Rick Hess Straight Up

Media Inquiries: Véronique Rodman
vrodman@aei.org or 202.862.4870


In his new Education Week blog, 'Rick Hess Straight Up,' Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, will tackle a variety of pressing topics relating to K-12 education policy and politics, data and research, and the challenges to school reform.

Hess notes, "K-12 schooling is such a dynamic and fascinating world. I frequently find myself with new information, research, or thoughts that I'd like to share, but am hindered when it comes to finding the right vehicle. That is now solved."

Among the principal features in 'Rick Hess Straight Up,' will be a regular look at the Race to the Top application process, at the media coverage of Arne Duncan, and at a wide variety of education issues including the achievement gap, teacher licensure, and academic elitism.

A recent convert to the value of blogging, Hess explains that "I am eager to get started as the increasingly substantive bent of many influential blogs play an increasingly important role in the broader shifts in the media and in the policy debate. The remarkable opportunity to pursue this venture in collaboration with Education Week makes me optimistic about the potential impact of 'Rick Hess Straight Up.' To my mind, Ed Week is the newspaper of record in K-12 schooling. It has the readership and influence that follows, and I can't imagine anyone else I would rather do this with."

Veteran blogger Andy Rotherham of Eduwonk notes that Hess will be "a welcome addition to the education blog space. Hess is prolific and outspoken with a wide-ranging and keen intellect. Plus, he looks good in pajamas."

Vice president for national programs and policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Gadfly blogger Mike Petrilli shares in the enthusiasm, "Watch out, edusphere: Rick Hess is in the HOUSE. The same man who pushes the boundaries of acceptable attire at education conferences, who brings a certain BOOM quality to the Education Gadfly Show podcast, and who puts the happy in happy hour will now make the blogosphere come alive with hard-hitting, unapologetic tough love for our schools--and for mindless education reformers too. Blogging will never be the same."

Education Week managing editor Caroline Hendrie says, "Rick's name has long been familiar to our readers, and we're delighted that he's joining our growing circle of Education Week bloggers. His wit and wisdom will undoubtedly make for lively and informative reading. Can't wait to welcome him aboard!"

A former high school teacher, Hess has authored influential books on education such as Spinning Wheels, Revolution at the Margins, and Common Sense School Reform. His newest book, out this month from ASCD, is Education Unbound, about which DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has said, "Rick Hess continues to expose the toughest issues in transforming public schooling in America. An esteemed scholar who is always willing to speak his mind and shake up the status quo through innovation, he is someone we should listen to as we apply policy to practice." Hess also teaches education policy at universities ranging from the University of Pennsylvania, to Rice, and Georgetown University.

For more information about the blog, or to contact Frederick M. Hess, please e-mail jenna.schuette@aei.org or call 202.862.5809.


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About the Author


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

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