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

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Latest Blog Posts

I Used to Think ... That Experts Understood the World, Part 1

November 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

For the past couple of years, come Thanksgiving week I've shared part of an essay I penned for Richard Elmore's intriguing volume I Used to Think...And Now I Think. Since we've added a bunch of readers since I last ran the chapter in RHSU, and given that it's highly relevant to how I approach a host of questions—from teacher evaluation policy to professional learning communities—I thought it worth keeping up the tradition. I'll be putting the chapter up in bite-size pieces over the next few days. Without further ado:

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On The Martian and Celebrating Smart

October 19, 2015 at 9:13 am

When it comes to education, we talk a lot about policy and instruction and much less about culture. This is true even though we all know that it matters immensely if we celebrate the value of knowledge and expertise, as well as ingenuity and imagination. We know that culture shapes what our children value and respect. We see this every day in national cultures and in individual schools. But it's hard to know what to do about it, so we tend to lament it and then lay it aside.

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Of School Reform 1.0 versus 2.0

October 15, 2015 at 9:00 am

My school reform friends get frustrated with me because they think I'm a naysayer. Why? They note that I've long been a critic of anachronistic salary schedules, tenure laws, school districts, licensure regimes, and the rest. They wonder how I can think that and then criticize so many attempts to impose new evaluation systems, licensure arrangements, pay models, and turnaround strategies. The fact that they're befuddled is a measure of just how easy it is for us to talk past each other when it comes to school improvement.

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What the 2016 Race May Hold for Education

October 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

After six months of blather, we're finally approaching the turn where the 2016 Presidential contest gets real. How unreal has everything been thus far? At this point in 2008, Barack Obama was a curiosity getting smoked by the Clinton juggernaut. So, even in a normal year, there'd be lots of uncertainty ahead. . . and this year has been anything but normal. I'll leave the general political prognostication to those who get paid to do that sort of thing for a living, but as Iowa and New Hampshire come into view, here are a few thoughts about what developments may mean for education.

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The Obama Education Legacy

October 8, 2015 at 9:00 am

Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced his resignation. With Congress controlled by the Republicans and the administration having run out of stimulus cash, played its "waiver" card, and been rebuffed on plans to use its college scorecard to impose NCLB for higher ed, things are winding down. Things could still happen— most significantly ESEA reauthorization— but we're getting close to the time when Department of Ed staff will be on caretaker status. That makes this a propitious moment, especially as the campaign for 2016 begins in earnest, to examine the Obama education legacy.

The most recent issue of the quarterly National Affairs contains an extended essay offering my own take. It begins,

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Books by Frederick M. Hess

Cover of Cage-Busting Leadership Cover of The Same Thing Over and Over 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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