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

U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) speaking at a meeting of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Don’t Plan on That Federal Education Spending Spree

Ambitious plans to make community college “free” or pre-K “universal” will have to be radically downsized.
Photo of Sue Renner

The Problems With Biden’s Universal Pre-K Proposal

"The proposed new investments in universal pre-K are not in step with the realities of the existing mixed-delivery system."
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.

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