Customized Schooling

Customized Schooling Beyond Whole-School Reform

Edited by Frederick M. Hess and Bruno V. Manno
paper, 256 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-07-5
Price: $32.00

Add to Cart

Look Inside the Book

Customized Schooling aims to reorient discussions about school reform by moving away from “whole school” solutions to customized services and products.


Customized Schooling dares the reader to look at what schooling could be like if we end our reliance on the one-stop-shop schoolhouse. Alongside a score of policy leaders, esteemed researchers, and on-the-ground practitioners, Hess and Manno lay out the case for individualizing education so that student, teacher, and district demands are heard and followed. What are the contours of such a system? How will it handle financial, data, and accountability concerns? And how will we listen more effectively to the wants of education customers? This volume provides fuel for the crucial discussion of these and other questions. — Clayton M. Christensen, Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Rick Hess and Bruno Manno argue that contemporary education is ‘an anachronism in today’s world of specialized services.’ The book persuasively puts forth a strong rationale for abandoning past practices and provides a compendium of cutting-edge innovations and innovators. Do not put this book aside; read it again and again. Customized Schooling is an essential book for those of us committed to the transformation of learning in the United States. — Gene Wilhoit, executive director, Council of Chief State School Officers

More Less

About the Editors

Frederick M. Hess is resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. In addition to his Education Week blog “Rick Hess Straight Up,” he is the author of influential books on education, including The Same Thing Over and Over (2010), Education Unbound (2010), Common Sense School Reform (2006), Revolution at the Margins (2002), and Spinning Wheels (1998), as well as the coeditor of the new volume Stretching the School Dollar (2010). His work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Post, and National Review. He has edited widely cited volumes on education philanthropy, urban school reform, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind. Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, on the review board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education, and on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and the American Board for the Certification of Teaching Excellence. A former high school social studies teacher, he has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, and Harvard University. He holds an MA and PhD in government from Harvard University as well as a MEd in teaching and curriculum.

Bruno V. Manno is senior adviser for K–12 systemic reform for the Walton Family Foundation and the former senior program associate for education at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. While at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Manno directed the Baltimore philanthropy’s investments in education since 1998. He played several key roles at the U.S. Department of Education beginning in 1986, as director of planning and acting assistant secretary of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, as assistant secretary of education for policy and planning under Secretary Lamar Alexander, and as special assistant to Secretary Alexander. He left the federal government in 1993 to become senior fellow in the Education Policy Studies Program at the Hudson Institute, where he served as executive director of the National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal and as associate director of Hudson’s Modern Red Schoolhouse Project. Manno served as executive director of the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education in 1997 and 1998 and is a director of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. He is coauthor (with Chester E. Finn Jr. and Gregg Vanourek) of Charter Schools in Action: Renewing Public Education (2000) and a frequent writer and commentator on education issues.