Herbert J. Walberg

Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Herbert J. Walberg, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, is a University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Walberg was a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education from 1999 to 2013. His research focuses on educational productivity and human accomplishments.

Walberg, who was confirmed as a member of the National Board for Education Sciences, joined two other Koret Task Force members in overseeing the research arm of the US Department of Education; he also served on the National Assessment Governing Board. Walberg is also chairman of the board of directors of the Heartland Institute, an independent, nonprofit research center headquartered in Chicago that provides policy analysis to national and state governments and journalists. Walberg joined the board of directors in 1993 and has served as its chairman since 1995.

Walberg has written or edited more than seventy books, including Radical Education Reforms with Chester Finn, a Hoover Institution distinguished visiting fellow and Koret Task Force member. Walberg has also written approximately 350 articles on such topics as the causes and effects of learning, teaching and instructional effectiveness, national comparisons of achievement, and educational measurement and evaluation. His articles have appeared in widely circulated journals, including Daedalus, Educational Leadership, Kappan, and Nature, and in such newspapers as the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. His most recent book is Tests, Testing, and Genuine School Reform (Hoover Institution Press, 2011).

Walberg was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Statistical Society (London), the American Psychological Association, and the Australian Association for Educational Research. Additionally, he was a member of the International Academy of Education.

Walberg has held research posts at the Educational Testing Service and the University of Wisconsin and has taught at Harvard University. He has been frequently called to testify before US congressional committees and federal courts on educational matters.

Walberg earned his PhD in educational psychology from the University of Chicago.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

How Important Is Homework For Student Achievement?

by Herbert J. Walberg, Joseph L. Bastvia Heartland Institute
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Once a child is enrolled in school, the time for homework starts. Sending children home from school with homework is a long tradition that has come under criticism by some psychologists and writers as being a form of punishment.

Analysis and Commentary

Rewards, Education, And The Culture Of Poverty

by Herbert J. Walberg, Joseph L. Bastvia Heartlander Magazine
Monday, March 16, 2015

For some children, a “culture of poverty” severely limits the opportunities they have to benefit from structured play and enrollment in out-of-school programs.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Academic Achievement Matters

by Herbert J. Walberg, Joseph L. Bastmentioning Eric Hanushek, George P. Shultz, Hoover Institutionvia Human Events Online
Friday, September 5, 2014

Socrates famously said “the unexamined life is not worth living.” He was reflecting on the private benefits of learning about ourselves and the world around us.

Education and testing
Analysis and Commentary

Parents and Students Need Test Results

by Herbert J. Walbergvia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Parents who avoid tests for their children deny themselves and educators’ objective knowledge of children’s academic standings. By Herbert Walberg.

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School Reform, the Texas Way

by Herbert J. Walbergvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Could the lone star state’s Savings Grant Program revolutionize K-12 education for poor and middle class families?

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Breaking the Public Monopoly on K-12

by Herbert J. Walbergvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When it comes to school reform, the United States could learn a thing or two from Sweden.

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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Let’s Pay Students to Learn

by Herbert J. Walbergvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, August 2, 2012

Good incentives and online tutoring programs have the potential to transform K-12 education.

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Analysis and Commentary

Are Md. schools really No. 1?

by Herbert J. Walbergvia Baltimore Sun
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Social promotion, testing conflicts of interest sap the value of a diploma...

Analysis and Commentary

Raise standards, eliminate cheating from school tests

by Herbert J. Walberg, David V. Andersonvia NJ Voices Guest Blog (NJ.com)
Sunday, May 13, 2012

With its proposed testing program, New Jersey is making a good start. Does it have the courage to plow ahead? It won’t be easy...

The Voucher Revolution in Education

by Herbert J. Walbergvia Advancing a Free Society
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This essay blends prediction with prescription to paint a vivid picture of what American education will look like in 2030. The essay is from an online publication of the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, American Education in 2030.