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 ...


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 just three weeks I will be starting my 23rd year as a classroom teacher. I have taught 1st, 6th, and now I teach 4th grade, all in inner city Omaha (yes, Omaha does have an inner city -- and the unfortunate statistics to prove it.) I've been a proud member of the National Education Association (NEA) and a union leader since before I began teaching. I was active in the NEA Student ...


Note: Trenton Goble, Chief Academic Officer of MasteryConnect, is guest posting this week. I want to thank Rick for allowing me this forum to share my thoughts on assessment and offer a special thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts. How can we help teachers find real value in the formative assessment process? Can we clearly and efficiently track each child's individual performance relative to the essential concepts he or she must know, and work to ensure mastery for all students? These are the questions we set out to answer when my team and I ...


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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