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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

Ten Edu-Stories We’ll Be Reading in 2012

By Rick Hess — December 27, 2011 2 min read

Here’s my best guess at some of the key edu-headlines we’ll be reading in 2012.

10] “GOP presidential nominee abandons primary season attacks on Department of Education; talks up education reform in push for moderates.”

9] “Aggressive efforts to tackle bullying starting to raise questions and fuel backlash. After a number of elementary-age boys are disciplined or even suspended for ‘harassment’ that included routine tussling and name-calling, many parents and school board members are asking whether the anti-bullying effort has gone too far.”

8] “Relentless attacks by media, Obama administration, and Senator Harkin on for-profit operators in K-12 and higher ed increasingly lead for-profit entrepreneurs to focus their energies in more receptive climes of Asia, the Middle East, and eastern Europe.”

7] “Conservative lawmakers push first two or three states to reverse course and abandon the Common Core, prompting fierce breaks in Republican ranks over the Common Core to spill out into the open. Jeb Bush and leading conservative governors are the face of one side; Rick Perry and the Tea Party are the face of the opposition. Clash makes it tricky for nominee to find firm footing on education standards and accountability.”

6] “Hill, administration leaders acknowledge that NCLB will not be reauthorized by year’s end. Urgency around reauthorization eases as many states obtain waivers. ‘We expect to win reelection, and then we’re hopeful we can get it done in 2013,’ says Obama administration official.’”

5] “Questions about the slow, haphazard implementation of Race to the Top promises start to fuel questions about whether the effort was oversold.”

4] “Obama administration officials ‘disappointed’ to see that for-profit colleges are pruning enrollment and rejecting students in response to ‘gainful employment’ regulation. One official explains, ‘Sure, we’ve promised to punish for-profits if they enroll students who don’t graduate or earn enough after completion, but we just assumed they’d find ways to ensure that these students get a degree and a good job.”

3] Even so, I expect to read: “Obama campaign makes Race to the Top, push on college affordability a centerpiece in effort to woo suburban swing voters.”

2] “Despite the improving economic picture, lagging property values and competing obligations mean education dollars are coming back more slowly that district leaders had hoped.”

1] And, finally, “Mixed results for the Khan Academy’s ‘flipped’ classroom lead some educators and policymakers to worry that the model doesn’t work for kids who don’t do the requisite work at home. One expert notes, ‘The kids who didn’t do their reading or homework before are the same kids who aren’t viewing their lessons and lectures now.’”

Now, I’m generally a lousy prognosticator and wouldn’t bet the farm on any of these. But I guess we’ll see.

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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