At a time of bitter national polarization, there is a critical need for leaders who can help us better communicate with one another. In A Search for Common Ground, Rick Hess and Pedro Noguera, who have often fallen on opposing sides of the ideological aisle over the past couple of decades, candidly talk through their differences on some of the toughest issues in K–12 education today from school choice to testing to diversity to privatization. They offer a sharp, honest debate that digs deep into their disagreements, enabling them to find a surprising amount of common ground along the way. Written as a series of back-and-forth exchanges, this engaging book illustrates a model of responsible, civil debate between those with substantial, principled differences. It is also a powerful meditation on where 21st-century school improvement can and should go next.
- Modeling dialogue: Rick and Pedro provide a model for how to sort through complicated issues and find common ground in today’s atmosphere of distrust.
- Deliberate, sustained exchange: Rick and Pedro demonstrate how deliberate, sustained reflection allows them to respectfully flesh out differences and sharpen their own thoughts.
- Left and Right Politics: Rick (generally Right) and Pedro (generally Left) offer a window into where they do and don’t agree on education and point the way to principled cooperation.
- Readable and conversational: Rather than pushing a partisan agenda, Rick and Pedro have crafted a stimulating read for education newcomers and experts alike.
- Unique approach: While other books about the different sides of the education debates simply present paired essays, Rick and Pedro actually engage with each other to strive for a deeper understanding of their differences.
Order the book here: A Search for Common Ground: Conversations About the Toughest Questions in K-12.
For more commentary and a podcast featuring the authors, see: https://www.gettingsmart.com/2021/06/dr-pedro-noguera-dr-frederick-hess-on-conversations-about-the-toughest-questions-in-k-12/