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

Beware of Superintendents Who Push for Too Much Reform

New superintendents routinely propose agendas that are full to bursting. As a result, local educators get deluged with new proposals.

Reflections on an Extraordinary Decade of New Orleans School Reform

The story of New Orleans' success entails two parts: a disaster that created room to reinvent a deeply troubled urban school system and an energetic commitment to seize that opportunity.

What “The Cage-Busting Teacher” Means For School Reformers

Four ways for policymakers and reformers to create the conditions whereby cage-busting teachers can thrive

Creativity, Cartels, and the Supply Side of Choice-Based Reform

Both the pro- and the anti-school choice crowds tend to ignore what should be the central issue when it comes to markets, which is their immense creative potential and the way they can shatter comfortable cartels.

Why Can’t Politicians Get Out of Schooling?

The reason education policy today feels more invasive is because policymakers have been convinced that the old rules and regulations weren't getting the job done.

Thinking About “What Works”

What works in one place, at one time, for a certain community, will often turn out differently elsewhere.

A Breakout Role for Teachers

Excerpts from The Cage-Busting Teacher

It’s Not Looking Good for ESEA Reauthorization

It's looking increasingly like Secretary Duncan is going get to keep on enjoying his waivers through January 2017.

The Problem With NCLB-Style ‘Political Cover’

As Congress debates the reauthorization of ESEA, those arguing for keeping NCLB-style mandates claim that reform-minded leaders in the states require "political cover" from Washington.

Yong Zhao’s Biting Critique of the Chinese Edu-Miracle

Zhao's writing flags the stifling nature of regulation and celebrates the creative power of entrepreneur-oriented education.

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