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September 26, 2012

Obama Administration and K-12: The Good and the Bad

We're rolling into the final sprint to the election; this makes it a good time to look back at what the Obama administration has done with its time in office. As I see it, here's the good and the bad from the administration's first term when it comes to K-12. The Good: Especially through Race to t...

June 25, 2012

My Hat's off to ED

Big props to the Obama Department of Education for doing something that you don't see too much in Washington or in edu-circles. Last Thursday, the Department invited my colleague Andrew Kelly and me to come over and have a public, unscripted conversation about our book Carrots, Sticks, and the Bull...

February 27, 2012

An Open Letter to the Chiefs for Change

Hi All, You know I dig you, and that I've long regarded many of you as friends, mentors, kindred spirits, and inspirations. But, right now, I'm feeling compelled to add a new tag: enablers. We just recently watched the end of round one of the ludicrous "waiver" spectacle. The Obama administratio...

October 27, 2010

OK, Bullying Is Bad...But I'm Still Mixed on ED's Fix

Yesterday, the Department of Ed rolled out its new anti-bullying initiative, featuring a "Dear Colleague" letter regarding requirements under federal antidiscrimination laws. ED's press release quoted Secretary of Education Duncan declaring, "Bullying is a problem that shouldn't exist. No one shou...

October 21, 2010

ED's 'All Hat, No Cattle' Stance on the Unions

Last week, the Department of Education announced plans for a "national education reform conference on labor-management collaboration" to be held early next year, where they plan to "highlight examples of progressive collective bargaining agreements across the country and promote opportunities for ma...

September 13, 2010

ED Gets It Right: The Right Way to Promote Obama's Back-to-School Speech

A year ago, President Obama's plan to give a back-to-school talk to the nation's students erupted into a tempest when the accompanying materials, issued by the Department of Education, seemed pregnant with politics and hagiography. This year, happily, the Department seems to have learned its lesso...

August 20, 2010

'Through Fat, Flesh, and Bone'? Duncan Needs Some New Briefing Books

Yesterday, I discussed our earnest Secretary of Education's unfortunate proclivity for quick fixes that promise to worsen the budgetary hole districts are in. But that's not all. In the same briefing where he made it clear that he's not a big believer in planning ahead, Duncan also made the fantas...

August 06, 2010

i3 Winners: Long on Talent, Execution, & "Best Practices"--Not Transformation

I see I wasn't the only observer disappointed by how the administration's overhyped i3 program played out. When winners were leaked Wednesday, savvy analysts including Alexander Russo and Mike Petrilli remarked upon what they saw as the disappointing and "been there, done that" nature of so many "in...

August 04, 2010

ED Redefines "Courage" to Mean "Spend, Baby, Spend!"

On Monday, the Senate Democratic leadership temporarily pulled the $26 billion kitty for state and local governments (including the $10 billion "teacher bailout"). ED spokesman Massie Ritsch circulated a statement endorsing the proposal on Friday, with no reform quid pro quo, because Secretary Dunca...

April 30, 2010

i3 News: Much Ado About Nothing... And Yet Still Cause for Concern

I can't decide whether yesterday's U.S. Department of Education press release on the new "partnership" between twelve foundations and ED's i3 effort is just a painful example of vapid triumphalism or whether it actually sends a worrisome signal. I'm mostly inclined to think it's much ado about noth...

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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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