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

Education Opinion

Introducing Your Special Guest Stars: McShane, Egalite, Levinson, and Tompkins-Stange

By Rick Hess — April 28, 2016 2 min read
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I’m going to take a blogging break in May as I toil away on my new book, Letters to a Young Reformer. The plan is finish it by Labor Day, and I’m hopeful that it’ll be available next spring. Meanwhile, in my absence, I think we’ve once again assembled a stellar slate of great guest-bloggers.

First up, the week of May 2nd, is Mike McShane, who used to be an AEI colleague but is now director of education policy at Missouri’s Show Me Institute. Mike’s primary research interests include figuring how to help make school choice markets work, and complementary questions about the role of entrepreneurship in education. Mike’s books include Educational Entrepreneurship Today and Education and Opportunity. During this guest stint, he’ll be focusing on how folks can make their research more useful to policymakers and on possible places for compromise between the state and national level. Mike started out teaching high school on the west side of Montgomery, Alabama.

The following week, May 9th, we’ve the pleasure of being joined by North Carolina State’s Anna Egalite. An assistant professor of education, Anna got her professional start as an elementary school teacher in Tampa Bay, Florida. Anna studies how policies might be used to close “achievement gaps,” with a special interest in topics such as school choice and competition. She’s going to focus this week on some big questions about innovation in education: What does it look like? What should it look like? And how can policy incentivize more of it? Little known fact of the day: Anna’s hometown of Waterford, Ireland, is the oldest city in Ireland.

Next up, the week of May 16th, will be the Harvard University’s Meira Levinson. A professor of education, Meira is a political philosopher who focuses on questions of civic education, multiculturalism, and education ethics. A veteran teacher in Atlanta and Boston, she wrestles both with timeless questions (say, the aims of education) and those in today’s headlines (say, unified enrollment systems for district and charter schools). Her books include Making Civics Count and No Citizen Left Behind. Her latest book, co-edited with Jacob Fay, is the fascinating Dilemmas of Educational Ethics. While she’s got the wheel, Meira’s going to be writing about some those of very dilemmas. For those of you who didn’t know this, by the way, Meira is also obsessed with driverless cars.

Finally, the week of May 23rd, Megan Tompkins-Stange will be sharing insights and analysis on the fraught question of education philanthropy. An assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, her research focuses on the role played by private philanthropy in public education. She’s written about the involvement of foundations in areas including charter schooling and teacher evaluation. She’s the author of the forthcoming book Policy Patrons: Philanthropy, Education Reform, and the Politics of Influence. Megan attended Garfield High School in Seattle, a school whose other alums include Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Lee, Quincy Jones, and Macklemore.

That’s all I’ve got; enjoy what these folks have to say, and I’ll be back with you all after Memorial 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.