Introducing Andy Smarick
K-12 Schools: Beyond the Rhetoric began as an experiment. After a public disagreement, Michelle Rhee and I sat down to talk; and our hope was that we could move beyond sound bites to better understand our very different perspectives on education policy. We didn't believe that we would change each other's minds. But we did believe that we might find a bit more common ground after our conversation than existed prior to it.
After a summer recess, Julian Vasquez Heilig joined the conversation. And whereas Michelle and I had disagreed in one direction, Julian and I often disagreed in the other. Specifically, I found myself trying to make the case for reform efforts that, only a few months earlier, I had been critical of.
Now the pendulum swings back, as Andy Smarick jumps onboard. A leading voice among young conservative policy wonks, Andy is a partner at Bellwether Education Partners, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, and the author of The Urban School System of the Future.
So stay tuned as Andy and I take up topics like charter schools, the Common Core, and teacher evaluation—all while working to minimize the histrionics in a discussion of education policy.