October 14, 2011 – Here’s a simple idea: put excellent teachers, the top 20 to 25 percent who achieve well over today’s “year of learning progress,” in charge of every child’s learning—consistently. In this Education Next blog, Bryan and Emily Hassel propose “a bolder alternative that might actually induce our nation to achieve widespread learning excellence”.
September 13, 2011 – Schools – and nations – that excel in the digital age will be those that use digital tools both to make teaching more manageable for the average teacher, and to give massively more students access to excellent teachers. In this blog post, Bryan and Emily Hassel explain how digital tools can extend the reach of excellent teachers.
In this collection of essays, Education Sector asked commentators to address a set of dilemmas facing the nation in the current reform moment. Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel tackled one: Will the Common Core and new teacher evaluation systems strangle innovation? These reforms, they argue, would have been perfectly timed for 1962, with 50 years ahead of seat time-based grade levels and a one-teacher-one-classroom staffing model. But what about now, when the combination of new staffing models and digital learning has huge potential to transform everything? Will the Common Core and individual teacher evaluation hold us back exactly when we could be surging ahead? Not necessarily, the Hassels argue. But to sidestep that trap, states need to think of the new systems as iterations, not final destinations; leave space for innovation in new schools; and create much more powerful incentives for excellence. See essay #IV in the collection, here.
June 13, 2011 – Rick Hess was right to question the simplistic hyping of Khan Academy’s online video lectures in his Straight Up post. But on the Education Next blog, Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel argue that he’s only got it half-right: it’s less a matter of OVER-hyping than MIS-hyping the true potential of what Khan is doing.