Beach Listenin’

Hey, starting next week, I’m about to take a month’s hiatus from the rigors of blogging. Okay, okay, so much for “rigors”–shooting my mouth off is a whole lot easier than when I’ve taught, landscaped, or staffed the early a.m. shift at a doughnut shop. Regardless, on Friday, I’ll introduce your all-star lineup of guest bloggers.

Today, though, I wanted to give you a quick head’s up on some terrific iPod beach fodder to fill some of those summer hours that you won’t spend slogging through my stilted prose. Here’s the deal: my pal, and Fordham Gadfly show co-host, Mike Petrilli has been conducting a series of provocative audio interviews for Education Next with authors of hot edu-books (you can find them here). The interviewees are a who’s who of edu-authors, and have so far included Daniel Willingham, Richard Whitmire on his Michelle Rhee Bee Eater volume, Rick Kahlenberg on his Al Shanker biography, John Merrow, and Alexander Russo on his colorful look at Green Dot’s Locke High School turnaround.

Mike is as quick and amusing as anyone in the business, and his interviews are as fun, lively, and incisive as you’d expect. Edu-geeks and grad students will find ’em full of insights and insider tidbits, and a great way to catch up on noteworthy volumes. And, if you’ve already read the book, you’re going to get the kind of perspective and nuggets that usually only come when you’re chilling with the author over a quiet cocktail.

And the best part is that the conversations are fun enough that you can play them while splayed on the beach without wondering what became of your younger, fun-seeking self. They’re about as close as you can get in the edu-space to chocolate-coated vitamins. Happy listening.

– Frederick Hess

(This post also appears on Rick Hess Straight Up.)

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