Books by Frederick M. Hess
Common Sense School Reform
by Frederick M. Hess
Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. 258 pp. $26.95
Forget everything you think you know about school reform. Cutting through the cant, sentiment, and obfuscation characterizing the current school reform debate, Frederick M. Hess lacerates the conventional "status quo" reform efforts and exposes the naivete underlying reform strategies that rest on solutions like class size reduction, small schools, and enhanced professional development. He explains that real improvement requires a bracing regime of common sense reforms that create a culture of competence by rewarding excellence, punishing failure, and giving educators the freedom and flexibility to do their work. He documents the scope of the challenges we face and then provides concrete recommendations for addressing them through reforms to promote accountability, competition, a 21st-century workforce, effective school leadership, and sensible reinvention. Engagingly written and drawing on real world experiences and examples, Common Sense School Reform will generate debate and help set the agenda for the future.