Paul E. Peterson

Senior Fellow
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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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: How The “Structural Racism” Talk Undermines Individual Agency

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, June 29, 2020

The CEO of Public Prep, a nonprofit charter school network, Ian Rowe, joins Paul Peterson to discuss the “common struggle” for civil rights in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in police custody. 

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: How Do Charter Schools Affect Traditional Public Schools?

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, June 22, 2020

An associate professor in Boston University and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Marcus Winters, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss Winters’ new study, which presents test-score evidence about whether charter schools harm traditional public schools.

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The Education Exchange: How America Responded To The Pandemic Of 1957-58: “Almost The Exact Opposite Of What We See Today”

by Paul E. Peterson interview with Niall Fergusonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, June 15, 2020

A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Niall Ferguson, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss the 1957-58 flu pandemic, how governments reacted to its outbreak and how it compares to the response to the Covid-19.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: Will Charter Schools Open This Fall?

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, June 8, 2020

The President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Nina Rees, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss how charters have responded to the Covid-19 school shutdowns so far, and how they can continue to utilize technology and adapt amid the uncertainty surrounding a fall reopening.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: First Year Of College Available Online, Tuition-Free

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, June 1, 2020

The founder and CEO of ModernStates.org, Steve Klinsky, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss the online platform, which offers free college-level courses that in many cases can be used to get credit toward a degree. With an economic downturn and traditional colleges and universities physically closed because of the novel coronavirus, this may be an increasingly attractive option for students.

Featured

Science Says: 'Open The Schools'

by Scott W. Atlas, Paul E. Petersonvia The Hill
Monday, June 1, 2020

To stop COVID-19 dead in its tracks, many governors, mayors and superintendents are threatening to keep schools closed this fall, failing to consider the greater harm that comes from refusing to open them.

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The Education Exchange: Stanford-Affiliated Doctor Says Schools Should Open In September

by Paul E. Peterson interview with Scott W. Atlasvia The Education Exchange
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and a Member of Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy, Scott W. Atlas, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss fear, risk, Covid-19 shutdowns, and how to move forward with reopening schools.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: A Federal Right To A Basic Minimum Education?

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, May 18, 2020

The co-leader of the Eversheds Sutherland Business and Commercial Litigation team, Rocco E. Testani, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss a recent decision from the Sixth Circuit in the Gary B. v. Whitmer case. The court ruled that “substandard outcomes” in Detroit’s public schools violated a Constitutional right to a basic education for students, going against decades of precedent.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: “Some Fear And Some Anxiety”

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, May 11, 2020

The Director of the Public Policy Research Lab at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, Michael Henderson, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss Louisiana’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and how the public is responding to the state’s stay-at-home order.

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: “Some School Districts Are Talking About Not Reopening Until Next January”

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, May 4, 2020

The director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, Robin Lake, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss a new report published by CRPE which details school district response plans to Covid-19.

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