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Besieged
Charters, Vouchers & Public Education
Choice and Competition in American Education
Conflicting Missions?
Earning and Learning
The Education Gap
The Education Gap
(revised edition)

Endangering Prosperity
The Future of School Choice
Generational Change
The Great Curriculum Debate
Learning from School Choice
No Child Left Behind?
Our Schools and Our Future
A Primer on America's Schools
Reforming Education in Florida
Saving Schools
School Choice International
Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem
Schools Money Trials
Schools, Vouchers and the American Public

 

PEPG Books
2013  
The Global Debt Crisis

Available September 2013

The Global Debt Crisis: Haunting U.S. and European Federalism
Paul E. Peterson and Daniel Nadler, eds.
(Brookings Institution Press, 2013)
Click here to visit the publisher's webpage

Stockton, California, recently became the largest American city in history to declare bankruptcy, having incurred a debt as high as $1 billion. Since 2010, seven U.S. cities, towns, or counties have filed for bankruptcy, while many more teeter on the brink of insolvency. Not since the Great Depression has America witnessed such grand-scale municipal bankruptcies. The Global Debt Crisis looks at this growing crisis and its implications for governance and federalism, both domestically and internationally.

Endangering Prosperity

Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School
Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, and Ludger Woessmann
(Brookings Institution Press, 2013)
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Visit the official book webpage

Click here to visit the Endangering Prosperity page

The relative deficiencies of U.S. public schools are a serious concern to parents and policymakers. But they should be of concern to all Americans, as a globalizing world introduces new competition for talent, markets, capital, and opportunity. In Endangering Prosperity, a trio of experts on international education policy compares the performance of American schools against that of other nations. The net result is a mixed but largely disappointing picture that clearly shows where improvement is most needed. The authors’ objective is not to explain the deep causes of past failures but to document how dramatically the U.S. school system has failed its students and its citizens. Endangering Prosperity is a wake-up call for structural reform. To move forward to a different and better future requires that we understand just how serious a situation America faces today.

2010  
Saving Schools Book Jacket

Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning
Paul E. Peterson (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010)
Click Here to Visit the Saving Schools Website

Saving Schools traces the story of the rise, decline, and potential resurrection of American public schools through the lives and ideas of six mission-driven reformers: Horace Mann, John Dewey, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Shanker, William Bennett, and James Coleman. Yet schools did not become the efficient, egalitarian, and high-quality educational institutions these reformers envisioned. Indeed, the unintended consequences of their legacies shaped today’s flawed educational system, in which political control of stagnant American schools has shifted away from families and communities to larger, more centralized entities—initially to bigger districts and eventually to control by states, courts, and the federal government.

2008  

School Choice International
Rajashri Chakrabarti and Paul E. Peterson eds. (MIT Press, 2008)
Click Here to Visit the Publisher's Webpage

Public-private partnerships in education exist in various forms around the world, in both developed and developing countries. Despite this, and despite the importance of human capital for economic growth, systematic analysis has been limited and scattered, with most scholarly attention going to initiatives in the United States. This volume helps to fill the gap, bringing together recent studies on public-private partnerships in different parts of the world, including Asia, North and South America, and Europe.

2007  

Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem
Ludger Woessmann and Paul E. Peterson eds. (MIT Press, 2007)
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Leading researchers from the United States and Europe report on new findings on the effect of education on equal opportunity, using economic and statistical techniques to assess the results of education policy reform in countries including the United States, Britain, Sweden, Germany, and Italy.

School Money Trials: The Legal Pursuit of Educational Adequacy
Martin R. West and Paul E. Peterson eds. (Brookings Institution Press, 2007)
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Adequacy lawsuits have, with little fanfare, emerged as a major alternative strategy in the pursuit of improved public education in the United States. Plaintiffs allege insufficient resources to provide students with the quality of education promised in their state's constitution, hoping the courts will step in and order the state to increase funding levels. Since 1985, more than thirty states have faced such suits. How pervasive—and effective—is this trend? What are its ramifications, in local school districts and on a broader scale? This important new book addresses those questions.

2006  

Reforming Education in Florida: A Study Prepared by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, Hoover Institution 2006
Paul E. Peterson, ed.
Free PDF of Book Available at Publisher's Webpage

In 2006, at the invitation of Governor Jeb Bush, the Hoover Institution's Koret Task Force on K–12 Education agreed to undertake an objective assessment of Florida's education policies, focusing on the most pressing issues on the state's agenda—accountability, curriculum reform, effective teaching, school choice, and organizational change, including voluntary preschool education, class-size reduction, and more effective resource management. Florida has already established itself as a national leader with many of its education policies, but crucial challenges lie ahead. This timely and objective assessment by the Koret Task Force identifies the reforms that have been undertaken and provides important guidance for future decisions by the state's citizens and its leadership.

The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools
(Revised Edition)

William G. Howell and Paul E. Peterson (Brookings Institution Press, 2006)
Click Here to Visit the Publisher's Webpage

Added to the paperback edition of this groundbreaking volume are the authors' insights into the latest school choice developments in American education, including new voucher initiatives, charter school expansion, and public-school choice under No Child Left Behind. The authors review the significance of state and federal court decisions as well as recent scholarly debates over choice impacts on student performance. In addition, the authors present new findings on which parents choose private schools and the consequences the decision has for their children's education. Updated and expanded, The Education Gap remains an indispensable source of original research on school vouchers.

Generational Change: Closing the Test Score Gap
Paul E. Peterson, editor (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006)
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In the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger University of Michigan Law School affirmative action case, Sandra Day O'Connor declared on behalf of the majority of justices that affirmative action for college admissions must end by the year 2028. The authors draw upon the best available research in considering a broad range of policy alternatives - accountability, school choice, preschool programs, and greater resource commitments - to identify what is most likely to close the black-white test score gap within the next generation. The result is an historic volume that will shape the debate over education reform for years to come.

2005  

Choice and Competition in American Education
Paul E. Peterson, editor (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)
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Local school boards have traditionally assigned the school that a child is to attend. Only by selecting their neighborhoods have parents exercised their choice of school. In recent years, this tradition has slowly given way to magnet schools, inter-district choice programs, charter schools, voucher programs, and many other forms of choice, creating a new environment for school decision making. At the same time, market concepts are under consideration for the recruitment and compensation of teachers and principals. As a result, the world of education is becoming more competitive. In a group of essays originally published in Education Next, this book examines the likely promise and pitfalls of these changes in American education. Overall, these essays paint the picture of an education landscape that will be greatly shaped by choice and competition in the 21st century.

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BESIEGED: School Boards and the Future of Education Politics
William Howell, editor (Brookings Institution Press, 2005)
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School boards are fighting for their survival. Today almost everything they do is subject to increasing regulation-by city council, state boards of education, state legislatures, and state and federal courts. And as recent mayoral and state takeovers in some cities make abundantly clear, school boards that do not fulfill the expectations of excellence defined by other political players may be stripped of what few independent powers they still retain. In Besieged, a group of renowned scholars, relying on careful case studies and quantitative analysis, systematically examine this and other issues, assembling new evidence on the powers of school boards, their operations, and most important, the politics that surround them. The picture that emerges is a sobering one.

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2003  

No Child Left Behind? The Politics and Practice of School Accountability
Paul E. Peterson and Martin R. West, editors (Brookings Institution Press, 2003)
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The 2002 No Child Left Behind Act is the most important legislation in American education since the 1960s. The law requires states to put into place a set of standards together with a comprehensive testing plan designed to ensure these standards are met. But NCLB will not transform American schools overnight. The first scholarly assessment of the new legislation, No Child Left Behind? breaks new ground in the ongoing debate over accountability. Contributors examine the law's origins, the political and social forces that gave it shape, the potential issues that will surface with its implementation, and finally, the law's likely consequences for American education.

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The Future of School Choice
Paul E. Peterson, editor (Hoover Institution Press, 2003)
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In the most anticipated decision of its 2002 term, the Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, that the school voucher program in Cleveland, Ohio, did not violate the Constitution's ban on the "establishment" of religion. In The Future of School Choice, a group of distinguished authors examine the meaning of this decision and consider the new political and policy context it has created. The collection as a whole provides an overview of the direction in which the school choice movement is likely to go in the years ahead. The authors examine how the religious issue is handled in other countries, they illuminate the difficulties of voucher politics, and they discuss the viability of charter schools and tax credits or deductions as an alternative to vouchers.

In 2012, The Future of School Choice was translated to Chinese and published in China. The translation was completed under the direction of Tao Liu, Postdoc, China Institute of Education Policy, Beijing Normal University, and Wang Jiajia, PhD, East China Normal University.

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Our Schools and Our Future: Are We Still At Risk?
Paul E. Peterson, editor (Hoover Institution Press, 2003)
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Twenty years ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education delivered a shocking report called A Nation at Risk, which awakened millions of Americans to a national crisis in primary and secondary education. But today, while reverberations from that report are still being felt, solid and conclusive reforms in American primary and secondary education remain elusive. Why? In Our Schools and Our Future, the Hoover Institutions's Koret Task Force on K-12 Education looks at the response to the commission's report and analyzes why it produced so much activity and so little improvement. They conclude that fundamental changes are needed in the incentive structure and power relationships of schooling itself and offer recommendations based in three core principles: accountability, choice, and transparency.

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2002  

The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools
William G. Howell and Paul E. Peterson (Brookings Institution Press, 2002)
Click Here to Visit the Publisher's Webpage

The authors examine the effects of school vouchers in four pilot programs in New York City; Dayton, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; the Edgewood school district in San Antonio; and a program that offered vouchers to 40,000 low-income families nationwide. Though these programs operated in a wide variety of settings, the findings were surprisingly consistent. After two years, African-American students who used vouchers to switch from public to private schools scored substantially better on math and reading tests. The results documented in The Education Gap shed new light on the effects of school vouchers on students in poor, urban environments. This information will be important to policymakers, scholars, and citizens are they continue to search for ways to improve education in urban areas.

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2001  

Charters, Vouchers & Public Education
Paul E. Peterson and David E. Campbell, editors (Brookings Institution Press, 2001)
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This volume brings together the most current empirical research on two important innovations reshaping American education today: voucher programs and charter schools. Of specific significance is cutting-edge research that evaluates the impact of vouchers on academic performance in the New York City, Washington, D.C., and Dayton, Ohio, school systems. Contributors also take stock of the movement's effects on public schools in particular and public opinion at-large. With thorough summaries of the existing research and the legal issues facing school choice, Charters, Vouchers & Public Education will be key to readers who want to stay current with the burgeoning debates on vouchers and charter schools.

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The Great Curriculum Debate
Tom Loveless, editor (Brookings Institution Press, 2001)
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In the 1990s, education progressives and traditionalists squared off in a dispute over reading and mathematics. Arguments over how best to teach these two subjects is detailed in The Great Curriculum Debate: How Should We Teach Reading and Math? This book includes contributions from distinguished scholars from both sides of the debate, as well as influential nonpartisans. Although the authors disagree on many of the most important aspects of learning, they agree on one point: the school curriculum matters. Decisions made now about the content of reading and mathematics will have long term consequences, not only for students and schools, but for society as a whole.

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A Primer on America's Schools
Terry M. Moe, editor (Hoover Institution Press, 2001)
Click Here to Visit the Publisher's Webpage

In an effort to bring about real educational reform, John Raisian, director of the Hoover Institution, organized the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, a stellar group of experts dedicated to forging a stronger connection between social science and public policy—and known for thinking outside the box about education problems and solutions. In A Primer on America's Schools, these experts take an important step toward school reform by offering an insightful overview of the American education system. Throughout, the aim is to convey—in simple language devoid of the usual academic jargon—the basic facts that people need to know if the education system and its prospects for reform are to be well understood.

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Schools, Vouchers and the American Public
Terry M. Moe (Brookings Institution Press, 2001)
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In this expansive volume, Stanford Professor Terry Moe examines the public attitudes towards school choice and public education in general. He first delves into the connendrum of widespread satisfaction with American public schools, even as they have failed to produce improved student outcomes. He then explains why the public opinion polls tend to report - on average - negative feelings towards the idea of school choice and anticipates a future political landscape in which vouchers might become more palatable to the American public.

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2000  

Conflicting Missions? Teachers Unions and Educational Reform
Tom Loveless, editor (Brookings Institution Press, 2000)
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Ask people whether teachers unions are good or bad for education and you are likely to receive a wide variety of opinions. Although teachers unions were first organized in the nineteenth century, and collective bargaining has been a fact of life in most communities since the 1960s, the body of literature evaluating the impact of teachers unions on American education is surprisingly small. Conflicting Missions? helps close the knowledge gap by providing a clear, balanced analysis of the role of teachers unions in education reform. Reflecting a variety of perspectives and opinions, Conflicting Missions? offers a balanced analysis of a controversial topic. It is a useful starting point for readers who want to discover the complexity of teachers unions and their influence—both positive and negative—on the national effort to improve America's schools.

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1999  

Earning and Learning: How Schools Matter
Susan Mayer and Paul E. Peterson, editors (Brookings Institution Press, 1999)
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Education is one of the largest sectors of the U.S. economy—yet scholars, educators, policymakers, and parents do not agree about what the money spent on education really buys. In particular, they do not agree on how much education improves children's ability to learn or whether the things children learn in school truly improve their chances for success as adults. If schooling increases how much students know and what they know does pay off later, then it is important to ask what schools can do to increase students' learning and earning. Taken together, the essays in this book suggest that more investment is needed in early education, that class sizes should be further reduced, that challenging national or state standards should be established, and that parents should be allowed a greater degree of school choice.

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1998  

Learning from School Choice
Paul E. Peterson and Bryan C. Hassel, editors (Brookings Institution Press, 1998)
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Paul Peterson makes a strong case for school choice in central cities, and coeditor Bryan Hassel offers the case for charter schools. John E. Brandl offers his vision of school governance in the next century. The book’s other contributors--economists, political scientists, and education specialists--provide case studies of the experience with voucher programs in Indianapolis, San Antonio, Cleveland, and Milwaukee; survey charter schools; analyze public school choice; discuss constitutional issues; and study the effects of private education on democratic values.

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