Eric Hanushek

Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow in Education
Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:
National Academy of Education
Biography: 

Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education at the Hoover Institution. A leader in the development of the economic analysis of educational issues, his research spans the impact on achievement of teacher quality, high-stakes accountability, and class-size reduction. He pioneered measuring teacher quality on the basis of student achievement, the foundation for current research into the value-added evaluations of teachers and schools. His work on school efficiency is central to debates about school finance adequacy and equity; his analyses of the economic impact of school outcomes motivate both national and international educational policy design.

Hanushek is also chairman of the Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and area coordinator for Economics of Education with the CESifo Research Network. He formerly served as chair of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.

His most recent book, with Paul Peterson and Ludger Woessmann, Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School, documents the huge economic costs of continuing to have mediocre schools. Earlier books include Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses, Courting Failure, Handbook on the Economics of Education, The Economics of Schooling and School Quality, Improving America’s Schools, Making Schools Work, Educational Performance of the Poor, and Education and Race, along with numerous widely cited articles in professional journals.

Hanushek previously held academic appointments at the University of Rochester, Yale University, and the US Air Force Academy and served in government as deputy director of Congressional Budget Office. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the International Academy of Education along with being a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists and the American Education Research Association. He was awarded the Fordham Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 2004.

A distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, he completed his PhD in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served in the US Air Force from 1965 to 1974.

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Recent Commentary

Featured Commentary

Calculating The Value Of Good Teachers To The Economy

by Eric Hanushekvia KCUR
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hoover fellow Eric Hanushek discusses the economic value of quality teaching as well as steps to achieve that goal.

Featured Commentary

Not Enough Value To Justify More Of The Same

by Eric Hanushekvia The New York Times
Thursday, March 26, 2015

It is hard getting around the historic facts. Real per pupil spending has more than doubled in the past 40 years, but the mathematics and reading scores of 17-year-olds have barely budged.

Featured Commentary

An Evaluation System Linked To Retention And Reward Is Vital

by Eric Hanushekvia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Despite decades of study and enormous effort, we know little about how to train or select high quality teachers. We do know, however, that there are huge differences in the effectiveness of classroom teachers and that these differences can be observed.

Blogs

Teachers Union In New York City Pushes Property Tax Change To Boost Teacher Hiring

by Eric Hanushekvia Education Next
Monday, January 5, 2015

It’s like the bad penny that keeps re-appearing, only it costs hundreds of millions of dollars. The constant reversion to calls for ever-smaller class sizes never seems to lose its appeal for the teacher unions or for school districts arguing for more funds.

Other Media

The Value of Smarter Teachers: International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance

by Eric Hanushek, Marc Piopiunik, Simon Wiederholdvia National Burea of Economic Research
Friday, December 12, 2014

Differences in teacher quality are commonly cited as a key determinant of the huge international student performance gaps. However, convincing evidence on this relationship is still lacking, in part because it is unclear how to measure teacher quality consistently across countries.

High school students in class
Featured Commentary

How Teachers Unions Use 'Common Core' to Undermine Reform

by Eric Hanushekvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 30, 2014

This year's battle over the introduction of Common Core standards in public schools has diverted attention from a more important but quieter battle led by teachers unions to eliminate school accountability and teacher evaluations.

Blogs

There Is No War on Teachers

by Eric Hanushekvia Education Next
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Public schools are constitutionally empowered to educate our next generation, but they often stray from that path to over-emphasize the rights, pay, and benefits of their employees.

teacher and student
Featured Commentary

More Easily Firing Bad Teachers Helps Everyone

by Eric Hanushekvia Education Next
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Teacher tenure discussions often suggest that what is in the best interest of teachers is also in the best interest of students. But the groundbreaking decision in the Vergara case makes it clear that early, and effectively irreversible, decisions about teacher tenure have real costs for students and ultimately all of society.

Featured Commentary

There Is No War On Teachers

by Eric Hanushekvia USA Today
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Public schools are constitutionally empowered to educate our next generation, but they often stray from that path to over-emphasize the rights, pay, and benefits of their employees.

Black students in a classroom
Other Media

Not Just the Problems of Other People's Children: U.S. Student Performance in Global Perspective

by Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, Ludger Woessmannvia Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG)
Thursday, May 15, 2014
“The big picture of U.S. performance on the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is straightforward and stark: It is a picture of educational stagnation.... Fifteen-year-olds in the U.S. today are average in science and reading literacy, and below average in mathematics, compared to their counterparts in [other industrialized] countries.”

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