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October 19, 2015

On The Martian and Celebrating Smart

In the United States, we celebrate wealth, fame, and beauty over brainpower, but Ridley Scott's recent film The Martian stands out as a rare example of pop culture that celebrates smart.

November 20, 2014

How School Choice Changes the Relationship Between Parents and Schools

Thomas Stewart and Patrick Wolf's new book provides a terrific framework for thinking about school choice, using their evaluations of the DC OSP.

November 13, 2014

Yong Zhao's Biting Critique of the Chinese Edu-Miracle

Yong Zhao's new book argues that China's PISA scores aren't that miraculous after all. I agree with much, but not all, of what he says.

October 09, 2014

Sattin-Bajaj's Incisive Look at How School Choice Works for Immigrant Kids

School choice advocates and skeptics alike should read Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj's excellent new book about how immigrant students navigate New York City's universal high school choice program.

September 22, 2014

Howard Fuller's No Struggle, No Progress

Howard Fuller's new book No Struggle, No Progress is stuffed with fascinating detail and from-the-shoulder wisdom. Let me keep it simple: read this book.

January 22, 2014

My Take on Duncan and Murnane's New Book: Restoring Opportunity

Three years ago, UC-Irvine's Greg Duncan and Harvard's Dick Murnane published a terrific edited volume titled Whither Opportunity? That volume summarized a slew of evidence on trends in educational outcomes and on how families, schools, and all the rest shape life outcomes for kids. Anyway, that's the backdrop for Duncan and Murnane's new book, Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education, which has just been published by my good friends at Harvard Education Press.

August 07, 2013

The Bling Ring & The Challenges of Edu-Culture

Caught Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring a couple weeks back, and been meaning to share a few thoughts. For those who missed the whole deal, this is Coppola's take on the Calabasas, California, teens who burglarized the homes of a bunch of Hollywood celebrities in 2008 and 2009, stealing around $3 mi...

July 03, 2013

'Monsters University': Three Missed Opportunities

Monsters University is cute and it's modestly amusing. But it's a Pixar film -- I expected much better. Hard to believe it was made by the same folks who created Finding Nemo, Up, Wall-E, The Incredibles, or the Toy Story trilogy. The MU formula is pretty simple. It's one part buddy flick, one part...

January 22, 2013

Putting the Poli Sci Back in the Politics of Ed ... & Three New Books That Continue a Heartening Trend

The decade or more from, say, 1992 to 2005, saw a dearth of smart attention to the kinds of questions that political scientists can most effectively address.

December 07, 2012

Three Good Edu-Reads: Petrilli, Smarick, & Chubb

Three smart, well-written, and provocative books that are worth checking out.

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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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