Williamson M. Evers

Research Fellow
Research Team: 

Williamson M. Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, specializes in research on education policy especially as it pertains to curriculum, teaching, testing, accountability, and school finance from kindergarten through high school. Evers was head of the Trump Education Department transition team beginning in September 2016. He was the US assistant secretary of education for policy from 2007 to 2009. From July to December 2003, Evers served in Iraq as a senior adviser for education to Administrator L. Paul Bremer of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Evers to the California State Academic Content Standards Commission in 2010. In 1996 Governor Pete Wilson appointed Evers to the earlier California State Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards. He is the only individual to have served on both standards commissions, both of which proposed the subject matter that students should learn in each grade.

Evers was elected in November 2004 to the Santa Clara County Board of Education, on which he served until February 2007. He is the immediate past president of the board of directors of the East Palo Alto Charter School on which he served from 1997 until 2004.

Among his recent publications are:

He has written opinion columns that have appeared in Education Week, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor.

Evers received his BA (1972), MA (1978), and PhD (1987) degrees in political science from Stanford University.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

What Do Tests Tell Us?

by Williamson M. Eversvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, August 20, 2001

Grading scales may have drifted in the school so that most grades are As and Bs, without improvements in achievement.

School Reform: The Critical Issues

School Reform: The Critical Issues

by Pamela A. Riley, Lance T. Izumi, Williamson M. Eversvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, January 1, 2001

This book explores a wide range of critical areas in education, examines the basic nature of our education problems, provides a clear understanding of underperformance, and proposes reasonable and effective strategies for success.

Why Johnny Can’t Add

by Williamson M. Eversvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, April 30, 2000

The U.S. Department of Education continues to endorse “fuzzy math”—proof of fuzzy thinking. By Hoover fellow Williamson M. Evers.

Analysis and Commentary

Secretary Riley Reignites the Math Wars

by Williamson M. Eversvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, January 17, 2000

In early 1998, U.S. secretary of education Richard W. Riley called for a "cease-fire" in the math wars between the proponents of solid content and the proponents of discovery-learning methods.

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How Progressive Education Gets It Wrong

by Williamson M. Eversvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 30, 1998

John Dewey invented progressive education a hundred years ago. It was wrong then and hasn’t gotten better. By Hoover fellow Williamson M. Evers.

Why Set New Standards if You're Going to Set Them Low?

by Williamson M. Eversvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 30, 1998

Attempting to develop new standards for its public schools, California has formed an Academic Standards Commission. One of its members is Hoover fellow Williamson Evers, and he's not altogether happy about the commission's work.