K-12 Education Task Force

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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.


Saving Schools—Launching My MOOC on HarvardX

by Paul E. Petersonvia Education Next
Monday, August 4, 2014

“Put your money where your mouth is. ”The shibboleth has haunted me since 2010 when I concluded my book Saving Schools with an endorsement of online learning. Using new technologies, students could choose among dozens of options, I said. One great lecturer could teach thousands, even millions, I imagined. Outside experts could view the content, identify weaknesses, propose solutions, I argued.  Continuous improvement would replace the stagnation of the past 50 years of American education, I hoped.


Save Our Data! Protect the Integrity of Education Statistics

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Education Next
Monday, August 4, 2014

The possibility that the 113th Congress might yet reauthorize the Institute for Education Sciences (IES)—the House has passed H.R. 4366 and the Senate HELP Committee is cogitating—means it’s time once again to consider the status of the jewel in the IES crown, namely the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).


A Few Reflections on the Common Core Wars

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Friday, August 1, 2014

Monday’s Politico story on the messaging battle over the Common Core has kicked up another round of recriminations, particularly on the Right.

Featured Commentary

Education Reform in 2014

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Education Next
Friday, August 1, 2014

This short essay cannot begin to say all that deserves to be said about the state of ed-reform in America in 2014, but it gives me an opportunity to do some stocktaking, recount a bit of history, and flag some challenges for the future.


Teacher-Tenure Decision Is NOT an Abuse of Judicial Power

by Paul E. Petersonvia Education Next
Thursday, July 31, 2014

In June, a judge declared California’s seniority protection laws unconstitutional. Citing the 1954 Brown decision, Judge Rolf Treu, in Vergara v. California, declared the laws in violation of the equal protection clause of the California state constitution because they limited minority access to effective teachers.



by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Education Next
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Way back in 2000, the United Nations went through an elaborate process of setting “millennium development goals” for the world. To be attained by 2015, these were, of course, entirely laudable—e.g., “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” and “achieve universal primary education”—and they have definitely influenced the priorities of various UN agencies, other governmental and multilateral aid providers, and private philanthropies.

Featured Commentary

Beyond the Common Core

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via National Review Online
Monday, July 28, 2014

The raucous Common Core debates of recent months have distracted many conservatives from their primary mission in the education wars: ensuring that every state and district in the land moves forcefully to raise academic standards, hold schools and educators (as well as students) to account for their performance, provide sound education choices to every family (including those with gifted or disabled youngsters), and squeeze more bang from every taxpayer buck that pours into primary and secondary education.


Fordham Institute's Pre-K Debate

Whitehurst, Petrilli take part in forum on President Obama’s preschool plan

Friday, March 15, 2013

On March 14, 2013, Grover Whitehurst and Sara Mead debated the merits of President Obama’s goal of making preschool available to every child in America, a plan he unveiled in his 2013 State of the Union Address.


Hoover senior fellows to release series of education commentary videos

Monday, March 11, 2013

On the heels of the release of the Equity and Excellence Commission’s report, For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence, and in the wake of last month’s State of the Union Address, the Hoover Institution is releasing a series of videos on issues currently facing US education. Hoover senior fellows Eric Hanushek and Paul Peterson have collaborated to produce four videos on various education topics; beginning Monday, March 11, 2013, the videos will roll out weekly on the Hoover Institution website. The topics discussed include

Hoover senior fellow Eric Hanushek served on an education commission, which rel

Hanushek Serves on Education Commission for a New Report on the Achievement Gap

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On February 19, 2013, the Equity and Excellence Commission released its report, For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence, that highlights achievement gaps among students in the US education system.

John E. Chubb

Chubb Appointed President of National Association of Independent Schools

Thursday, January 17, 2013

John Chubb, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, was appointed the new president of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), effective July 1, 2013.

Hoover senior fellow Caroline M. Hoxby.

Hoover fellow releases new study on low-income, high-achieving high school students

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Caroline Hoxby, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and a member of the Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, and Christopher Avery, a professor of public policy at Harvard University, recently completed a study on the college enrollment of low-income, high ability high school students (PDF available here).

Education in the Media cast vote image without caption

Hoover Institution Education Experts Identify News Media Hits and Misses in 2012 Education Coverage

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

After a close analysis of education coverage in the general news media during 2012, the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education today released its list of the five most covered stories (“hits”) and the five most important but neglected stories (“misses”).

Press Releases
Williamson M. Evers

Hoover fellow featured at conference on Common Core standards

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Williamson M.  Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, was a featured speaker at the December 6 conference, “Common Core’s Race to the Middle,” in Colorado. The conference, hosted by the Pioneer Institute, also featured the Honorable Bob Schaffer, the Honorable Robert Scott, Sandra Stotsky, Theodor Rebarber, and Jim Stergios. All the speakers opposed the states’ adopting the Common Core standards.

The Best Teachers in the World: Why We Don't Have Them and How We Could by John

Chubb’s talk on The Best Teachers in the World

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

John Chubb, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, a member of Hoover’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, and interim CEO of Education Sector, will give a talk on his new book, The Best Teachers in the World: Why We Don't Have Them and How We Could, on Thursday, November 1, 2012, at the Pew Conference Center in Washington, DC.

Students raising their hands

Hoover fellow discusses presidential candidates’ views on education

Monday, October 29, 2012

With the election just over a week away, Stanford’s Education and Society Theme House highlighted the presidential candidates’ education policies at a discussion last Thursday, September 25. Eric Hanushek, the Hoover Institution’s Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow in Education and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education and Michael Kirst, a professor emeritus in education and business administration and current president of the California State Board of Education, discussed the candidates’ views on issues in education. Although Obama and Romney have opposing views on issues including school vouchers, student grants and loans, and for-profit education, Hanushek and Kirst ultimately agreed that little separates the candidates’ overall education policies. Click here to read the article in the Stanford Report.

Eric A. Hanushek

Hanushek coauthors study concerning individual principals’ contributions to growth in student achievement

Friday, October 26, 2012

Although it is widely believed that good school principals have a positive impact on student achievement, little systematic research has been done to date on the effect of strong school leadership. Now a new study finds that highly effective principals raise the achievement of a typical student in their schools by between 0.05 and 0.21 standard deviations, the equivalent of between two and seven months of additional learning each school year. Click here to read why and how “School Leaders Matter.”



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.