Dr. Frederick Hess, Author of Cage-Busting Leadership, Coming to Reno

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.

About Aaron Grossman

I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary. Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here). In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador. I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at coretaskproject@gmail.com
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