K-12 Education Task Force

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Comparing PDK and Education Next Polls

by Paul E. Petersonvia Education Next
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Just released this week are two major education polls, one by Education Next (Ednext), a journal of opinion and research, and the other by Phi Delta Kappan (PDK), a journal that serves the alumnae of schools of education. Both survey nationally representative samples of the U. S. adult population. Ednext polls about 5,000 respondents, including a nationally representative sample of teachers, by means of an online survey administered by Knowledge Networks. PDK poses questions to about 1,000 respondents in a poll administered by Gallup.

Other Media

Poll: Common Core Support Among Teachers Plummets, With Fewer Than Half Supporting It

quoting Paul E. Petersonvia The Washington Post
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Anybody watching the escalating battle across the country over the Common Core State Standards and aligned standardized testing will hardly be surprised by a new national poll which reveals a significant loss of support over the last year — especially among teachers, whose approval rating dropped from 76 percent  in 2013 to only  46 percent in 2014. Overall support for the Core dropped from 65 percent last year to 53 percent in 2014, with most of the defection among Republicans.

Other Media

Conservative Study Finds Falling Support for 'Common Core'

featuring Paul E. Petersonvia The Hill
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Public support for Common Core, the Obama administration’s program for setting education standards, has dwindled over the last year, according to a new study from a conservative group. The survey from Education Next, a journal published by the conservative Hoover Institution, found that 53 percent of people still favor Common Core, but the program’s support has declined sharply from 65 percent in 2013.


Political Polarization Needlessly Divides the Public on Common Core and NCLB

by Paul E. Petersonvia Education Next
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Political polarization is making it increasingly difficult to sustain support for policy undertakings that a majority of the public supports. Narrow interest groups and small minorities are twisting public opinion through slogans and rhetoric to which sensation-mongering elements in the media are giving excessive attention. Such is my conclusion after reviewing eight years of Education Next (Ednext) polling on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Featured Commentary

The Public Turns Against Teacher Tenure

by Paul E. Petersonvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It's back-to-school season, but teacher tenure has been a hot topic since summer began. In June a California court ruled that the state's tenure and seniority laws are unconstitutional in Vergara v. State of California. Minority students have filed a similar case in New York, with more to come elsewhere.

Education and testing
Other Media

New York State Students Post Slight Gains on Tests

quoting Michael J. Petrillivia The New York Times
Friday, August 15, 2014

The percentage of New York State elementary- and middle-school students passing statewide math exams inched up in 2014 while reading scores remained flat, a mixed performance in the second year of a new, more difficult testing program, according to results released on Thursday.


The Hidden Half: School Employees Who Don’t Teach

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Education Next
Friday, August 15, 2014

Why do American public schools spend more of their operating budgets on non-teachers than almost every other country in the world, including nations that are as prosperous and humane as ours? We can’t be certain.


Michael Petrilli on Morning on America

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Bill Bennett's Morning In America
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Research Fellow Mike Petrilli discussed education on the nationally-syndicated Bill Bennett Morning in America radio show.

Other Media

Does It Even Matter if Americans Are Terrible At Math?

quoting Eric Hanushekvia Vox
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

If there's one thing Americans know about international tests, it's this: we aren't very good at them. In 2012, the last time 15-year-olds from 65 countries and economies took an international math test, the US ended up ranked far from the top — particularly in math, where they were 27th of 34 countries. (The rankings aren't an exact science; the US could be ranked anywhere between 23rd and 29th, according to the Organization for Economic and Community Development.)


Education Reform’s Most Urgent Task

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Monday, August 11, 2014

As Gadfly readers know—from his “farewell address,” if not before—the irreplaceable Checker Finn stepped down as the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s president last week, handing me the reins and the opportunity of a lifetime. As Checker made clear, he’s not retiring, disappearing, or giving up the fight—just letting go of the day-to-day responsibilities of managing an increasingly complex organization. He will, as he wrote, have more time than ever for troublemaking. American education will be the better for it.


Global Education

Peterson discusses US education in global perspective

Thursday, May 15, 2014

On Tuesday, May 13, Hoover senior fellow Paul Peterson discussed his study, conducted with fellow researchers Eric Hanushek (also a Hoover senior fellow) and Ludger Woessmann, which compares US children to other students in developed countries. The event, held at Harvard University, was recorded live and can be watched here. The study culminated in a book entitled Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School. The Hoover sponsored publication EducationNext also ran several articles using the data from the study, one of which can be found here.

What Lies Ahead for America's Children and Their Schools

What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools Examines Prospects for Education Reform in the United States

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Hoover Institution Press released What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools,  an assessment by the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education.  This profound work examines both the potential gains and the pitfalls that lie ahead for primary- and secondary-school education in the United States. 

Press Releases
Hoover's Koret Task Force on K-12 Education timeline, 1998-2014.

Koret Task Force on K-12 Education Reaches Milestone

Friday, February 21, 2014

The year 2014 marks the sixteenth year of work by Hoover’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. The eleven-member task force first met in 1999 and established as its mission to present pertinent facts about K–12 education, contribute to the debate with constructive commentary, and generate new ideas for education reform.

Sal Khan speaks at the Hoover Institution

Founder of Khan Academy Speaks at Hoover Institution

Monday, February 3, 2014

It began with concern over his faraway cousin’s problems with middle school math. Today, the initiative that Sal Khan started in August 2004 to help his cousin has grown into the Khan Academy, which reaches ten million users a month in nearly every country in the world.

Khan, the founder and executive director of the Khan Academy, gave the keynote address at the Hoover Institution’s symposium on Blended Learning in K–12 Education on January 16, 2014. Blended learning is the integration of classroom teaching with online lectures, exercises, and tutorials (such as those offered by the Khan Academy) that can viewed either at home or in the classroom at the student’s own pace.

Hoover senior fellow Caroline Hoxby

Hoxby named recipient of Smithsonian’s American Ingenuity Award

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hoover senior fellow Caroline M. Hoxby has been named one of the nine recipients of the Smithsonian’s annual American Ingenuity Awards for her research in encouraging low-income students to apply to and attend elite universities. Read the article summarizing her work or see the other award winners.

Hoover senior fellow Caroline M. Hoxby.

Hoxby featured on NBC News’s Master Class

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On October 10, 2013, Caroline Hoxby was featured on NBC News's Master Class in a lecture entitled “Opportunity, Meritocracy, and Access to Higher Education.”

Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School

In a new video and book, Hoover senior fellows Hanushek and Peterson explain how American schools are failing American citizens

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dashton is enthusiastic about the number thirty-two. Find out why.

Walkway heading towards the School of Education and Hoover senior fellow and mem

Hoxby on expanding opportunities for low-income students

Monday, August 19, 2013

Caroline Hoxby, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, has dedicated years of research to finding out why low-income students aren’t applying to colleges that are their academic match. A recent study shows that awareness is the key. Students who received materials from Hoxby’s Expanding College Opportunities Project informing them about the available financial support and the likelihood of attaining a higher-paying job if they attended a selective college were 46 percent more likely to go to a top school than equally strong students who did not receive one.

Walkway heading towards the School of Education and Hoover senior fellow and mem

Hoxby’s Expanding College Opportunities project increases college prospects for high-achieving, low-income students

Monday, April 1, 2013

On Monday, April 1, 2013, Hoover fellow Caroline Hoxby and the University of Virginia’s Sarah Turner released their findings from the Expanding College Opportunities (ECO) project. ECO is a low-cost project aimed at addressing information gaps that prevent high-achieving, low-income students from applying to the nation’s best colleges.

Walkway heading towards the School of Education and Hoover senior fellow and mem

Hoxby study on low-income students featured in New York Times

Monday, March 18, 2013

According to a study released by Hoover fellow and Stanford professor of economics Caroline M. Hoxby and Harvard’s Christopher Avery, high-achieving, low-income students typically do not apply to the nation’s best colleges. In the study, featured in a March 16, 2013, New York Times story by David Leonhardt, Hoxby and Avery analyzed every high school student who took the SAT in a recent year.



The K–12 Education Task Force focuses on education policy as it relates to government provision and oversight versus private solutions (both within and outside the public school system) that stress choice, accountability, and transparency; that include systematic reform options such as vouchers, charter schools, and testing; and that weigh equity concerns against outcome objectives.

Its collaborative efforts spawned a quarterly journal titled Education Next, one of the premier publications on public education research policy in the nation.

Chester E. Finn, Jr. serves as chair of the Task Force on K–12 education.