The path to successful school reform is that of what I call “little r” school reform. It starts with a simple premise: those responsible for doing the work should be empowered to do the work. When I was hired to teach high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I offered to pick up a set of intro economics textbooks at a buck-a-pound book sale, I got admonished for asking the question before I filled out the requisite paperwork. This is daily life for far too many of our nation’s teachers. Before they can even focus on solving problems for kids, they have to live in fear that they’re going to get in trouble for trying to be smart about how they’re serving kids best. The solution really is the path of “little r” reform. We need to rethink systems and policies so that those asked to serve and educate kids are empowered to make the decisions they need to make, and then held responsible for the results. It might be more frustrating to trust educators in communities across the land, but it’s a lot more successful and promising than leaving that authority with self-important officials, whether they work in the federal government or some big dollar foundation. To learn more about my take on the promise of “little r” reform, check the links in the description below. Also, let us know what other topics you’d like AEI scholars to cover in 60 seconds.