Frederick M. Hess
Frederick M. Hess
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Blog Posts

Common Core Validation Committee Non-Signer Dylan Wiliam Shares a Couple Thoughts

September 15, 2014 at 8:38 am

The other week, I wrote a column flagging what I deemed to be five "half-truths" that have been repeatedly offered up by Common Core advocates. I was curious whether advocates could convince me that my concerns were baseless. On that score, the response was less compelling than I would've hoped. Several advocates eschewed the substantive points and simply declared that I'd become "anti-Common Core." My friend Mike Petrilli responded with a flurry of questions that seemed to essentially concede my criticisms, but charge that existing standards are plagued by the same shortcomings. Mike's right about that, of course, though the point is that advocates for other standards haven't promoted them as "evidence-based" or suggested they ought to be adopted on a national scale.

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K-12 Leaders & Laggards Circa 2014: How the States Are Doing

September 11, 2014 at 10:04 am

Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is releasing its 2014 report Leaders & Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on K-12 Educational Effectiveness. I once again had the pleasure of partnering with the Chamber on this work, serving as an advisor while my talented colleague Mike McShane served as lead researcher. We'll be discussing the results today at the Chamber in Washington, DC. (You can find more information here.) This is the third time I've teamed up with the Chamber to do a K-12 Leaders & Laggards report; the first time was in 2007 and the second in 2009 (we've also done a report on higher ed). One cool feature this time around is the ability to compare the 2014 findings to those from 2007, making it possible to see what's changed (and what hasn't) when it comes to academic outcomes. We've revisited most of the key measures we tackled previously, while also adding new metrics that look at international competitiveness, technology, and how states are handling their pensions.

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10 Thoughts on the New AP U.S. History Framework

September 8, 2014 at 9:10 am

The College Board's revision of the AP U.S. History curriculum framework has ignited a firestorm. The new framework was released in 2012, but it's only drawn notice in the past few months. It's been blasted as an ideological rewrite of U.S. history, with critics providing examples and raising questions that have given me cause for concern. As a former high school social studies teacher, this is an area that strikes close to home. I've been holding off on opining until I had a clearer grasp of things. Now I feel like I've got it, so please excuse the length of today's post--it's too long, just because I feel like there's a lot to say.

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Common Core's Five Big Half-Truths

September 4, 2014 at 8:37 am

School is back in session, and debate over the Common Core is boiling in key states. As governors and legislators debate the fate of the Common Core, they hear Core advocates repeatedly stress five impressive claims: that their handiwork is "internationally benchmarked," "evidence-based," "college- and career-ready," and "rigorous," and that the nations that perform best on international tests all have national standards.

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Two Schools of "School Reform:" The Conservative and the Progressive

September 2, 2014 at 8:33 am

Hidy, all. I'm back. My thanks to August's stellar guest bloggers. Meanwhile, I've been working to finish The Cage-Busting Teacher and doing my best to reflect a little. One of the things I've been reflecting on is that a number of people have been asking me (sometimes in a puzzled tone, sometimes in an annoyed one), "Rick, you're a reformer. How can you think X?" I think a lot of the confusion is due to the way "reform" gets defined. As readers know, the education debate today is generally framed as "reformers" v. "anti-reformers." That divide contains much truth, but it is crude and can be misleading. In particular, what I want to talk about today is how the term "reform" has been hung over two very different schools of thought: one progressive and one conservative.

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Books by Frederick M. Hess

Cover of No Child Left Behind Cover of Tough Love for Schools Cover of Common Sense School Reform Cover of Revolution at the Margins Cover of Bringing the Social Sciences Alive Cover of Spinning Wheels



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