First We Take Little Rock

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The Hoover Institute's Koret Task Force has just released an outstanding blueprint for ed reform custom made for the state of Arkansas, at the request of the state's governor. However,the effort is so well done that it could serve as a blueprint for almost any state intent on true ed reform.

The report features thoughtful and brief chapters by leading ed reform researchers like Paul Hill, Checker Finn, Caroline Hoxby, E.D. Hirsch, Terry Moe, Diane Ravitch, Herbert Walberg, and Eric Hanushek. They make recommendations on all the big topics: subject matter standards, assessment strategies (including a separate chapter on value-added instruments), NCLB implementation, teacher compensation, transparency, and district consolidation. This little jewel is most notable for the absence of jargon, its calmly delivered tone, and for advocating the kind of pragmatic solutions that politicians seek.