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

Latest Blog Posts

Joel Klein Is Having a Damn Good Month

October 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

Could he have timed this any better? Joel Klein, former New York City schools chancellor, has a book coming out next month. Titled Lessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools, it's an account of Klein's decade leading the New York City schools. During his tenure, Klein took a lot of grief for all manner of things--especially for having the temerity to imagine that the Big Apple's schools needed dramatic, jarring change.

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Ten Facts About What the Candidates Are Saying on Education

October 27, 2014 at 8:37 am

My talented research associate Max Eden has examined what candidates running for governor and the U.S. Senate have to say on K-12, higher ed, and pre-K. He's scoured the websites for all 139 major party nominees (there is no Democratic nominee for the Senate in Kansas) to see what their official stance is on a raft of issues. Here, I share a few data points that may provide some hints as to what the next two years hold for education policy. Ten takeaways that I find revealing:

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Small Schools, Stone Soup, and School Improvement

October 23, 2014 at 9:56 am

Last week, MDRC released the latest in a series of careful evaluations that suggest New York City's "small high schools" delivered some promising results. The new findings suggest that students at small high schools are more likely to enroll in college and that small schools boast a lower cost per graduate. This is smart, informative research. But I found some of the commentary on the results to be more than a little disconcerting in its suggestion that we now know that small schools "work" and that practitioners, policymakers, and funders should proceed accordingly. It all brought to mind the old fable of "stone soup." If you don't recall the tale, here's Wikipedia's (particularly dull) telling:

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Testing Mania and Uncle Sam's Clumsy Reach

October 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

Last week, a lot of good people insisted that they are shocked--shocked!--to see that more than a decade of federal pressure to test has led ... to too much testing. The kerfuffle was triggered when the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS) issued a sensible joint statement on testing. The actual CCSSO-CGCS statement was pretty straightforward, declaring that assessments should be "high quality," "part of a coherent system," and "meaningful" for teachers and parents. (Not a lot to argue with there. I mean, I meet hardly anybody who insists, "I'm in favor of lousy, incoherent, meaningless tests!") The document got a fair bit of attention, though, because it acknowledged that testing has gotten out of control and called for states and districts to evaluate the tests they're giving, streamline them, and make sure they're useful.

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Jay Greene Is an Army of One for Arts Education…and He's Winning

October 16, 2014 at 10:20 am

The University of Arkansas's Jay Greene has just released a second pioneering study in his laudable push to confound the banal battle lines of the education debate. In this new study, "Learning From Live Theater," he and his coauthors find (using a randomized control trial) that taking students to the theater actually has serious, measurable benefits. The study follows upon Greene's acclaimed 2013 study (which also used an RCT design) that found that field trips to art museums have serious, measurable benefits for participating students.

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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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