Terry M. Moe

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

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

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...

How to Succeed without Really Trying

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 30, 2006

School “reform” is fine with the teachers unions—as long as it doesn’t really change anything. Terry M. Moe explains how to reform the reforms.

Analysis and Commentary

Put to the Test

by Terry M. Moevia Stanford Magazine
Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Debate about the state of U.S. public schools heated up with the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001, better known as No Child Left Behind…

Analysis and Commentary

The Qualified Teacher Charade

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Daily Report
Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The HOUSSE provisions create a loophole big enough to drive three million veteran teachers through—and the states have incentives to do just that.

Why Vouchers Will Enrich Public Schools

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 30, 2004

Voucher programs would starve public schools of funding. True or false? Hoover fellow Terry M. Moe.

The Structure of School Choice

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 30, 2002

We need the school choice that voucher programs would introduce, but we also need to make certain such voucher programs are properly structured. How government rules can make voucher programs—or break them. By Hoover fellow Terry M. Moe.

How Choice Will Prevail

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 30, 2001

The battle for school choice may last decades, but the advocates of choice will ultimately prevail. Here’s why. By Hoover fellow Terry M. Moe.

A Primer on America's Schools

A Primer on America's Schools

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Institution Press
Monday, July 16, 2001

In this volume the eleven members of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education provide a broad overview of the American education system—pulling together basic facts about its structure and operation, identifying key problems that hinder its performance, and offering perspectives

Taking on the Unions

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 30, 2001

There is no way around it: reforming our schools means reforming the teachers’ unions. By Hoover fellow Terry M. Moe.

Analysis and Commentary

Teachers Unions and the Prospects for Better Schools

by Terry M. Moevia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, September 11, 2000

Teachers unions have more influence on the public schools than any other groups in American society.