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.

When reporting on otherwise similar studies, does the media pay more attention to those that are more or less positive about school choice?

Today, I chat with Jill Vialet, CEO and founder of Playworks, a nonprofit using recess to promote physical activity and social-emotional health for over 800,000 kids in 1,600 schools. A recent RAND report found it to be one of only a handful of social-emotional learning interventions that meet ESSA's requirements for the highest standard of evidence.

The more that teacher strikes resemble Occupy Wall Street lite--featuring street theater, expansive demands for new spending, and calls for dramatic tax increases--the more likely they are to spur resistance among taxpayers, families, and Republican officials.

Today, I chat with Michael Sonbert, founder of Skyrocket Educator Training, which trains teachers and leaders in 300 urban and turnaround schools.

If would-be reformers can find ways to engage with discordant voices, they just might have a shot at keeping today's big victories from turning into tomorrow's Pyrrhic ones.

In response to letters on personalized learning by Larry Berger and Joel Rose, Educational Alliance's Jonathan Skolnick raises one of the thorniest questions about the topic: How do we ensure that students in self-directed, customized environments still master skills and content that we think critical, but that they may deem tedious, pointless, and unnecessary?

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.

Richard Rusczyk is the founder of the Art of Problem Solving, a math curriculum and 300,000-member online learning community that supports students who excel in math. AoPS is the go-to trainer for America's Math Olympiad participants.

NAEP often gets treated as a talisman to be lovingly deciphered, rather than as a valuable but potentially volatile resource that should be handled accordingly.

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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