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.

Today, I chat with Grom Social founder Zach Marks about the idea behind the kid-friendly social media platform and the importance of online responsibility.

The recent teacher walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky have not only been remarkable for their scope and success, but have also rapidly reshuffled the educational debates.

There's a healthy tension between the promise of personalized learning and the perils of ill-conceived curricula, models, and pedagogy. And I think it's safe to say that the more plainly, openly, and respectfully that we wrestle with all of this, the better off students and schools will be.

While there's a frustrating inevitability about schooling's pendulum swings, it's not inevitable that aspiring reformers will repeat yesterday's miscues.

To close out this round of guest bloggers, Amy Cummings explores the potential benefits of disagreement for the education research and reform community.

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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