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May 28, 2015

Personality Quiz: Am I a Wannabe Edu-Bureaucrat?

I've tapped my old Ph.D. in government skills to provide a quick, easy-to-take quiz: are you a wannabe edu-bureaucrat?

April 07, 2015

Of K-12 Talkers and Doers

In life, there are doers and there are talkers. In schooling today, I'm afraid that some well-intentioned talkers have forgotten that they aren't actually doers.

June 02, 2014

Life Is an Implementation Problem

I've been struck of late by how would-be reformers have been reacting when things go awry. After all, even some of those bullish on Race to the Top have privately conceded that maybe it didn't turn out quite like they'd hoped. Champions of teacher evaluation are busy explaining, "Well, that's not what we meant!" when hit with complaints, lawsuits, and concerns about the reliability and validity of some ill-conceived systems. Common Core advocates are busy explaining that the goofy homework questions and worksheets don't accurately reflect their handiwork.

August 31, 2012

Six Tips for Would-Be Ed Entrepreneurs

As I wrote on Wednesday, practitioners and entrepreneurs are seeking to launch new schools, deliver high-quality instruction, and provide new services to educators. We shouldn't be wowed by jargon and good intentions, much less assume that any of these efforts will deliver--but we should ensure that...

December 13, 2011

I'm Skeptical But Intrigued By AFT Initiative, NEA Report

I'm skeptical when folks who've seemed to drag their heels offer up nifty new proposals and innovations. So, I don't want to sound all "gee, whiz" here. At the same time, it's important that skepticism not morph into reflexive dismissal. With that in mind, we've seen a couple noteworthy development...

November 16, 2011

When Good Intentions Make Us Stupid

While I was gone, there were any number of classic examples of well-intentioned folks promoting bad ideas under the guise of "reform." In Tennessee, it turns out that the teacher evaluation system promised in the state's Race to the Top proposal isn't ready for prime time. Fifty percent of teacher...

May 19, 2011

What We've Got Here Is...Failure to Communicate

One of the funniest developments of the past six months has been watching self-confident individuals at the Department of Education and at various advocacy outfits (especially putatively "conservative" ones) explain to newly committed small-government Republicans what Republicans are "supposed" to f...

February 01, 2011

Pyrrhic Victories?

Proponents of accountability, charter schooling, merit pay, value-added metrics, and the "reform" agenda are cheered by the strides they've made in recent years. Given President Obama's support, the fuss raised by Waiting for Superman, the emergence of Democrats for Education Reform, and so on, woul...

October 20, 2010

An Awkward Moment for School Reformers

Yesterday, Gwinnett County, Georgia, claimed the Broad Prize in a classy awards ceremony at New York City's Museum of Modern Art. The event featured New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NBC anchor Brian Williams talking about the vital role of school reform, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan n...

June 08, 2010

"What the Hell, Dude?" Team Players and Edu-Reform

I've now had the experience several times in the past few months of having one or another friend of long standing ask me something along the lines of, "What the hell?" The "what" in question is me being critical of or asking questions about proposals and programs that "reformers" are supposed to su...

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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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