Terry M. Moe

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

Terry M. Moe is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a member of the Institution's Koret Task Force on K–12 education, and the William Bennett Munro Professor of political science at Stanford University.

Moe has written extensively on the politics and reform of American education. In his new book, The Politics of Institutional Reform: Katrina, Education, and the Second Face of Power (Cambridge University Press, 2019), he treats Hurricane Katrina as a natural experiment that offers a rare opportunity to learn about the role of power in the politics of institutional reform.

His seminal book with John E. Chubb, Politics, Markets, and America's Schools, is among the most influential and controversial works on education to be published during the last two decades—showing how politics shapes and undermines the public schools and arguing the value of school choice. In Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of America (Jossey-Bass, 2009), Moe and John E. Chubb map out a dynamic vision of the nation's educational future, showing how the ideas and innovations of information technology will ultimately transform the public schools to the benefit of the nation and its children. For more information, visit the Liberating Learning website.

Moe is also the author of Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools (Brookings Institution Press, 2011), the first comprehensive study of America’s teachers' unions, and Schools, Vouchers, and the American Public (Brookings Institution Press, 2001), the first detailed analysis of public opinion on the voucher issue. In addition, he is the editor of A Primer on America's Schools (Hoover Institution Press, 2001) and the author of many published articles.

In 2005, Moe received the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Prize for Excellence in Education.

As a political scientist, Moe’s research interests extend well beyond public education. He has written extensively on public bureaucracy and the presidency, and the theory of political institutions more generally. His most prominent articles include "The New Economics of Organization," "The Politicized Presidency," "The Politics of Bureaucratic Structure," "Political Institutions: The Neglected Side of the Story," "Presidents, Institutions, and Theory," “The Presidential Power of Unilateral Action” (with William Howell), and “Power and Political Institutions.”

In addition to his positions at Stanford and Hoover, Moe has served as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC.

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Terry Moe: The Future Of Education Reform And Its Politics | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with Terry M. Moevia Hoover Podcasts
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Terry Moe Discusses The Future Of Education Reform And Its Politics.

Terry Moe: The Future of Education Reform and Its Politics

interview with Terry M. Moevia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Terry Moe: The Future of Education Reform and Its Politics
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.

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An Imperfect Storm

by Daniel Disalvo featuring Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 20, 2020

Hoover fellow Terry Moe scrutinizes the creative destruction that Hurricane Katrina wrought, quite literally, on New Orleans’ schools. 

Policy StoriesFeatured

The Politics Of Institutional Reform

by Terry M. Moevia PolicyEd
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

In the New Orleans school system after Hurricane Katrina, we get the rare opportunity to observe what happens when vested interest power—which normally protects bad institutions from change—is removed from the equation, and decision makers are free to do whatever seems to work in seeking real reform.

FeaturedEconomy

Terry Moe On Educational Reform, Katrina, And Hidden Power

by Russell Roberts interview with Terry M. Moevia EconTalk
Monday, December 9, 2019

Political Scientist and author Terry Moe of Stanford University talks about his book, The Politics of Institutional Reform with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Moe explores the politics and effectiveness of educational reform in the New Orleans public school system in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Moe finds that policy-makers turned to charter schools for pragmatic reasons and students enjoyed dramatic improvements in educational outcomes as a result.

Interviews

Terry Moe: Warren's Education Plans Are In Lockstep With The Teachers' Unions On Charters, Segregation, Special Education & What Is To Be Done?

interview with Terry M. Moevia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, November 8, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Terry Moe discusses Elizabeth Warren's plans for education.

Featured

An Accidental Revolution

featuring Terry M. Moevia City Journal
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Terry Moe explores how Hurricane Katrina prompted New Orleans to reinvent its dysfunctional school system—and why education reform is so hard to achieve.

The Politics of Institutional Reform: Katrina, Education, and the Second Face of Power

by Terry M. Moevia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, April 1, 2019

In this ground-breaking analysis, Terry Moe treats Hurricane Katrina as a natural experiment that offers a rare opportunity to learn about the role of power in the politics of institutional reform. When Katrina hit, it physically destroyed New Orleans’ school buildings, but it also destroyed the vested-interest power that had long protected the city’s abysmal education system from major reform. With the constraints of power lifted, decision makers who had been incremental problem-solvers turned into revolutionaries, creating the most innovative school system in the entire country.

Trump’s “Presidential Tone” Is Meaningless

by William G. Howell, Terry M. Moe
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Judge him by how he actually governs.

Analysis and Commentary

America’s Antiquated Constitution

by William G. Howell, Terry M. Moevia Prospect Magazine (UK)
Thursday, February 2, 2017

The founding document of the United States is wholly unsuited for a modern democracy—and a potential danger to its survival.

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