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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: Vannozzi, Goldstein, Hughes, Baron, and Kalenze

By Rick Hess — October 27, 2017 3 min read
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Hey all,

So, I’m taking a few weeks respite from the blog in order to focus on a couple big projects. One is a volume exploring the lessons of Bush-Obama school reform and another weighs in on whether $38 billion in federal research funding should flow to the many universities which have compromised their commitment to free inquiry. In due course, all of this will be out there for your kind consideration. While I’m away, as usual, I’m pleased to present some stellar guest bloggers. I’ve no doubt you’ll find their takes substantially more interesting than mine. Here’s what you can look forward to during November:

First up, starting next week, will be Mike Vannozzi—a VP at TSC2 Group, an outfit involved in Nevada school reform. Mike started out his career working for former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He later joined the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, where he became Director of Public Policy and helped craft the region’s first comprehensive economic development strategy. Mike has always been interested in the education side of public policy, and plans to write about his involvement with assessing the Clark County School District’s reorganization into a decentralized model.

Next up, for the week of November 6, will be the ever-evocative Mike Goldstein. Mike was founder and CEO of Match Education in Boston, best known for its high-performing K-12 charter schools, intriguing staffing model, and pioneering graduate school of education. He also served as Chief Academic Officer at Bridge International Academies, a dynamic provider of schooling in the developing world. Today, he still voluntarily assists with both ventures while exploring new possibilities. In his posts, Mike will explore two questions. First, in the school choice debate, how might we improve upon or expand teacher choice? And second, what would turn those of us who are ed-tech skeptics into ed-tech enthusiasts?

The week of November 13 we’ll pass the pen to Bill Hughes, Chief Academic Officer of Seton Catholic Schoolsa start-up network that encompasses 14 Catholic K-12 schools in Milwaukee. Bill has worked in education for four decades as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and more. He drew plenty of recognition and plaudits for his 16-year (!) tenure as superintendent in Wisconsin’s Greendale School District. Now, he’s taken on the new challenge of Seton—meaning he has an extraordinary wealth of experience and expertise to share. Bill plans to write about this experience at Seton, in addition to giving some thoughts on talent as a differentiator and private school management organizations.

Joining us the week of November 20 will be Alex Baron. Alex currently teaches geometry and algebra at Denver’s South High School, while also serving as program director at the Urban Leaders Fellowship in DC. His first job was conducting research for the Center of Education Research and Evaluation in Taiwan on international education and cultural differences in pedagogy. From there, he went on to teach pre-K and kindergarten for KIPP, before making his way to Oxford where he earned both a master’s in early childhood development and PhD in education research. Now, when taking a breather from lesson planning and instruction, Alex will be writing about student-teacher dynamics in the era of accountability.

Rounding things out the week of November 27 will be veteran guest blogger Eric Kalenze. Eric can regularly be found at his terrific blog, “A Total Ed Case,” where he writes about education practice and reform. But he’s kindly agreed to pull double-duty over at RHSU. Eric is the Director of Education Solutions at the Search Institute in Minneapolis and the U.S. organizer of researchED. Eric has nearly two decades of experience as a teacher, coach, and administrator, and is author of Education Is Upside Down: Reframing Reform to Focus on the Right Problems. It’s good to have Eric back, and he’ll be writing this time about implementation-reality clashes and, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, a few things he’s grateful for as another year in education winds down.

Anyway, I’m delighted we’ve got such a strong lineup and trust you’ll enjoy reading what they have to say. Be well, and I’ll look forward to being back with you after Thanksgiving.

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.