Interesting day at AEI on Wednesday. Hosted a lively discussion on "Education 2012: What the Election Year Will Mean for Education Policy," looking at what the year ahead holds for education in Washington and nationally. I was joined by a wickedly smart crew that featured Democrats for Ed Reform chief Joe Williams; ED's Peter Cunningham; Katherine Haley, key aide to House Speaker John Boehner; influential GOP pollster and policy advisor David Winston; and Ed Week's crack political reporter Alyson Klein. The occasion for the event was the official launch of my new book (edited with my colleague Andrew Kelly), Carrots, ...


For the past year, Bob Sommers served as newly elected Ohio Governor John Kasich's education advisor and helped to spearhead the Governor's reform efforts. This put Sommers in the thick of things during a year when Ohio enacted an ambitious agenda, including legislation that curtailed collective bargaining (and that was overturned in a heated referendum last fall). Effective yesterday, Bob officially departed his post to return to the school management business. He is forming a new company, StudentmindED Schools, to help launch and scale more great schools. Especially given that Ohio's been through some dramatic developments, I thought it worth ...


Hidy all, I'm back. Lots of excitement while I was away, including the bizarre GOP primary season and the President's SOTU speech. For what it's worth, I thought the SOTU's seven-minute education section was embarrassing. The President could've said that NCLB waivers are a poor substitute for legislation, and signaled his eagerness to get a deal done. He could've said that dollars are tight and that states need to live up to their Race to the Top (RTT) promises or the feds will yank our money back. He could've echoed his Secretary of Education's observation that we live in a "new...


Note: Neerav Kingsland, chief strategy officer for New Schools for New Orleans, is guest posting this week. An Open Letter to Urban Superintendents in the United State of America Part V How to Create a Charter District - And Some Concluding Thoughts The Details: How to Develop a Charter District New Schools for New Orleans (where I work) and Public Impact will be publishing a more extensive guide on how to develop charter districts in the coming months. If you'd like an early copy, email me ([email protected]) and I'll send you one. But the highlights are listed below. ...


Note: Neerav Kingsland, chief strategy officer for New Schools for New Orleans, is guest posting this week. An Open Letter to Urban Superintendents in the United States of America Part IV The 5% Rule and The 5 Year Rule: How to Prudently Grow a High-Performing Charter District Superintendents, in recommending that you become Relinquishers and transition your school systems to charter districts, I hope to recommend great change with a sufficient amount of humility--especially given the potential pitfalls discussed yesterday. So let me introduce you to two rules that may mitigate the many risks in developing charter school districts. The ...


Note: Neerav Kingsland, chief strategy officer for New Schools for New Orleans, is guest posting this week. An Open Letter to Urban Superintendents in the United States of America Part III Why Charter Districts Can Work--and Why They Might Not Superintendents, I predict that charter districts will lead to better execution, increased attraction of talent, and more innovation. I've written about these positive attributes elsewhere, so I'll briefly summarize below. But I also want to devote a significant portion of this section to exploring why charter districts might not work. Developing charter districts poses serious risks to student learning--and these ...


Note: Neerav Kingsland, chief strategy officer for New Schools for New Orleans, is guest posting this week. An Open Letter to Urban Superintendents in the United States of America Part II The Proof is in the Etouffe: 75% of Rigorously Studied Urban Charter Markets Work There is a paucity of high-quality studies on urban charter markets. In my review of the research, I found rigorous studies on twelve cities (I only used studies included in this 2011 meta study or in the CREDO 16 state study). This limited sample size makes the results more illustrative than definitive. But, for what ...


Note: Neerav Kingsland, chief strategy officer for New Schools for New Orleans, is guest posting this week. An Open Letter to Urban Superintendents in the United States of America Part I: Reformers and Relinquishers Dear Superintendents, You work immense hours and subject yourself to scathing criticism all in the pursuit of better serving children. I know a few of you--and without fail you are all passionate about your work. In short, I'm a fan. So know that I'm not writing this letter to attack anyone--rather, I aim to offer advice, which I hope some of you accept. In the following ...


Note: Patricia Dickenson, a former elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, is guest posting this week. Dr. Dickenson is a member of ASCD's Emerging Leaders Program. It seems as of late, blogs and news clippings in reference to education focus upon how our students perform juxtaposed to our international peers. Such a concentration on performance will only serve to fuel the influx of new tests, a standardized approach to teaching, and heighten the push toward a value-added approach for teacher evaluation. In my final post I would like to shift gears from a quantitative approach to a qualitative one. I ...


Note: Patricia Dickenson, a former elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, is guest posting this week. Dr. Dickenson is a member of ASCD's Emerging Leaders Program. In my first post, I addressed educational drawbacks that English language learners may encounter in schools. In today's post I would like to address how schools and districts can be more resourceful in closing the achievement gap. Experts believe the way schools support, assess, and track could be pivotal in meeting the needs of this diverse group of students. Spend Money on Books, not Tests According to Jim Cummins, an expert on bilingual education, ...


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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