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


How to Bring Back Classroom Discussion

A five-point prescription for fostering a vibrant, robust learning environment

“It’s just safer to avoid current events”

Polarization has made teaching harder, but "constructive dialogue" may offer a way forward
Road sign that reads "Tennessee welcomes you"

An Unwavering Focus on Student Achievement

A former Tennessee education chief reflects on her tenure and her "true North Star"
An illustration of a wrecking ball approaching a red schoolhouse

The Disruptive Evolution of School Improvement

Modern education reform knocks at the walls of the traditional schoolhouse
Book cover of "Duck and Cover"

Why Do Schools Cling to ‘Stupid’ Ideas?

Two education scholars explore that question in a new book
Montse Gomendio

When “Stakeholders” and Status Quo Outweigh Student Outcomes

“A public system that funds both privately and publicly managed schools offers great advantages,” an author says
A closeup of two hands weaving fabric on a loom

Choice Reconsidered

Rethink school choice to avoid either-or thinking and instead ask how expanding options might help meet the needs of students and families and empower educators.
Photo of David M. Steiner

“Stop Wishing Away Evidence of No Progress”

Instead, “transmit what is finest in our multicultural inheritance,” says David Steiner
Map highilghting which states have education savings accounts

What Is an Education Savings Account, and Why Does It Matter?

A potentially promising shift from “school” choice to “educational” choice

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