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

Sen. Joe Manchin

Manchin Just Downsized the Democrats’ Massive Education Spending Plans

Free community college, universal pre-k may be trimmed to win passage of package.
A 12-year-old boy gets vaccinated in Florida.

New Polling Shows the K-12 Covid Fights Aren’t Going Anywhere

Teachers, administrators, and school boards will be squeezed between two angry, distrustful camps
Exterior of Madison West High School

No, the Evidence Does Not Support Racial ‘Affinity Spaces’ in Schools

Supporters routinely assert that there’s evidence to justify this practice, despite a startling lack of research actually supporting it.
Third-grade teacher Cara Denison manages students in person and remotely, simultaneously, at Rogers International School in Stamford, Connecticut.

Make Transparency the Pandemic’s Educational Legacy

Zoom classes and cameras in hybrid classrooms allow parents to appreciate terrific teachers, see what a child is learning, and intervene when necessary.
US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris arrive for an event to mark the start of monthly Child Tax Credit relief payments, in the White House complex, July 15, 2021.

How a Turbocharged Child Tax Credit Could Electrify School Choice

States could offer to match the money if parents spend it on education
Photo of a Harley Davidson motorcycle

Social Media’s Like Tossing a ’Tween the Keys to a Harley

"Schools would benefit from thinking about social media not as a few apps embedded in a ’tween’s phone but as sophisticated, double-edged tools."
A high-school football player lifts weights while his coach watches.

How to Improve Teaching After the Pandemic

It’s wholly possible for schools to figure out how to leverage staff more effectively; it’s just not the way teachers’ work has traditionally been organized.
Screenshot of ST Math game

What It Takes to Actually Improve Math Education

Repetitive practice lies at the heart of mastery of almost every discipline, and mathematics is no exception.
Photo of Nina Rees

Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools

This year was the first time in many years that, for whatever reason, the White House did not issue a proclamation for National Charter Schools Week.
People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" being taught in schools. The rally was at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021.

On Critical Race Theory in the Classroom, Idaho Makes More Sense Than Oklahoma

Legislators do well when they consciously echo the provisions of the Civil Rights Act that have been brushed aside in the excesses of anti-racist education.

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