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March 14, 2014

New Motto for a Leaner Washington: Pay for What Works

President Obama and leading Republicans are all looking for ways to foster economic opportunity and tackle pressing social challenges, even as annual non-defense spending is on track to amount to the smallest share of the economy in a half century. While some of us rejoice and others wince at that trend, we can all agree that this means a smart Washington should be shifting funds away from programs that don't work and into ones that do.

September 25, 2012

A Conservative Agenda for Federal Edu-Policy

Yesterday, in the new issue of the quarterly National Affairs, Andrew Kelly and I argue that it's possible to devise a coherent, principled, and limited vision of the federal role in education-- and that such a vision offers an overdue and crucial alternative to the well-intentioned overreaching tha...

December 12, 2011

Can We Identify a Principled, Limited Federal Edu-Role?

The Cato Institute's Neal McCluskey has energetically denounced the slimmed-down federal role that Linda Darling-Hammond and I sketched last week, offering a not-unreasonable litany of complaints about federal overreach. (It's amusing that Neal thinks I'm endorsing big government, given that most i...

December 08, 2011

A Couple Thoughts on Tuesday's NYT Op-Ed

On Tuesday, Linda Darling-Hammond and I published an op-ed "How to Rescue Education Reform" in the New York Times. (I take no responsibility for the immodest title; those of you who have written op-eds know how little control authors have on that score.) The piece has generated a number of notes, ...

March 18, 2010

College-Ready... and Then?

For all my concerns about No Child Left Behind's grandiose ambitions and misguided hyper-prescriptiveness, its profound contribution was the wealth of information that's now available on graduation rates and student achievement. Given that, it's striking that Uncle Sam spends vastly more on higher ...

March 15, 2010

The Good Kind of Schizophrenia

When the Obama administration released its proposal for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind on Saturday, I had two immediate, conflicting reactions. The first was that the administration deserves kudos for sketching a vastly more modest conception of Uncle Sam's role and for dramatically sc...


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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