Books (editor)

The Global Debt Crisis: Haunting U.S. and European Federalism. Paul Peterson, Daniel Nadler. Brookings Institution Press, 240 pages. 2014.

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.

School Choice International: Exploring Public-Private Partnerships. Rajashri Chakrabarti, Paul Peterson. The MIT Press, 280 pages. 2008.

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 hlelps 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.

Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem. Ludger Woessmann, Paul Peterson. The MIT Press, 344 pages. 2007.

Much educational research today is focused on assessing reforms that are intended to create equal opportunity for all students. Many current policies aim at concentrating extra resources on the disadvantaged. The state-of-the-art research in Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem suggests, however, that even sizeable differential spending on the disadvantaged will not yield an equality of results.

School Money Trials: The Legal Pursuit of Education Adequacy. Martin R. West, Paul Peterson. Brookings Institutional Press, 373 pages. 2007.

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.

Reforming Education in Florida - A Study Prepared by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. Paul Peterson. Hoover Institution Press. 2006.

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.

Generational Change: Closing the Test Score Gap. Paul Peterson. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 224 pages. 2005.

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, 'We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.'

Choice and Competition in American Education. Paul Peterson. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 224 pages. 2005.

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.

The Future of School Choice. Paul Peterson. Hoover Institution Press, 268 pages. 2003.

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. Opponents of vouchers (i.e., the use of public funds to help low-income families pay tuition at private schools, including religious schools) were predictably disappointed but pledged to fight on.

No Child Left Behind? The Politics and Practice of School Accountability. Paul Peterson, Martin West. Brookings Institution Press, 340 pages. 2003.

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. Students at schools that fail to meet those standards may leave for other schools, and schools not progressing adequately become subject to reorganization. The significance of the law lies less with federal dollar contributions than with the direction it gives to federal, state, and local school spending.

Our Schools and Our Future...Are We Still at Risk?. Paul Peterson. Hoover Institution Press, 378 pages. 2003.

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 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.

Charters, Vouchers, and Public Education. Paul Peterson, David E. Campbell. Brookings Institution Press, 322 pages. 2001.

This volume brings together the most current empirical research on two important innovations reshaping American education today-voucher programs and charter schools. Contributors include the foremost analysts in education policy. 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. The volume also looks beyond the American experience to consider the impact of market-based education as pioneered by New Zealand.

Earning and Learning: How Schools Matter. Susan Mayer, Paul Peterson. Brookings Institution Press, 365 pages. 1999.

The essays in this book report estimates of the effects of learning on earnings and other life outcomes. They also examine whether particular aspects of schooling - such as the age at which children begin school, classroom size and curriculum - or structural reform - such as national or state-wide examinations or school choice - affect learning. Taken together, their findings suggest that liberals are correct in saying that more investment is needed in early education, that class sizes should be further reduced, and that challenging national or state standards should also be established.

Learning from School Choice. Paul Peterson, Bryan Hassel. Brookings Institution Press, 460 pages. 1998.

While educators, parents, and policy-makers are still debating the pros and cons of school choice, it is now possible to learn from choice experiments in public, private, and charter schools across the country. This book both examines the evidence from these early school choice programs and looks at the larger implications of choice and competition in education.

Classifying by Race. Paul Peterson. University of Princeton Press, 400 pages. 1995.

The contemporary debate over racial classification has been dominated by fringe voices in American society. The right demands that history should be abrogated and public policy made colour-blind, whilst the left insists that all customs, languages, institutions and practices are racially tinged and that only aggressive, colour-conscious programmes can reverse the course of American history. These essays, however, recognize that racial classification is an issue that cuts too deep and poses too many questions to be resolved by slogans of either the right or the left.

The President, the Congress and the Making of Foreign Policy. Paul Peterson. Oklahoma University Press. 1994.

Identifies the defining role of the president, the secondary role of Congress, in the making of foreign policy.