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 Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann, Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School, documents the large economic costs of a stagnant K-12 education system. Other works include 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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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Effectiveness Of Teaching Practices Depends On Classroom Composition

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, August 13, 2018

A new study investigates whether teaching practices differ in effectiveness depending on the students in the class. It finds that the impact of good classroom management and student-centered instruction vary depending on whether the students in the classroom are of high ability or of mixed ability.

Analysis and Commentary

A Survey Of Teachers By Teachers

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, August 6, 2018

Evan Stone, the co-founder and CEO of Educators for Excellence, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss his organization’s new survey, "Voices from the Classroom: A Survey of America’s Educators."

Analysis and Commentary

What Happened To Black Teachers When Southern Schools Were Desegregated?

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, July 30, 2018

Before schools in the southern U.S. were racially integrated, schools for African American students were staffed almost exclusively by African American teachers.

The Supreme Court
Featured

Brett Kavanaugh's Possible Impact On The Supreme Court

by Paul E. Peterson, Michael McConnellvia The Education Exchange
Monday, July 23, 2018

Michael McConnell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a former Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Analysis and Commentary

A Teacher-Centric Approach To School Reform

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, July 16, 2018

Students in Washington, D.C. have been making large gains on NAEP, and many credit the transformation of the teaching profession that has taken place in DCPS over the past decade.

Analysis and Commentary

LAUSD At The Edge Of A Fiscal Cliff

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, July 9, 2018

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) faces a debt of between $11-15 billion. How did the school district get itself into such a financial hole and what might it do to get out of it?

Analysis and Commentary

Why Did The Supreme Court Change Course On Agency Fees?

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, July 2, 2018

On the last day of its 2017-2018 term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus vs. AFSCME that public employee unions can no longer collect agency fees from non-members.

Featured

Both Teachers And The Public Back Janus Decision By Supreme Court

by Paul E. Peterson, Albert Chengvia EducationNext
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

In Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court strikes down agency fees.  The unions have said that the case is a corporate attack on teacher interests. Eric Heins, the President of the California Teachers Association, insists that “corporate CEOS, the wealthiest one percent, and politicians who do their bidding” launched the lawsuit. “They want to use the Supreme Court to take away the freedom of working people to join together in strong unions,” he says.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: Congress Checks In On Charter Schools

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, June 25, 2018

Charter schools have been in the news lately, as supporters and opponents have debated whether they are expanding opportunities for students most in need or whether they are increasing segregation.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: Impact Of Magnet Schools In San Diego

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, June 18, 2018

In San Diego, one in ten students attends a magnet school, and because admission is sometimes determined by lottery, researchers have been able to study the impact of attending a magnet school on long-term outcomes.

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