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An Agenda for K-12 School Reform


Good morning, friends, and happy Friday! This four-day workweek, which we hear is popular, is almost over, and the weekend upon us.

We have some exciting news. With students getting acclimated to being back in school, CRN yesterday released An Agenda for K-12 School Reform, the most recent book in our Room To Grow series, via National Review.

Rick Hess, a resident scholar and the Director of Education Policy Studies with AEI, makes the case that we can improve schooling and provide America’s children with a better education by building on the strengths of our system. Further, Hess contends K-12 reforms should, among other things, promote more choice, greater accountability, the decentralization of education policy, and the elimination of unnecessary regulation and bureaucracy that stymie teachers.

The beauty of Hess’s ideas for K-12 reform? They don’t require more spending.

Here’s a teaser from Hess’s book:

Given the size of the existing U.S. investment in K-12 schooling, the key to addressing the problems facing our education system while building on its strengths is mostly not a matter of more funding. Rather, it involves reforms that will loosen the grip of bureaucracy, create more room for great schools to emerge and flourish, and make it easy for a broad range of families to see that their children get the schooling they need. In fact, the total price tag for the entire agenda above should be approximately zero. An agenda like this one is practical and achievable because it focuses on addressing the concerns of a broad range of Americans, including suburban families as well as those trapped in poverty. An education platform that includes all American children will make not only for good policy, but broad appeal.

Thirsty for specific ideas for how to improve our K-12 schools? Get Hess’s book on our site (here) or check it out on National Review (here).

And stay tuned. We’re preparing to release more installments of our Room To Grow series throughout the rest of the year.

Enjoy your weekend.