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. Read more from this blog.

Education Opinion

The Top 10 RHSU Columns of 2017

By Rick Hess — December 26, 2017 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
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
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP