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May 28, 2013

"Dante" Ravitch's Abhorrent Attack on Ben Austin

I've been friendly with Diane Ravitch for a long time. Encountering her historical work 20 years ago, I was struck by her hard-hitting, erudite analyses. She invited me to deliver my first featured talk (at Brookings, on my then-forthcoming Spinning Wheels book). When I was leaving UVA's Curry Scho...

November 08, 2012

Tuesday's Ballot Initiatives: A Split Decision on Ed

On Tuesday, the undercard featured a slew of intriguing ballot initiatives. The popular press has focused on measures that legalized pot, gay marriage, and in-state versions of the DREAM Act in various places. Meanwhile, several important education measures have received less attention. On the wh...

February 16, 2011

DC's Mayor Gray Throws Schools Chief Under Bus

Last fall, Vincent Gray upset incumbent DC mayor Adrian Fenty in a momentous election. The outcome was denounced by champions of tough-minded reform as a crushing setback--especially after the resignation of Chancellor Michelle Rhee. However, when Gray promised to stay the course on DC's promising ...

December 02, 2010

Call Off This New Salem Witch Hunt

Enough already. I'm a big fan of Boston's Pioneer Institute. But Pioneer, abetted by some of Massachusetts's local papers, has gone after Massachusetts's terrific state chief Mitch Chester in a ludicrous, destructive exercise--one that should be called off ASAP. (Full disclosure: I've known Chest...

December 01, 2010

Bloomberg's Lousy Cathie Black Solution

Well, official word came Monday that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has stumbled into a truly ludicrous solution to the "who will succeed Joel Klein" question. He put forward publishing executive Cathie Black--without ever really explaining why her skills or experience equip her to run NYC's...

November 19, 2010

Cathie Black to Head NYC Schools: My Take

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has named former USA Today publisher and Hearst Magazines chief Cathie Black as the next chancellor of the New York City schools. The move prompted the predictable outrage among those who believe that only former teachers should lead schools or districts. Patrick Sullivan, a...

October 19, 2010

Ten Questions to Ask Your Friendly All-Star Supe

I was in New York this morning to moderate a panel preceding the Broad Prize announcement. I was given the chance to chat with the superintendents of two recent Broad Prize winners: New York's Joel Klein and Wanda Bamberg of Aldine, Texas. I was musing last night on what I'd really like to talk ab...

September 15, 2010

Gray's "Collaborative" and "Inclusive" Win

Yesterday, hours before he upended D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary, City Council Chairman Vincent Gray appeared on CNN to chat about the contest. The early signs weren't great for those worried about what Gray's win means for the Michelle Rhee's reform efforts. Host John King ask...

September 15, 2010

Lessons from Fenty's Loss

Last night, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty was decisively defeated in his reelection bid by City Council Chairman Vincent Gray. Fenty lost 56 to 42, a margin that pretty much reflected where the race stood last month. Gray's win throws D.C.'s nationally-significant school reform efforts into turmoil (see...

September 07, 2010

"Drill Bit" Leadership in D.C.

In D.C., it's looking increasingly like City Council Chairman Vincent Gray is going to beat Mayor Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary. This is a shocker. Given Fenty's deep pockets, huge 2006 victory, and positive developments on crime and schooling, he was widely thought a lock for re-election...

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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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