Common Sense School Reform

  • Title:

    Common Sense School Reform
  • Hardcover ISBN:

    1403963533
  • 258 Hardcover pages

View the summary and press release.

Education reform is among the most important and contentious issues facing the nation and local communities today. In Common Sense School Reform, leading education analyst Frederick M. Hess takes on conventional wisdom and presents a comprehensive and coherent approach to the challenge of improving our schools. He argues five integrated principles are needed:

  • Increased accountability of students, teachers, and administrators
  • More choice and flexibility
  • Greater openness in teacher recruitment
  • Better training of administrators in management and leadership
  • Enhanced use of technology to enable students, teachers, and management

Hess applies lessons from successful organizations to the educational sector and argues that educators, like everyone else, are more effective when performance is evaluated, success is rewarded, and ineffective workers are sanctioned. Engagingly written and drawing on real world experiences and examples, Common Sense School Reform will generate debate and help set the agenda for the future.

"Common Sense School Reform delivers exactly what it promises: a no-holds-barred, sensible approach to school reform, stripped bare of the utopian rhetoric and pie-in-the-sky promises that so many school reformers prefer. School leaders should read this book!"

--Diane Ravitch, author of The Language Police and
Research Professor, New York University

Frederick M. Hess is a resident scholar at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Frederick M.
Hess
  • An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include "Cage-Busting Leadership," "Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age," "The Same Thing Over and Over," "Education Unbound," "Common Sense School Reform," "Revolution at the Margins," and "Spinning Wheels." He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." Hess's work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, National Affairs, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and National Review. He has edited widely cited volumes on the Common Core, the role of for-profits in education, education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind.  Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review boards for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.


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  • Email: rhess@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Sarah DuPre
    Phone: 202-862-7160
    Email: Sarah.DuPre@aei.org

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