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 policy maven Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute think tank (AEI), author of books like The Same Thing Over and Over, Letters to a Young Education Reformer, and A Search for Common Ground, offers straight talk on matters of policy, politics, research, and reform. Rick’s takes are his alone and do not represent AEI or Education Week. Follow Rick on Twitter at @rickhess99.

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Policy & Politics Opinion Searching for Common Ground in Angry Times
Rick Hess and Pedro Noguera discuss how polarization keeps us from appreciating the complexity of tough issues in education.
Rick Hess, December 2, 2021
4 min read
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Student Well-Being Opinion Social-Emotional Learning and the Perils of Teaching as Therapy
SEL risks overburdening teachers with responsibilities they aren’t trained for, compromising their ability to build academic skills.
Rick Hess, November 29, 2021
4 min read
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Student Well-Being Opinion The Case for Virtual Social and Emotional Learning
Can student social and emotional well-being be supported online? Rick Hess speaks with the founder of EmpowerU, which seeks to do just that.
Rick Hess, November 18, 2021
6 min read
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Curriculum Opinion Media Coverage of Critical Race Theory Misses the Mark
News accounts of critical race theory focus on topics that are not particularly controversial, while neglecting those that are.
Rick Hess, November 15, 2021
4 min read
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States Opinion 5 Takeaways for Education From Virginia's Governor Race
In an election where K-12 schooling was widely seen as the central issue, Glenn Youngkin’s victory has important implications for schools.
Rick Hess, November 5, 2021
5 min read
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Education Funding Opinion Ed. Finance Guru Marguerite Roza on How Schools Can Best Spend COVID Aid
Marguerite Roza shares ways school leaders can most effectively use federal COVID aid to position students and schools for future success.
Rick Hess, November 4, 2021
7 min read
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Federal Opinion It’s Not Just the NSBA That’s Out of Touch. There’s a Bigger Problem
Those who influence educational policy or practice would do well to care about what parents and the public actually want.
Rick Hess, November 1, 2021
4 min read
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College & Workforce Readiness Opinion The High School Network Providing Students With On-the-Job Training
Rick Hess speaks with Cristo Rey Network President Elizabeth Goettl about the network's innovative work-study program.
Rick Hess, October 28, 2021
7 min read
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School Choice & Charters Opinion The Kind of School Reform That Parents Actually Want
Parents' inclination to focus on solving specific problems rather than system change helps explain the appetite for novel school options.
Rick Hess, October 25, 2021
3 min read
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Policy & Politics Opinion Schooling Is in Tempestuous Times. Troublemaker Checker Finn Weighs In
Chester E. Finn Jr., a force in American education for more than four decades, talks about testing, school choice, excellence, and more.
Rick Hess, October 21, 2021
7 min read
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Accountability Opinion The Pandemic Disrupted Testing. States Should Seize Untapped Accountability Opportunities
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states have more freedom to revamp their testing and accountability systems than they did under NCLB.
Rick Hess, October 18, 2021
4 min read
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School & District Management Opinion National School Boards Association Chooses to Be Part of the Problem
The NSBA chose to blur the distinction between permissible and suspect speech in suggesting the FBI should target unruly protesters.
Rick Hess, October 13, 2021
5 min read
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School & District Management Opinion Economist Eric Hanushek Reflects on Winning 'Education’s Nobel Prize'
Rick Hess speaks with Eric Hanushek about winning the 2021 Yidan Prize, his work, and lessons learned during an iconic career.
Rick Hess, October 12, 2021
6 min read
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Education Funding Opinion Don’t Plan on That Federal Education Spending Spree
A Democratic spending spree once depicted as inevitable is shrinking before our eyes, meaning big implications for education.
Rick Hess, October 7, 2021
4 min read