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May 17, 2018

Educational 'Innovation' Is Only as Good as the Execution

Chad Vignola, executive director of the Literacy Design Collaborative, recently reached out with an informative take on the relationship between innovation and execution in educational leadership. He explains why the boring stuff determines whether "innovative," "ambitious" ideas deliver.

April 24, 2018

The Problem With Seeking an 'Innovative' Schools Chief

When weighing options for new educational leaders, don't focus on what they're going to do, focus on how they're going to do it.

October 17, 2017

5 School-Improvement Tips for Civic and Community Leaders

In many places, perhaps the most important mission for civic leaders is to provide the persistence, patience, and maturity that can help turn a vicious cycle into a virtuous one.

February 02, 2017

The Patriots and the 'Unpopular Stuff' of Excellence

As the Patriots prepare to play for the Super Bowl on Sunday, it seems especially timely to reflect again on some critical insights education reformers can gather from professional football.

October 30, 2014

Joel Klein Is Having a Damn Good Month

Two recent studies found positive effects of programs that former NYC schools chancellor Joel Klein championed, demonstrating that we shouldn't rush to judgment about leaders and programs.

September 09, 2013

Tony Bennett Exonerated in Indiana Grading Furor

We finally have a resolution. The headline: Bennett exonerated.

June 14, 2013

A Handbook for Teacher Leaders

Was recently sent a slender new book by 2009 California Teacher of the Year Alex Kajitani (a hugely interesting guy who is well worth getting to know). Kajitani's The Teacher of the Year Handbook spells it all out in the subtitle: "The ultimate guide to making the most of your teacher-leader role."...

May 11, 2012

The Culture of 'Can't' in American Schools

When it comes to reforming our nation's public schools, we hear a lot about what educational leaders can't do. Contracts, laws, and regulations assuredly handcuff school and system leaders. But the ardent drumbeat for "reform" has obscured the fact that school and system leaders can actually do much...

May 02, 2012

A Lose-Lose Deal: Timid Leadership Yields Half-Baked Policies

Readers may know that I'm currently finishing the manuscript of my Cage-Busting Leadership book for Harvard Education Press, with the crack assistance of Whitney Downs (who coauthored this post). Writing the book has made it clear that one major problem with leaders failing to take advantage of the...

March 23, 2012

Educational Leadership for a New Era

I've long thought we have a big problem in how we select, train, and induct educational leaders (see, for instance, my 2003 piece A License to Lead?). We start with folks who started as classroom teachers and have never worked outside K-12, run them through ed admin programs where they interact onl...

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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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