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Rick Hess Straight Up

Education policy maven Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute think tank offers straight talk on matters of policy, politics, research, and reform.

Education Opinion

Introducing Your Special Guest Stars: Eden, Shober, Robinson, Carlson and Hamilton

By Rick Hess — July 29, 2016 2 min read

Hidy all,

The dog days of summer are officially here, as is the looming delivery date for my book Letters to a Young Reformer. With that deadline staring me in the face, I’m about to hole up for the next five weeks and try to straighten out my crooked prose. As usual, though, my absence means that you’re in for a treat. We’ve got five stellar guest bloggers lined up for August and, with election season now in full swing, they’ll be musing a good bit on education in politics.

First up, we’ll hear from Max Eden, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a tough-minded thinker on questions of policy and politics. Max was a longtime AEI education colleague before going on to new challenges. He’s penned thoughtful analyses on matters ranging from the AP U.S. History framework to charter school discipline, and he and I have just finished editing a volume that does its best to make sense of the Every Student Succeeds Act (it’ll be out from Harvard Education Press in early 2017). Max tells me he’ll be sharing some thoughts on how to Make Education Great Again (tm).

The week of August 8 will be Arnie Shober, government professor at Lawrence University. His name may be familiar from his cracking the top five assistant professors in the annual RHSU EduScholar rankings (he gives much credit on that score to Scott Walker and Paul Ryan for making Wisconsin so newsy). Arnie focuses on questions of education politics and American federalism, and he’s authored several books on related topics. If you’re interested, it’s worth checking out his brand-new book In Common No More: The Politics of the Common Core State Standards.

On August 15, Gerard Robinson will take the reins. A good friend and valued colleague, Gerard got started as a fifth grade teacher in Los Angeles. Along the way, I had the privilege of teaching him at the University of Virginia. He went on to serve as state chief in Virginia and Florida. In Florida, he was charged with directing the state’s PARCC, Race to the Top, and Common Core efforts. In Virginia, he oversaw the governor’s Opportunity to Learn agenda, which included a focus on virtual education and charter schooling. Oh, and he’s also the former president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).

For August 22, we’ve got Deven Carlson, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma. Before his turn in academia, Deven worked as a contractor for the National Center for Education Statistics. He blames this for his unhealthy familiarity with NCES surveys and datasets. Deven’s recent research examines school closures, school turnarounds, and the relationship between students’ schools and neighborhoods. He’s the coauthor of Understanding Education Indicators: A Practical Primer for Research and Policy, and is just as helpful as that title would lead you to suspect.

Finally, the week of August 28, we’ll have Kelsey Hamilton. Regular RHSU readers will likely recognize her name. Kelsey is the talented AEI research assistant who has been behind RHSU for the past year. She helps with the research, provides invaluable editorial feedback, catches all my blunders, and addresses with reader inquiries. She’s also coauthored some terrific pieces, such as our new paper—out next week—examining how media coverage of charter schools has changed over time (keep an eye out). She’ll be examining DC Public Schools’ much-discussed new professional development strategy.

Enjoy, have a great August, and I’ll look forward to seeing you all on Labor Day.

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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