Today, at number 7, is a 2013 piece offering a word of caution to economists about overestimating the finality of their findings and to policymakers and advocates about treating complex econometric analyses as proof positive.

Today, at number 8, is a 2011 guest spot by the inimitable Roxanna Elden. It's a particular favorite because it led to one of the cooler moments of my early blogging career.

In my view, one of the nutty things about the opt-out movement was how seemingly smart reformers couldn't grasp why responsible parents might want to opt their kids out of eight-hour assessments. I hope you enjoy number 9 in our countdown.

In number 10 in our countdown, I tried to offer a few thoughts to funders as they embraced new agendas and looked to avoid repeating yesterday's missteps.

Number 11 in our countdown outlines my thoughts on what distinguishes the talkers from the doers of the world. This went on to become a key theme of my book "Letters to a Young Education Reformer."

If I've learned anything after hanging out at a think tank for close to two decades, it's that dreaming up education innovations is easy. Number 12 in our countdown is my take on the goofy contests that talkers seem to be so fond of.

I penned number 13 in our countdown amidst the No Child Left Behind "waiver" craze when being concerned about an unchecked executive branch was a much lonelier beat.

Number 14 in our countdown is an illustration of why, amid the 2017 debate over whether Trump should propose national school choice legislation, I tended to think that such a move would be unhelpful.

I wrote number 15 in our countdown as a reaction to what I felt was a silly, smug, self-satisfied, and self-defeating belief in the transformative power of the film "Waiting for Superman" held by many of my friends in the "reform" community.

Rounding out this week at number 16, this piece from 2011 outlines my thoughts on how the NFL has a humbling lesson to teach schools: success often comes down to the mundane: execution, discipline, trust, and coherence.

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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