E. D. Hirsch Jr. was a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1999 to 2006 and a charter member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education (1999–2006).

Hirsch is the founder and chairman of the nonprofit Core Knowledge Foundation and professor emeritus of education and humanities at the University of Virginia.

He is the author of several acclaimed books on education issues including the best-seller Cultural Literacy (Houghton Mifflin) and The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them (Doubleday), which was recognized by the New York Times as one of its "Notable Books of 1996." He also contributed the chapter "Research-Based Education Policy" to What's Gone Wrong in America's Classrooms by Hoover Institution research fellow and fellow Koret Task Force member Williamson Evers.

Additional works by Hirsch include The Knowledge Deficit, Books to Build On (coeditor) and The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, which has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, German, Japanese, and Swedish. Some of Hirsch's other books have been translated into Hungarian and Italian.

Hirsch's articles have appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He also wrote the best-selling Core Knowledge series which begins with What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know and continues through each grade, concluding with What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know.

Hirsch founded the Core Knowledge Foundation in 1986 to promote excellence and fairness in early education. The foundation conducts research on curricula, develops books and other materials for parents and teachers, offers workshops for teachers, and serves as the hub of a growing network of Core Knowledge schools.

Hirsch is an elected member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Academy of Education. He has served on the Research Advisory Board of the U.S. Department of Education and, in 1997, received the Biennial Quest Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education from the American Federation of Teachers.

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