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

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.
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.

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