Dr. Frederick Hess will be visiting Washoe County School District this Friday as part of the Leadership Institute of Nevada. If you don’t know Dr. Hess’ work, and if you are not attending the event, it might be worth watching the video presentations below.
In the this video for the Missouri Department of Education, Hess gives some context for why many of the reforms we are asked to implement in our classrooms often do not have the desired effects. At minute 5:37 he provides several specific examples including block scheduling, site-based management, comprehensive school reform, small high schools, and turn arounds. At minute 9:50, he outlines that some ideas are good but implementation is more challenging than we fully anticipate (e.g. differentiation). Consequently, sound ideas appear to be failures.
In a second presentation before the American Enterprise Institute, Hess asks the question, “Are American schools just not designed to succeed?” Hess makes his case that many of the challenges facing schools may seem intractable before sharing—at minute 10:25—two examples of solutions. These would include the Basis Schools in Arizona, and the Equity Project in New York.
Given that many of our district leaders and administrators will be hearing from Hess, might be worth opting into some of his content.