The Hoover Education Success Initiative (HESI) focuses on providing state leaders with sound research-based recommendations to improve education in America.

Since passage in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have again taken charge of American education policy. That means their leaders must possess the vision, wisdom, and capacity to make the most of opportunities to better serve their students, parents, educators, and taxpayers. To support them in this ambitious undertaking, the Hoover Education Success Initiative provides policy recommendations in vital realms of K-12 schooling, grounded in expert analysis of what works.

Launched in 2019, HESI is a “solutions tank” led by senior scholars at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Its work incorporates the best available policy evidence as compiled by panels of research leaders in specific topical areas. The policy briefings are scrutinized and honed in consultation with the HESI Practitioner Council, a group of leading state policy makers and educational reform advocates.

HESI is not restricted to any specific policy areas but looks to inform states about a range of key topics of importance across the country. Examples demonstrating this can be seen in the major papers currently available:

Thirteen contributing essays by leading expert authors were vital in informing the creation of these four major briefings. 

HESI continues to host research paper workshops and policy symposia on these and other timely K–12 issues, including policy challenges for state leaders that have arisen as a result of the global pandemic and the local school shutdowns that it precipitated across many parts of the country.

The initiative continues to strive to ensure that its research supports needed changes in education policy and practice at the state level. The central goal of HESI is to contribute directly to the ongoing reinvention of the nation’s education landscape and ultimately to drive enhanced outcomes for American children.

A significant gift for the support of this initiative is acknowledged from The Koret Foundation.

The opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.

© 2024 by the Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University.

Eric Hanushek

Eric Hanushek

Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow in Education

Eric Hanushek is Chair of the Hoover Education Success Initiative (HESI) and the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.  He pioneered measuring teacher quality on the basis of student achievement and his work on school efficiency is central to debates about school finance adequacy and equity across America today.

Steve Bowen

Steve Bowen

Distinguished Policy Fellow

Stephen Bowen currently serves as the executive director of the Hoover Education Success Initiative. In this role, he works to ensure that Hoover’s education research is informed by and responsive to the needs of practitioners, state policy leaders and education reform advocates.

Practitioner Council

The Practitioner Council of the Hoover Education Success Initiative is comprised of 15-20 leading education policy voices from across the country.  Collectively they serve as brain trust from which HESI members and authors draw insight and inspiration.  Each member occupies a unique space in the education system—sitting inside Governors’ offices and state legislatures, leading state education agencies and educational non-profits, convening other systems leaders on university campuses and in membership organizations.  Members provide input and guidance as pressure-testers of policy proposals, distributors of policy recommendations, identifiers of early adapters and connectors to potential partners.  Each member commits to an 18-month term of service, and participates in the annual HESI Symposium.  They serve an important role in the HESI network of collaborators.

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