Hoover fellows have been and remain at the forefront of education reform research, including school choice and accountability. The Hoover fellowship conducts extensive research in education policy.

Specific issues of focus include expanding school choice, boosting American K–12 student achievement, ensuring school accountability, and increasing teacher effectiveness. Hoover’s education experts also engage the larger community of state and local policy makers, parents, and other stakeholders to develop solutions that are relevant, meaningful, and actionable. 

Recent Work
Featured Programs
Hoover Education Success Initiative

Hoover Education Success Initiative

National Panel of Unheard Voices

National Panel of Unheard Voices


Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO)

Principal Investigators

Eric Bettinger

Senior Fellow (joint)

Eric Bettinger is a senior fellow (joint) at the Hoover Institution and the Conley-DeAngelis Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. He is internationally recognized for his work in the economics of education and has advised governments in both developed and developing countries. 

His research focuses on how educational systems affect student outcomes. He conducted some of the first educational voucher studies both in the United States and in developing countries. He has also examined diverse determinants of student access and performance in higher educational systems—specifically the effects of online instruction, financial aid simplification, mentorship, adjunct professors, financial aid systems, and remediation programs. He has also examined how socio-emotional skills affect learning at all levels. His work emphasizes how the actions taken by policy makers and managers can directly influence educational outcomes. His approach integrates theoretically informed framing, modern techniques for causal inference, and the data produced by complex educational systems with the practical concerns that inform contemporary debates in education policy and practice. Bettinger is in the top 5 percent of most highly cited economists worldwide.

He is also a research associate in the program on education at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Bettinger is the director of the Center for Educational Policy Analysis and a codirector at the Lemann Center for Brazilian Education at Stanford. He is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and an affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. He previously held an academic appointment at Case Western Reserve University. Bettinger received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2022 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich recognizing his contributions to the economics of education.

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Chester E. Finn Jr.

Volker Senior Fellow (adjunct)

Chester E. Finn Jr. is the Volker Senior Fellow (adjunct) at the Hoover Institution. Finn has devoted his career to improving education in the United States. Finn is the former chairman of Hoover's Task Force on K–12 Education, member of the Maryland State Board of Education and of Maryland's Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, and Distinguished Senior Fellow & President Emeritus of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, his primary focus is reforming primary and secondary schooling.

Finn led Fordham from 1997-2014, after many earlier roles in education, academe, and government, including professor of education and public policy at Vanderbilt University, US assistant secretary of education, and legislative director for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

A native of Ohio, he holds an undergraduate degree in US history, a master's degree in social studies teaching, and a doctorate in education policy, all from Harvard University.

Finn has served on numerous boards, currently including the National Council on Teacher Quality and the Core Knowledge Foundation. From 1988 to 1996, he served on the National Assessment Governing Board, including two years as its chair.

Author of over twenty books, Finn is author of Assessing the Nation's Report Card: Challenges and Choices for NAEP, published May 2022; co-author (with Andrew Scanlan) of Learning in the Fast Lane: The Past, Present & Future of Advanced Placement, published September 2019; and co-editor (with Michael J. Petrilli) of How to Educate an American: The Conservative Vision for Tomorrow’s Schools, published February 2020. Other works include Charter Schools at the Crossroads: Predicaments, Paradoxes, Possibilities (co-authored with Bruno V. Manno and Brandon L. Wright), and Failing Our Brightest Kids: The Global Challenge of Educating High-Ability Students(co-authored with Brandon L. Wright).

Earlier books include Exam Schools: Inside America’s Most Selective Public High Schools (with Jessica Hockett); Ohio's Education Reform Challenges: Lessons from the Frontlines (with Terry Ryan and Michael Lafferty); Troublemaker: A Personal History of School Reform Since SputnikReroute the Preschool JuggernautLeaving No Child Behind: Options for Kids in Failing Schools (co-edited with Frederick M. Hess); Charter Schools in Action: Renewing Public Education (with Bruno V. Manno and Gregg Vanourek); and The Educated Child: A Parent's Guide from Pre-School Through Eighth Grade (with William J. Bennett and John Cribb).

He and his wife, Renu Virmani, a physician, have two grown children and three granddaughters. They live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Eric Hanushek

Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow in Education

Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is internationally recognized for his economic analysis of educational issues, and his research has had broad influence on education policy in both developed and developing countries. He received the Yidan Prize for Education Research in 2021.

His research linking teacher effectiveness to students’ learning gains forms the conceptual basis for using value-added measures to evaluate teachers and schools, now a widely adopted practice in many countries. His recent book, The Knowledge Capital of Nations: Education and the Economics of Growth summarizes his research establishing the close links between countries’ long-term rates of economic growth and the skill levels of their populations.   Earlier books include Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and StatehousesCourting 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 over 300 widely cited articles in professional journals.

He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the area coordinator for Economics of Education of the CESifo Research Network, and a research fellow of the IZA Institute of Labor Economics. He has been chair of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences, and from 1983-85 he was Deputy Director of the Congressional Budget Office. He currently is a member of the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

He previously held academic appointments at the University of Rochester, Yale University, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. 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 is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and completed his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Michael T. Hartney

Hoover Fellow

Michael Hartney is a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, an associate professor in the department of political science at Boston College, and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. He is also a research affiliate at Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG), and, in 2020-21, a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell Hoover National Fellow.

Hartney’s scholarly expertise is in American politics and public policy with a focus on state and local government, interest groups, and K-12 education policy. His academic research has been published in journals such as the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science and received media coverage in the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. His writing has also appeared in popular outlets such as City Journal, Education Next, National Review, the New York Post, and the Washington Post.

Hartney’s first book, How Policies Make Interest Groups: Governments, Unions, and American Education was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2022. The monograph helps explain the origins, power, and political activities of America’s teachers’ unions showing how state and local governments helped teachers unions gain outsized influence in American education.

Before embarking on his academic career, Hartney worked as a policy analyst for the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, where he provided technical analysis and assistance to state policymakers on a wide range of school reform issues, from teacher and principal quality to high school redesign. Hartney earned his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

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Caroline M. Hoxby

Senior Fellow

Caroline M. Hoxby is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education. She is the Scott & Donya Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the director of the Economics of Education Program for the National Bureau of Economic Research. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.

Hoxby's research has received numerous awards, including a Carnegie Fellowship, a John M. Olin Fellowship, a National Tax Association Award, and a major grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development. She is the recipient of the 2006 Thomas J. Fordham Prize for Distinguished Scholarship.

She has written extensively on educational choice and related issues. She is the editor of How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education (University of Chicago Press, 2015), The Economic Analysis of School Choice (University of Chicago Press, 2002), and College Choices (University of Chicago Press, 2004). Some of her published articles include "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?" (American Economic Review, 2000), "Not All School Finance Equalizations Are Created Equal" (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001), and "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production" (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1996).

Other articles written by Hoxby include "The Effects of School Choice on Curriculum and Atmosphere" (in Earning and Learning: How Schools Matter), "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement" (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1999), and "Evidence on Private School Vouchers: Effects on Schools and Students" (in Performance Based Approaches to School Reform).

Hoxby, who was the subject of a feature article in The New Yorker, has an undergraduate degree, a master's degree, and a doctorate in economics. She earned her master's degree in 1990 from the University of Oxford, which she attended on a Rhodes Scholarship, and her doctorate in 1994 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Paul E. Peterson

Senior Fellow (adjunct)

Paul E. Peterson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a member of the Hoover Education Success Initiative, which focuses on the improvement of education policy and provides public education solutions for state education and policy leaders. He is also Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he directs the Program on Education Policy and Governance and is senior editor of Education Next: A Journal of Opinion and Research

In addition to education policy, Peterson’s research interests include federalism, social capital, and charter schools. He has evaluated the effectiveness of school vouchers and other education reform initiatives, and he has identified both the closure of social and ethnic gaps over the past fifty years and growth in student performance, particularly among charter schools.

Peterson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education. He is a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship;  the Woodrow Wilson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best book published in government or international relations; and the Walton Family Foundation Prize for Best Academic Paper on School Choice and Reform, awarded by the Economics and Finance Policy Association.  The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center reported that Peterson’s studies on school choice and vouchers were among the country’s most influential studies of education policy.

Peterson’s recent books include Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning and, with Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann,  Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School.

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Michael J. Petrilli

Visiting Fellow

Mike Petrilli is an award-winning writer and president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, one of the country’s most influential education policy think tanks. He is the author of The Diverse Schools’ Dilemma: A Parent's Guide to Socioeconomically Mixed Public Schools and coeditor of Knowledge at the Core: Don Hirsch, Core Knowledge, and the Future of the Common Core. Petrilli is also a visiting fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and executive editor of Education Next. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post Bloomberg View, Slate, and Wall Street Journal and has been a guest on NBC Nightly News,, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and Fox, as well as several National Public Radio programs, including All Things Considered, On Point, and the Diane Rehm Show. Petrilli helped create the US Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, the Policy Innovators in Education Network, and Young Education Professionals. He lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Margaret (Macke) Raymond

Distinguished Research Fellow

Margaret “Macke” Raymond has served as founder and director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University since its inception in 1999. 

The CREDO team conducts rigorous and independent analysis and evaluation of promising programs that aim to improve outcomes for students in US K-12 public schools.  Their mantra is “We let the data speak.”  The team conducts large-scale analyses under a collaboration with 30 state education agencies. 

Macke has steered the group to be a well-regarded source of impartial insight into the performance and workings of charter schools, city reform strategies and national reform programs.  CREDO’s studies and reports are relied upon by the US Department of Education, governors, state chief school officers, state legislators, the courts, other policy makers and the media.  Supporters and opponents alike point to CREDO findings, moving the debate past evidence disputes to more substantive arguments.   

She is a regular source for local and national media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Denver Post.  Macke’s deep belief in building capacity for improved analysis of programs and policy has found its place through service on advisory boards, technical resource groups and peer review panels.  She was selected as a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow in recognition of her leadership in US education policy.

In addition, Macke created a visiting “CREDO-ship” to invite promising policy analysts to visit with the team and collaborate on projects of mutual interest.  Macke and her husband Eric Hanushek live in Stanford, CA with their yellow Labrador Retriever, Sugar.

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Thomas Sowell

Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.

He writes on economics, history, social policy, ethnicity, and the history of ideas. His most recent book, Discrimination and Disparities (2018), gathers a wide array of empirical evidence to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation or genetics. His books on economics include Housing Boom and Bust (2009), Intellectuals and Society (2009), Applied Economics (2009), Economic Facts and Fallacies (2008), Basic Economics (2007), and Affirmative Action Around the World (2004). Other books on economics he has written include Classical Economics Reconsidered (1974), Say’s Law (1972), and Economics: Analysis and Issues (1971). On social policy, he has written Knowledge and Decisions (1980), Preferential Policies (1989), Inside American Education (1993), The Vision of the Anointed (1995), Barbarians Inside the Gates (1999), and The Quest for Cosmic Justice (1999). On the history of ideas he has written Marxism (1985) and Conflict of Vision (1987). Sowell also wrote Late-Talking Children (1997). He has also written a monograph on law titled Judicial Activism Reconsidered, published by the Hoover Institution Press in 1989. His writings have also appeared in scholarly journals in economics, law, and other fields.

Sowell’s current research focuses on cultural history in a world perspective, a subject on which he began to write a trilogy in 1982. The trilogy includes Race and Culture (1994), Migrations and Cultures (1996), and Conquests and Cultures (1998).

Sowell's journalistic writings include a nationally syndicated column that appears in more than 150 newspapers from Boston to Honolulu. Some of these essays have been collected in book form, most recently in Ever Wonder Why? and Other Controversial Essays published by the Hoover Institution Press in 2006.

Over the past three decades, Sowell has taught economics at various colleges and universities, including Cornell, Amherst, and the University of California at Los Angeles, as well as the history of ideas at Brandeis University. He has also been associated with three other research centers, in addition to the Hoover Institution. He was project director at the Urban Institute, 1972-1974, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 1976–77, and was an adjunct scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, 1975-76.

Sowell was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2002. In 2003, Sowell received the Bradley Prize for intellectual achievement. Sowell received his bachelor’s degree in economics (magna cum laude) from Harvard in 1958, his master’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1959, and his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968.

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