Opinion Blog


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

The Top 10 RHSU Columns of 2017

By Rick Hess — December 26, 2017 2 min read

Well, 2017 is about to go in the books, and that’s okay by me. It’s been a bizarre, overheated year, and I’m more than ready to give 2018 a shot. Before we do, though, it’s worth taking one last look at the year just past—at the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2017. In that spirit, my uber-RAs Amy Cummings and Grant Addison and I sat down to comb the 2017 RHSU archives and flag this year’s top ten columns. We took into account web hits, reader reaction, our personal preferences, and the secret algorithm cooked up at our bunker in Burbank, to come up with the “best” of RHSU, circa 2017.

So, without further ado, here’s our take on the top 10 RHSU columns of 2017:

10. 5 School-Improvement Tips for Civic and Community Leaders, October 17, 2017: In many places, perhaps the most important mission for civic leaders is to provide the persistence, patience, and maturity that can help turn a vicious cycle into a virtuous one.

9. Letters to a Young Education Reformer, April 25, 2017: In Letters to a Young Education Reformer, I offer some hard-learned advice on the lessons I’ve learned after a quarter century in and around schools and reform.

8. Teachers Unions Blow an Easy Chance to Walk the Walk, September 26, 2017: More than a quarter of teachers miss more than two weeks each year, above and beyond scheduled breaks and holidays. That’s a problem. And the fact that union leaders can’t say so is perhaps a bigger one.

7. Of ESSA Plans and TPS Reports, May 31, 2017: All the recent fascination with states’ ESSA plans brings to mind the infamous TPS reports from the movie Office Space.

6. What We’ve Forgotten About School Reform: Courtesy of Messrs. Tyack, Cuban, and Payne, September 21, 2017: If we’re going to refashion a 19th-century model of schooling for the 21st century (and I think we need to), how we go about it will be at least as important as what we try to do.

5. About That ‘White Supremacist’ Bedsheet Which Greeted Betsy DeVos’ Speech at Harvard, October 12, 2017: Let’s set aside the Beltway stuff to talk a bit about that sign and what lately strikes me as the remarkably promiscuous use of that term—white supremacist—in education circles.

4. How Not to Argue for School Choice, April 7, 2017: Here are three pro-choice lines of argument I’ve heard a lot in 2017 and a couple of thoughts as to why passionate advocates might want to lean on some different talking points.

3. The Patriots and the ‘Unpopular Stuff’ of Excellence, February 2, 2017: As the Patriots prepare to play for the Super Bowl on Sunday, it seems especially timely to reflect again on some critical insights education reformers can gather from professional football.

2. Reading and Math Scores: ‘Handle With Care’, June 15, 2017: Test score gains tell us something useful. But, until we get more insight into what’s causing them, they should be stamped “Handle with care.”

1. Picturing Trump as the School Choice Guy, June 8, 2017: The White House is apparently poised to launch a big school choice push, and I can just imagine what President Trump’s nationally televised Oval Office address might sound like.

Would welcome your thoughts and comments. Meanwhile, 2018, here we come.

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.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read