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April 05, 2010

Understanding Complex Ecologies... of the What Now?

It's April, and I was just starting to muse on the approaching AERA annual conference when a wonderful note arrived reminding me that the theme of this year's AERA meeting is "Understanding Complex Ecologies in a Changing World" (nope, I don't have any idea what that means either). The note announc...

March 24, 2010

Of Secret Lists and Special Treatment

I am among those (including, apparently, Rep. David Obey) warning that failure to sensibly insulate Race to the Top (RTT) from political officials and pressure poses risks to the credibility and sustainability of the centerpiece of the Obama administration's ed reform agenda. Now, in a developmen...

March 23, 2010

Edu-Jargon Fun: Back to the RTT Apps

I eased up on Race to the Top (RTT) a bit last week, but the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi's weekend healthcare porkfest has resurfaced all of the concerns I have previously raised (such as here and here) about the failure to concretize criteria for evaluation and review or to adequately insulate the j...

March 08, 2010

Just How Racist Are You, Anyway?

I was inclined to tag this post, "How intellectual conformity stifles 'diverse' thinking." But that seemed a bit long-winded. Anyway, here's the deal. The Politics of Education Association has decided on a theme for its special Education Politics Series issue of Vanderbilt University's Peabody ...

March 05, 2010

Racing to the Jargon: Finalist's Edition

Yesterday's announcement of the Race to the Top round one finalists prompted me to take another look at just what these exemplars promised. It's rarely been noted that RTT actually embodies two schools of reform. The first type of reform cracks open systems hampered by anachronistic statutes and ...

March 03, 2010

More RTT Fun Facts

One of the things about Race to the Top is the number of folks who have shared with me the wonders of state plans without having had much chance to read them. I can't say I blame them, as perusing the apps feels a lot like searching a haystack for the proverbial needle. The apps feature hundreds ...

March 02, 2010

A Few Fun Facts From the RTT Applications

With the announcement of the round one Race to the Top (RTT) finalists upon us, I can only say I'm glad I declined the invitation to apply to be an RTT reviewer. For those who have had a chance to peruse the applications, you know what I mean. For those of you who haven't, it's worth a look. The ...

February 19, 2010

Bait and Switch on Common Standards?

We've been told time and again that the current common standards push is guided by the mantra "fewer, clearer, and higher" standards. That's a good thing, since efforts to craft expansive standards tend to crumble under their own weight. Recall what happened to the national history standards panel ...

February 18, 2010

Free Weingarten Now

Yesterday I railed that the "it's for the kids" (IFTK) mantra turns substantive disagreements into name-calling. If I'm "for the kids" and you disagree with me on tracking, testing, or whatever, it follows that you're "against the kids." (As an aside, Knowledge Alliance honcho Jim Kohlmoos wryly a...

February 17, 2010

'It's for the Kids' Needs to Go

It's time to banish the phrase, "It's for the kids," (that's "IFTK" for those of you keeping score at home) from the edu-discourse, along with its insipid cousins like "it's all about kids," "just for the kids," and "we're in it for the kids." Actually, it's way past time. Two things recently rem...

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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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