Paul E. Peterson

Senior Fellow
Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
National Academy of Education
Biography: 

Paul E. Peterson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, and editor in chief of Education Next: A Journal of Opinion and Research. He is also the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University. His research interests include educational policy, federalism, and urban policy. He has evaluated the effectiveness of school vouchers and other education reform initiatives.

In 2006, Peterson was appointed leader of the Florida state Education Citizen Review Group and is a member of the Department of Education’s independent review panel, which is evaluating No Child Left Behind. In 2003, he was awarded the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Prize for Distinguished Scholarship. Among the many other honors and fellowships Peterson has received are a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a German Marshall Fund of the United States Fellowship, and a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award from the American Political Science Association for the best book published in politics, government, or international relations. 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 is a former director of governmental studies at the Brookings Institution and has been elected to the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His most recent book, with Michael Henderson and Martin R. West, Teachers versus the Public: What Americans Think about Schools and How to Fix Them, shows the comparison of the education policy views of both teachers and the public as a whole and reveals a deep, broad divide between the opinions held by citizens and those who teach in the public schools. Other works include Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School (coauthor with Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann), Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning, School Money Trials: The Legal Pursuit of Educational Adequacy; The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools; Reforming Education in Florida: A Study Prepared by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education; Generational Change: Closing the Test Score Gap; and Choice and Competition in American Education.

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IntellectionsFeatured

Closing The Achievement Gap In Education

by Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

New research shows that the difference in educational attainment between students from higher and lower socioeconomic backgrounds has not changed over the past 50 years.

Interviews

Paul E. Peterson On The Education Exchange: What Goes Into Choosing The Right College?

interview with Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Paul Peterson talks with Michael Horn about his new book Choosing College, co-written with Bob Moesta, and the different questions prospective college applicants should ask themselves as they work through the application process for college.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: The Turnaround Of Camden’s Schools

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, October 7, 2019

Paymon Rouhanifard, CEO at Propel America, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss his time as Superintendent of the Camden City School District, including how he worked to change the fortunes of a struggling district, as well as his current efforts at Propel America to ensure a path to prosperity for high school graduates.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: Raising Student Achievement With Local Money

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, September 30, 2019

Carlos X. Lastra-Anadón, a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University and an Assistant Professor at IE University in Madrid, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss their co-authored paper, “Who Benefits from Local Financing of Public Services? A Causal Analysis.”

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: The Impact Of Education Savings Accounts In Arizona

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, September 23, 2019

Matt Beienburg, the Director of Education Policy at the Goldwater Institute, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss the impact of education savings accounts as a school choice option in Arizona.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: Rebecca Friedrichs’ Fight Against Teachers Unions

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, September 16, 2019

Rebecca Friedrichs, the lead plaintiff in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case that ended in a four-four split in the Supreme Court, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss her book, “Standing Up to Goliath,” and how teachers feel about national unions.

Analysis and Commentary

Checking In On School Reforms In New Orleans

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, September 9, 2019

Doug Harris, Professor and Department Chair of Economics at Tulane University, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss his new study, “How is New Orleans School Performance Evolving, and Why?,” co-authored with Lihan Liu, Alica Gerry, and Paula Arce-Trigatti, and how school choice and performance-based contracting have fared after 15 years.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: Are The Benefits Of A College Education Dwindling?

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Robert G. Valletta, Group Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss whether the earning power of college graduates have flatlined in relation to those without a college degree.

Analysis and Commentary

Higher Education In The EdNext Poll

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, August 26, 2019

Marty West, the editor-in-chief of Education Next, joins Paul E. Peterson to continue their discussion on the 2019 EdNext Poll, focusing on the public's opinion on higher education.

Analysis and Commentary

Putting Together The 2019 Education Next Poll

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, August 19, 2019

Michael Henderson, Research Director, Public Policy Research Lab at the Manship School of Mass Communication, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss how the 2019 Education Next Poll came together, including methodology and how the sample builds in experiments to best gauge the public's opinion on schools. The 2019 EdNext Poll will be released on Aug. 20, 2019, and available at educationnext.org. 

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