Since it's Thanksgiving week, we're going back to the old RHSU tradition of sharing an essay I wrote for Richard Elmore's volume I Used to Think...And Now I Think. It's one of my favorites—hope you all enjoy Part 1.

If improving schools was easy, we would be able to do it more frequently, and with better success. But like most things, improvement is hard, and we can learn from what doesn't work to help foster what does.

Today, Katharine Strunk along with coauthor Dan Goldhaber revisit the layoff process and the impacts of layoffs on students and teachers during the Great Recession.

Could it really be that all of the proposed and enacted legislation in the last few years is wiping out teachers' unions and the protections for which they've worked so hard? Katharine Strunk and Bradley Marianno take a look.

Are teachers' unions, their CBAs, and their long-held legal protections actually harmful to districts, schools, students, and our system of public education?

Teachers need to fine-tune our leadership chops. We're playing a different game in the policy world, and sometimes we find ourselves up to bat when we've been perfecting our football game. Here's a case in point.

We suffer under the delusion that innovation is synonymous with technology, when what really fosters innovation is time— time for collaboration, for brainstorming, and discussion.

Teachers are not unlike quarterbacks, and amidst this debate about the future of education, we have missed focusing on the 'short throws.'

To succeed in the school realm's "Real World", one had better be perfect, have flawless on-time and attendance records, and never have circumstances that make schoolwork challenging to do. Frankly, that doesn't sound very much like the real world.

Sometimes we learn the most about education by seeing it through the eyes of the people outside of it, as evidenced by guest blogger Alex Kajitani.

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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