Researchers largely agree that state education agencies (SEAs) need to have sufficient capacity to perform core responsibilities, but they disagree regarding how SEAs should cope with newer responsibilities. So here are two possible approaches to building SEA capacity, from guest blogger Sara Dahill-Brown.


During the Bush-Obama era, local and state advocates enhanced their power by allying with the federal government. Here's why that happened, as explained by guest blogger Sara Dahill-Brown.


The federal government demanded a lot of state education agencies during the Bush and Obama presidencies. Going forward, policymakers must consider capacity rather than engage in wishful thinking, per guest blogger Sara Dahill-Brown.


President Bill Clinton's adviser Paul Begala once expressed his approval for unilateral executive action by saying, "Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool." Here's why that attitude can be dangerous, per guest blogger Josh Dunn.


Education largely remains the province of state and local governments. The Bush-Obama "civil rights" education agenda ignored that reality to its own detriment, argues guest blogger Josh Dunn.


Baptizing a policy as a "civil right" might improve its political prospects, but it's not a magic incantation guaranteeing policy success, according to guest blogger Josh Dunn.


An Overton Window is a moment in time when a particular policy that perhaps was considered extreme or impossible before becomes possible. But policy windows can be problematic. Here's why.


Those bullish on the federal government's ability to effect positive change should proceed only with caution. The more complex the change, the less likely the federal government can get it done, according to guest blogger Mike McShane.


Amara's Law states that we overestimate the effects of new technologies in the short term and underestimate their effects in the long term. Here's why the same could be true of education policy reforms, as explained by guest blogger Mike McShane.


For the next few weeks, I'm going to be out and about discussing my new edited volume, Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned. While I'm away, several of the book's contributors will stop by to reflect on what we've learned from the Bush-Obama era. Here's who you can look forward to reading.


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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