The Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act What It Means for Schools, Systems, and States

Edited by Frederick M. Hess and Max Eden, Afterword by Mitchell D. Chester
Paper, 256 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-012-2
Price: $33.00

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Pub. Date: February 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-014-6

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In this foundational book, Frederick M. Hess and Max Eden bring together a cross-section of respected academics and journalists to examine key aspects of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


A balanced and historical analysis of the limits and impact of federal aid that encompasses varied perspectives on the perpetual struggle concerning who should control American education in our federal system. The book provides an incisive preview of what ESSA can and might stimulate in state and local school contexts. — Michael Kirst, president, California State Board of Education, and professor emeritus, Stanford University

This ESSA primer is a must-read for education policy makers. Diving into the history, politics, policy, and the possible opportunities and potential pitfalls, it vividly captures the enduring tension between the American values of liberty and equality, as well as the perennial debate around local control and federal involvement. Shedding light on how philosophy meets reality, this is an invaluable resource on how principles, process, and practice collide, and a clear affirmation of the game-changing role of educators in our classrooms and schools. — Hanna Skandera, secretary of education, New Mexico Public Education Department

Frederick M. Hess and Max Eden provide a good starting point for understanding ESSA’s policy landscape and a solid foundation for continued conversation about federal and state roles in education policy. — Joseph Nichols, Teachers College Record

Readers will have the opportunity to see both the positives and negatives associated with ESSA. — Denver J. Fowler, School Administrator

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About the Editors

Frederick M. Hess is director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). An educator, political scientist, and author, he studies K–12 and higher education issues. His books include The Cage-Busting Teacher, Cage-Busting Leadership, Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age, The Same Thing Over and Over, Education Unbound, Common Sense School Reform, Revolution at the Margins, and Spinning Wheels. He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog Rick Hess Straight Up, and is a regular contributor to The Hill and to National Review Online.

Hess’s work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Sciences Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and National Affairs. He has edited widely cited volumes on the Common Core, the role of for-profits in education, education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind.

Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Educational Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review board for the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS.

A former high school social studies teacher, Hess teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, and Harvard University. He holds an MA and PhD in government, as well as an MEd in teaching and curriculum from Harvard University.

Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute (MI). Before joining MI, he was program manager of the education policy studies department at the American Enterprise Institute. His research interests include early education, school choice, and higher education reform.

Eden’s work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as the Journal of School Choice, Encyclopedia of Education Economics and Finance, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, National Review, Claremont Review of Books, and the Weekly Standard. He holds a BA in history from Yale University.