Common Sense School Reform, a new book by Frederick Hess, the director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, argues that effective reform is based on altering the status quo in school systems and creating an environment where “success is expected, excellence is rewarded, and failure is not tolerated.”
“Absent the pressure of markets or centralized accountability,” Hess writes, “it is not hard for mediocrity or inefficiency to seem the norm?.Even the best-intentioned educator may shy away from pursuing efficiencies when they require dislocation or wrenching adjustments.”
Abigail Thernstrom, the co-author with Stephan Thernstrom of No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, will join Thomas Toch, a longtime observer of educational management organizations like Edison Schools, to comment on Hess’s proposal and discuss their own ideas for school reform.
Director, Brown Center on Education Policy, and
Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
FREDERICK M. HESS
Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies,
American Enterprise Institute
Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for
Policy Research; Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights
National Center on
Education and the Economy
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.