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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Recent Commentary

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American Education in 2030

by Grover J. Whitehurst, Paul E. Peterson, Terry M. Moe, Tom Loveless, Paul T. Hill, Eric Hanushek, Williamson M. Evers, John E. Chubb, Caroline M. Hoxby, Chester E. Finn Jr., Herbert J. Walbergvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, March 22, 2010

In these essays, members of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on K-12 education, joined by several keen-eyed observers, blend prediction with prescription to paint a vivid picture of American primary and secondary education in 2030.

In the News

Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future

by John E. Chubb, Terry M. Moe with Chester E. Finn Jr., Eric Hanushek, Caroline M. Hoxbyvia InsiderOnline (Heritage Foundation)
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

At the risk of making technological marvels sound like magic potions, a very good case can be made —or more precisely, Terry Moe and John Chubb have made it in their very good book—that the most potent force for fundamentally changing such patterns of mediocrity and worse is higher and higher technology, as it can accomplish what politics and bureaucracies are encoded to block. . . .

Terry Moe&esquo;s Liberating Learning interview.

Video Commentary with Hoover senior fellow Terry Moe

with Terry M. Moevia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hoover Institution senior fellows and members of Hoover’s Task Force on K–12 Education Terry Moe and Eric Hanushek discuss Moe’s new book Liberating Learning. Video transcript (10:41)

Obama could be an education innovator, but the Democrats are weak on school choice and downright timid on the teachers’ unions.

Yes, He Can—but Will He?

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama could be an education innovator, but the Democrats are weak on school choice and downright timid on the teachers’ unions. By Terry M. Moe.

Terry M. Moe

Liberating Learning

by Terry M. Moe, John E. Chubbvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The information revolution has globalized the international economy, made communication and social networking virtually instantaneous and costless, and started the first stirrings of a revolution in how children can learn and be educated.

Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education

Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education

by John E. Chubb, Terry M. Moevia Books by Hoover Fellows
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Technology has transformed all aspects of our everyday lives. From online banking to social networking, we communicate, connect, and consume in ways radically different from the past. Yet the average classroom is not that different from the classroom of fifty years ago.

Video Commentary with Hoover senior fellows Terry Moe and Paul Peterson

Video Commentary with Hoover senior fellows Terry Moe and Paul Peterson

with Terry M. Moe, Paul E. Petersonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 13, 2009

Hoover Institution senior fellows and members of Hoover’s Task Force on K–12 Education Terry Moe and Paul Peterson comment on the controversy surrounding the likely termination of the Washington, D.C., voucher program. Moe and Peterson discuss why vouchers are important for students, particularly disadvantaged ones; why many teachers and Democrats do not like the voucher program; why Democrats voted to end the voucher program; and why private schools work best for disadvantaged students. Video transcript (6:27).

Terry M. Moe

Collective Bargaining and School Performance

by Terry M. Moevia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Teachers’ union power is heavily bound by politics

Analysis and Commentary

Change Our Public Schools Need

by Terry M. Moevia Wall Street Journal
Monday, November 24, 2008

Can Barack Obama bring change to American education?...

Analysis and Commentary

Management 101 for Our Public Schools

by Terry M. Moevia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Department of Education recently announced its first grants in a new $94-million program to fund incentive-pay plans for teachers...

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