartisan cause puts crucial backers at war with ...


I just spent a terrific few days out in Denver with AEI's Ed Policy Academy. We had twenty promising doctoral students from a slew of disciplines and institutions out, along with some of my favorite scholars and thought leaders. A pretty good way to spend four days, if you get the chance. One of the topics that came up repeatedly, as intended, was the relationship of researchers to policy and advocacy. For my broader take on all that, see my Harvard Ed Press book When Research Matters. In the moment, though, I found myself repeating several points that I often ...


Since Monday afternoon, a furor regarding Indiana's school accountability system has engulfed Florida state chief Tony Bennett (who was formerly the state chief in Indiana). The brouhaha centers on e-mails that Bennett and his staff penned regarding an Indiana charter school. The school, Christel House, initially received a "C" grade under the Indiana grading system in 2012. That occasioned a flurry of e-mails, and ended with Christel House receiving an "A". Added fuel to the fire is the fact that Christel House's founder Christel DeHaan had been a contributor to Bennett's campaign and to that of other Indiana Republicans. A ...


Schooling is rife today with intriguing ed tech ventures. Thing is, it can be tough to tell these guys apart without a scorecard. What are they all doing? How do you sort the wheat from the chaff? Today, I chat with Dan Carroll, chief operating officer of Clever, about some of the crucial but largely invisible stuff they're tackling. A former middle school science teacher, Dan got into this work when he was running technology for a charter school network in Colorado. He recalls being struck by the data obstacles his schools faced and was prompted to found Clever to ...


Some of my best friends are education economists. That's right. Economists have added a whole lot to the education discourse in the past decade. They've shed light on dubious assumptions and frequently brought a healthy rigor, one that was too often missing in the '80s and '90s. But economists bring pathologies of their own. These were highlighted in a letter that the Washington Post published last Sunday from Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman. Irate that columnist George Will had questioned the benefits of early childhood education in a throwaway line in paragraph 15 of an op-ed, Heckman wrote, "Those benefits, ...


So, while I was en route to Detroit on Thursday, I got word that the city had filed for bankruptcy. It was strange. While the story was all over the airport televisions and the hotel newspapers, I encountered barely any discussion of it from the folks I met. Anyway, lots one might say about the situation. After all, in his letter announcing the decision, Governor Snyder noted that Detroiters wait an average of 58 minutes for police to respond (compared with a national average of 11 minutes); that 40% of the city's street lights didn't work in the first quarter ...


With the House about to move on the Student Success Act (SSA), the NCLB/ESEA reauthorization dance is back in full swing. Reporters are calling, heated e-mails are flying around the Beltway, and policy types are making heated declarations. For what it's worth, here's what's on my mind: 1] The most interesting development in the House is going to be how much grief Chairman Kline and K-12 Subcommittee Chair Rokita get from their right. This is another case of the fascinating politics in the House, where diehard conservatives like Kline and Rokita are going to get knocked around by Tea ...


Hidy all. So I've got a cool opportunity to share in the middle of the sweltering DC summer heat. My AEI team needs to hire a new External Relations Associate, offering a pretty nifty opportunity for someone who's interested in education, policy, and communications. This is the team member who serves as the AEI Education team's primary liaison to Capitol Hill, publishers, the media, associations and advocacy groups, and all the rest. The new hire will be responsible for coordinating AEI's efforts when it comes to disseminating edu-scholarship and writing, hosting private and public events, talking to key private and ...


Several folks have written regarding yesterday's post on the Vallas situation in Bridgeport to argue that the judge got the ruling wrong. They assert that the law was indeed modified and that Vallas complied with the new requirements. It's a Friday afternoon in the summer, so let's keep this short and sweet. Arguing that the judge misapplied the law is significant. So what puzzles me is why this point was not mentioned in the press releases or public comments issued by Vallas supporters on Wednesday. I had a number of these sent to me in various forms, and I saw ...


Yesterday, a Superior Court judge ruled that Bridgeport Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas must resign his post immediately. It was the latest development in a saga that's stretched over the past few weeks, and that will continue as Vallas appeals that decision. The problem? Vallas lacks the administrative certifications required by Connecticut law. It's summer and people have other things on the their minds, so I'll just make two points. First, on the substance, I think this was an unfortunate decision. I tend to agree with Connecticut's governor, Democrat Dannel Malloy, who opined, "Do I think that someone who was ...


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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