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

A bride and groom walk on a beach

The ‘Success Sequence’ Can Help Schools Bridge Our Divides

Survey finds strong backing for teaching about value of degree, job, marriage, children—in that order.

2022 Edu-Scholar Public Influence: Top Tens

Where scholars rank overall may be less telling than where they rank within their field.

The 2022 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

The university-based scholars in the United States who did the most last year to shape educational practice and policy.

What It Takes to Be an Effective Public Scholar

Excellence in five areas: disciplinary scholarship, policy analysis and popular writing, convening and shepherding collaborations, providing incisive commentary, and speaking in the public square.
Douglas Emhoff, center, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, to a group of pre-school children at Mother Hubbard Pre-School Center, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Milford, Mass. Emhoff visited the child care center to draw attention to the Biden administration's Build Back Better agenda.

Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Bill Could Decimate the Child-Care Landscape

Rules could cut faith-based providers out of the picture
Photo of Michael Brickman

How Federal Government Writes the Rules for Schools

"Too many people are not even aware that these regulations are being developed, much less that they can have a say in the end result."

Ed Finance Guru Marguerite Roza on How Schools Can Best Spend Covid Aid

One concern: using the money to backfill budgets that should have been rightsized years ago for enrollment drops that started long before the pandemic.

What Youngkin’s Virginia Win Means for Education

It was all about values, frustration, and parental empowerment. And that is potent, deeply personal stuff.
"Reformers wind up encouraging parents to send emails to state legislators or wear brightly colored T-shirts to the state capitol."

The Kind of School Reform That Parents Actually Want

For millions of families, “school choice” has morphed from abstraction to potential solution.

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