Letters to a Young Education Reformer

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Dr. Frederick M. Hess is not your average high school teacher. For the two years he taught 9th and 10th grade in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he grew frustrated that the education system made it hard for teachers and kids to have a “wondrous, joyous, liberating” educational experience. So, he quit, obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard, and now is the Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies of the American Enterprise Institute.

His latest book, Letters to a Young Education Reformer, details his 25 years of working in and around education reform. While Hess acknowledges the passion for change that education reformers have, he describes frustration at the “one-size-fits-all” nature of recent education policies. His research focuses on past mistakes and the methods in how reform actually works.

In addition to high school, Hess has taught at University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard University. After graduating from Brandeis University, he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in government, as well as an M.Ed. in teaching and curriculum from Harvard University.

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