Member Since 2009

Frederick Hess, AEI's director of education policy studies, is an educator, political scientist, author, and popular speaker and commentator. He has authored such influential books as Spinning Wheels, Revolution at the Margins, and Common Sense School Reform. A former public high school social studies teacher, he has also taught education and policy at universities including Georgetown, Harvard, Rice, the University of Virginia, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is executive editor of Education Next, a faculty associate with Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, and serves on the board of directors for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and on the review board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education. At AEI, Mr. Hess addresses a range of K-12 and higher education issues.

Published Articles & Media


There’s No Debate at All

Contrary to belief, families like both public education and school choice
A school hallway, with a clock in the top right

It’s About Time

Teachers and students often squander a school's most valuable resource. Time diaries can make a difference.
Illustration of a photo of the U.S. Department of Education building torn in half

What It Would Mean to Abolish the U.S. Department of Education

Half the field of Republican presidential hopefuls want it to happen—but how?
Parent with children meets teacher

Welcoming Parents Back into the Fold

The breakdown in family-teacher partnerships requires intentional reengagement by schools

How to Bring Back Classroom Discussion

A five-point prescription for fostering a vibrant, robust learning environment

“It’s just safer to avoid current events”

Polarization has made teaching harder, but "constructive dialogue" may offer a way forward
Road sign that reads "Tennessee welcomes you"

An Unwavering Focus on Student Achievement

A former Tennessee education chief reflects on her tenure and her "true North Star"
An illustration of a wrecking ball approaching a red schoolhouse

The Disruptive Evolution of School Improvement

Modern education reform knocks at the walls of the traditional schoolhouse
Book cover of "Duck and Cover"

Why Do Schools Cling to ‘Stupid’ Ideas?

Two education scholars explore that question in a new book
Montse Gomendio

When “Stakeholders” and Status Quo Outweigh Student Outcomes

“A public system that funds both privately and publicly managed schools offers great advantages,” an author says

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