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 2018

By Rick Hess — December 26, 2018 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Well, 2018 is about to go in the books. For whatever reason, it struck me as an exceptionally strange year, both in education and for the republic, and I can’t say I’m sorry to turn the page. Before we dive into 2019, though, it’s worth taking one last look at the year just past—at the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2018. In that spirit, my uber-RAs RJ Martin and Amy Cummings and I sat down to sift through the 2018 RHSU archives and tag this year’s top ten columns. We took into account web traffic, reader reaction, our personal preferences, and the secret algorithm cooked up by the home office in Burbank, in order to bring you the very best of RHSU, circa 2018.

Since we had a tough time narrowing down the list, I’ll give a quick shout-out to two that just missed the cut: The Perils of Narrow Training in Education Research (September 17, 2018) and Be Wary of Reformers Peddling ‘Model’ School Districts (October 15, 2018). Now, without further ado, here are your top 10 RHSU columns of 2018:

10. Has Evaluation Reform Chased Away Competent Would-Be Teachers? February 15, 2018: There’s no evidence that recent teacher evaluation reforms have attracted talented applicants. Instead, they seem to have dissuaded new teachers.

9. 5 Thoughts on the Teacher Strikes, April 10, 2018: The teacher walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky were not only remarkable for their scope and success, but also rapidly reshuffled the educational debates.

8. No, Educators and Policymakers Shouldn’t Just ‘Do What the Research Shows,’ June 4, 2018: Common sense, practical experience, personal relationships, and old-fashioned wisdom play a crucial role in determining when and how research can be usefully applied.

7. What Exactly Is Teacher Professionalism, Anyway? October 8, 2018: “Teacher professionalism” can mean profoundly different things to different people. Fordham’s Robert Pondiscio argues that the key to professionalizing teaching is to ask, “What do the kids do all day?”

6. Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned, January 17, 2018: Identifying a couple key takeaways from the last 20-odd years of school reform.

5. Education Reforms Should Obey Campbell’s Law, June 11, 2018: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

4. 21st-Century Education Policy Enters Its Afternoon Rerun Stage, December 3, 2018: After years of prime-time play with Oprah, “Education Nation” glitz, and State of the Union applause lines, 21st-century education policy has reached its rerun stage.

3. A Confession and a Question on Personalized Learning, February 12, 2018: Amplify CEO Larry Berger sent me probably the pithiest and most useful take I’ve seen on personalized learning.

2. How Education Philanthropy Can Accidentally Promote Groupthink and Bandwagonism, July 2, 2018: Foundations operate a lot like Santa Claus, with goodies to give away and an attentive eye as to who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.

1. The Problem With Seeking an ‘Innovative’ Schools Chief, April 24, 2018: When weighing options for new educational leaders, don’t focus on what they’re going to do—focus on how they’re going to do it.

Well, there you are. I’d welcome your thoughts and comments on the list. Meanwhile, 2019, 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.

Events

Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management

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 Senators Put YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat on the Defensive on Kids' Online Safety
Senators questioned executives from YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat about what they’re doing to ensure young users’ safety on their platforms.
5 min read
The Youtube, left, and Snapchat apps on a mobile device in New York, on Aug. 9, 2017. The leaders of a Senate panel have called executives from YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat to face questions on what the companies are doing to ensure young users’ safety. The hearing Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, comes as the panel bears down on hugely popular social media platforms and their impact on children.
The Youtube, left, and Snapchat apps on a mobile device in New York, on Aug. 9, 2017. The leaders of a Senate panel have called executives from YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat to face questions on what the companies are doing to ensure young users’ safety. The hearing Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, comes as the panel bears down on hugely popular social media platforms and their impact on children.
Richard Drew/AP
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Vulnerable Students Left Behind as Schooling Disruptions Continue
The effects of unpredictable stretches at home can mirror those of chronic absenteeism and lead to long-term harm to learning.
4 min read
Students board a school bus on New York's Upper West Side on Sept. 13, 2021. Even as most students return to learning in the classroom this school year, disruptions to in-person learning, from missing one day because of a late school bus to an entire two weeks at home due to quarantine, remain inevitable as families and educators navigate the ongoing pandemic.
Students board a school bus on New York's Upper West Side on Sept. 13, 2021. Even as most students return to learning in the classroom this school year, disruptions to in-person learning, from missing one day because of a late school bus to an entire two weeks at home due to quarantine, remain inevitable as families and educators navigate the ongoing pandemic.
Richard Drew/AP
Education 'Widespread' Racial Harassment Found at Utah School District
The federal probe found hundreds of documented uses of the N-word and other racial epithets, and harsher discipline for students of color.
1 min read
A CNG, compressed natural gas, school bus is shown at the Utah State Capitol, Monday, March 4, 2013, in Salt Lake City. After a winter with back-to back episodes of severe pollution in northern Utah, lawmakers and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will discuss clean air legislation and call for government and businesses to convert to clean fuel vehicles.
Federal civil rights investigators found widespread racial harassment of Black and Asian American students in the Davis school district north of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Rick Bowmer/AP Photo