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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 Guests: Robinson, Lautzenheiser, Bassett & Strunk

By Rick Hess — October 22, 2015 2 min read
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Hidy all, I’m about to hand the blog off for a few weeks while I start working in earnest on my next book (titled, at least for now, Letters to a Young Reformer). As usual, I’ve had the good fortune to round up a lineup of guests who will be a whole lot more interesting and insightful than yours truly.

First up for the week of October 26th is Gerard Robinson. A valued colleague of mine at AEI, Gerard started out as a fifth grade teacher in Los Angeles and eventually went on to serve as state chief in Virginia and Florida. In Florida, he was (for good and ill!) in charge of 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). He’ll have plenty to share, especially when it comes to the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education on which he’s hosting a major AEI event on November 3.

The next week, we’ll hear from old friend Daniel Lautzenheiser. Now a senior analyst at The Boston Consulting Group and formerly the program manager of my education team at AEI, Daniel was the very first research assistant to work with me on RHSU back when we were getting it started. Longtime readers might also recognize his name from past stints guesting on RHSU, when he penned some enormously popular pieces on civics, blended learning, and career and technical education. The coauthor of a sharp piece in my forthcoming Harvard Education Press volume Educational Entrepreneurship Today, Daniel will be sharing some insights straight from the belly of the consulting beast.

Next, the week of November 9th, we’ll have Katherine Bassett, executive director and CEO of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY). A middle school librarian for 26 years and former New Jersey Teacher of the Year, Katherine is a champion of cage-busting teachers and elevating teachers’ role in policy discussions. She helped lead the development of the Teacher Leader Model Standards and the Moral Code of Ethics for Educators, and she helped found the Center for Teacher Effectiveness at Pearson. Hers is a thoughtful and measured voice, but also a forceful one, and I think you’ll enjoy seeing what she has to say.

Finally, the week of November 16th, we’ll have hotshot USC education and policy professor Katharine Strunk. A scholar who tackles thorny policy questions with both verve and care, Katharine’s work addresses education governance and reform, accountability, teacher compensation, and the role of teachers’ unions. Her most recent work examines the implementation and outcomes of both school turnaround and teacher evaluation reforms in LAUSD, as well as the ways that reductions in force (RIFs) impact teacher mobility and student results. She’ll be blogging on questions including the impact of RIFs, the effect of turnaround efforts, and the role that unions play in shaping policy.

I’ll be back for Thanksgiving week, with RHSU’s usual paean to the limits of expertise. Until then, I trust you’ll enjoy our guests.

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.