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 the Gulf Oil Spill Can Teach Us About School Spending

Now, analogies are always a tricky business because they depend on one's angle of vision. But, if you're standing where I am, this looks like a disheartening parallel to the world of school spending.

Straight Up Conversation: RI Chief Deb Gist on the Central Falls Deal

The success of the Central Falls deal rested significantly on Rhode Island super-chief Deb Gist's aggressive moves last fall, in which she interpreted the basic education program to mean that seniority would no longer be a factor in school staffing. Yesterday, Gist took a little time to answer a few questions about what to make of the deal.

The Hard-Hitting Pondiscio on Edutopia

Edutopia's doing some neat stuff. And I'm all in favor of anyone who's pushing forward on thinking about how to better use technology. But there's a difference between creative minds at work and claiming to have discovered "what works."

Budgetpalooza…Or, Mr. Mulgrew, Have I Got a Speechwriter for You

Between the National Journal debate over Senator Tom Harkin's $23 billion bailout, the European Union ponying up a cool $1 trillion to stanch the bleeding in Greece, Mike Petrilli getting frisky on teacher firing, and my own dalliances in NYC teacher policy, this is turning out to be quite the week for bailout mania.

Fueling the Engine

Smarter, better ways to fund education innovators

Watering Greenfield

The lifeblood of efforts to rethink schooling or devise new solutions is the money it takes to make them work. These dollars can come from three sources: profit-seeking investors, philanthropy, or government. To date, the lion's share of the bucks have come from philanthropy.

Making the Most of the First Day at AERA

Tomorrow, the nation's education researchers, professors, and such will convene in Denver for the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association. For those folks, I'm happy to provide the following cheat sheet to help flag the must-see sessions for Friday, AERA's first day.

Why Strip Mining Might Shrink the Pie

Yesterday, I suggested that reflexive efforts to shift "effective" teachers from high-performing schools and classrooms to others may actually reduce the pool of effective teachers. This would turn strip mining from an effort to redistribute the pie into a strategy that would actually shrink the size of the "good teaching" piece. Why might that be?

Strip Miners in Our Schools

In a new forum in Education Next, Education Trust honcho Kati Haycock and Stanford economist Rick Hanushek address the issue of whether and how to more "equitably" distribute teachers. With characteristic passion, Haycock calls for efforts to focus on attracting good teachers to high-poverty, low-performing schools. I strongly support what Haycock has to say in the exchange, but I worry about the possibility that some of her allies may take her suggestions too far.

Racing to the Jargon: Finalist’s Edition

Whereas greenfield-style measures tend to be cut-and-dry--states either did or did not enact certain legislation--the prescriptive bulk of RTT is about promising to do things. Since this kind of compliance is about plans and intentions rather than actions, it's harder to demonstrate. The usual result: proving commitment by piling up consultant-provided buzzwords and jargon. And the RTT apps are no exception.

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