Member Since 2009


Paul E. Peterson is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Senior Editor of Education Next, a journal of opinion and research. Peterson is a former director of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and of the Governmental Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He received his Ph. D. in political science from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the German Marshall Foundation, and the Center for Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is the author of the book, Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning (Harvard University Press, 2010). Peterson was a member of the independent review panel advising the Department of Education’s evaluation of the No Child Left Behind law and a member of the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force of K-12 Education at Stanford University. The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center reported that Peterson’s studies on school choice and vouchers have been among the country’s most influential studies of education policy.

Published Articles & Media

American Exceptionalism Isn’t a Modern Idea

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of it in the 1830s

The Research on Charter Schools: An Introduction

Two professors from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government give a quick explanation of charter schools and other education policy issues facing the Trump administration

What Do Parents Think of Their Children’s Schools?

EdNext poll compares charter, district, and private schools nationwide

How Satisfied are Parents with Their Children’s Schools?

New evidence from a U.S. Department of Education survey

Pence, Trump, and the Ed Reform Agenda

With Donald Trump set to enter the Oval Office, Vice President-elect Michael Pence seems likely to shape the federal role in education for the next four years.

Ten-year Trends in Public Opinion From the EdNext Poll

Common Core and vouchers down, but many other reforms still popular

Not Leaving, Just Changing Jobs

This is the last issue of Education Next for which I will serve as editor-in-chief.

What Was Accomplished in the Era of Reform via Federal Regulation?

For all their differences, George W. Bush and Barack Obama shared a surprisingly common approach to school reform: a regulatory approach.

After Common Core, States Set Rigorous Standards

Forty-five states raise the student proficiency bar

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