Paul E. Peterson

Director, Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance

Editor-in-Chief, Education Next

CVShort CVPersonal Website

Paul E. Peterson is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Editor-In-Chief of Education Next, a journal of opinion and research.

Peterson is a former director of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and of the Governmental Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He received his Ph. D. in political science from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the German Marshall Foundation, and the Center for Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

In addition to Saving Schools he is the author of the following books:

  • The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools (with William G. Howell)
  • The Politics of School Reform, 1870-1940
  • Making the Grade: Federal Policy and American Education
  • School Politics Chicago Style
  • City Limits
  • The New American Democracy (with Morris P. Fiorina, Bertram Johnson, and William G. Mayer)
  • America’s New Democracy (with Morris P. Fiorina, Bertram Johnson, D. Stephen Voss, and William G. Mayer)
  • The Price of Federalism
  • The President, the Congress, and the Making of Foreign Policy
  • Welfare Magnets: A Case for a National Welfare Standard (with Mark C. Rom)
  • When Federalism Works (with Barry Rabe and Kenneth Wong)
  • Race and Authority in Urban Politics: Community Participation and the War on Poverty (with J. David Greenstone)

Peterson is also the editor of numerous other publications including the following:

  • School Choice International: Exploring public private partnerships (with Rajashri Chakrabarti)
  • Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem (with Ludger Woessmann)
  • School Money Trials: The Legal Pursuit of Educational Adequacy (with Martin R. West)
  • Reforming Education in Florida: A Study Prepared by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education
  • Generational Change: Closing the Test Score Gap
  • No Child Left Behind? The Politics and Practice of School Accountability (with Martin R. West)
  • The Future of School Choice
  • Our Schools and our Future: Are We Still at Risk?
  • The Urban Underclass (with Christopher Jencks)

Four of his books have received major awards from the American Political Science Association. Most recently, he was awarded the Martha Derthick Best Book Award for The Price of Federalism. The award is presented to the author of a book published at least ten years ago that has made a lasting contribution to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations.

Peterson is a member of the independent review panel advising the Department of Education’s evaluation of the No Child Left Behind law and a member of the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force of K-12 Education at Stanford University. The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center reported that Peterson’s studies on school choice and vouchers were among the country’s most influential studies of education policy.

New York Mayor Bloomberg accepting his reading assignment.

This book is a masterpiece -- carefully constructed and engagingly written.
— Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School