Blogging from The Same Thing Over and Over: How School Reformers Get Stuck in Yesterday’s Ideas

with Rick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
March 30, 2011

On Today’s agenda: attend the talk with author, education-thinker Rick Hess. I’d read article after article of his during my Fall Introduction to Education Policy class at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. I own his “Common Sense Reform” book, so I was eager to hear what he had to say.

Apparently, the session was a book talk. He was self-depreciating at the beginning but also declaring that all the good ideas, he would take credit for. He’s sociable—but I wanted to withhold my opinion. He opened with a reference to a different context—a past article he’d written on teacher certification. What he found most useful about the past discussion was that the habit of discussing teacher licensure opened doors of attack or defense of the education system. He wanted people to engage in the debates of education—not just the notions of whether something is a solution to schooling or an attack on schooling (of course, I’m paraphrasing).  He’d like to discuss using new tools to solve new problems, instead of whether certain principles are sacrosanct. Sounds good, right? Cut to the substance…