Williamson M. Evers

Research Fellow
Research Team: 

Williamson M. Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, specializes in research on education policy especially as it pertains to curriculum, teaching, testing, accountability, and school finance from kindergarten through high school. Evers was the US assistant secretary of education for policy from 2007 to 2009. He was a senior adviser to US secretary of education Margaret Spellings during 2007. From July to December 2003, Evers served in Iraq as a senior adviser for education to Administrator L. Paul Bremer of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Evers to the California State Academic Content Standards Commission in 2010. In 1996 Governor Pete Wilson appointed Evers to the earlier California State Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards. He is the only individual to have served on both standards commissions, both of which proposed the subject matter that students should learn in each grade.

Evers was elected in November 2004 to the Santa Clara County Board of Education, on which he served until February 2007. He is the immediate past president of the board of directors of the East Palo Alto Charter School on which he served from 1997 until 2004.

Among his recent publications are:

He has written opinion columns that have appeared in Education Week, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor. He is a member of the editorial board of Education Next (formerly Education Matters).

Evers received his BA (1972), MA (1978), and PhD (1987) degrees in political science from Stanford University.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

How Woodrow Wilson Denied African-Americans An Academic Education

by Williamson M. Eversvia Education Week
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Princeton University protesters against Woodrow Wilson captured headlines in mid-November. When he was the president of Princeton, Wilson expressed his pride that no African-American students had been admitted during his tenure.

Analysis and Commentary

The College Readiness Illusion – A Reply To Mike Petrilli

by Ze’ev Wurman, Williamson M. Eversmentioning Michael J. Petrillivia Breitbart.com
Friday, December 4, 2015

In a recent piece on his web site Mike Petrilli, the president of the Fordham Institute, makes a rather strange case arguing that Common Core is alive (and well?).


Blame Woodrow Wilson For Americans’ Lack Of Historical Literacy

by Williamson M. Eversvia EducationNext
Thursday, December 3, 2015

When we think of President Woodrow Wilson, we think of a multitude of historical events: the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank and other progressive legislation at home; idealistic internationalism, a world war to “keep the world safe for democracy,” and promotion of the League of Nations abroad.

Analysis and Commentary

Uniform Testing Of Common Core In Disarray As Massachusetts Leaves The Aligned System

by Williamson M. Evers, Ze’ev Wurmanvia Real Clear Education
Monday, November 30, 2015

The brightest jewel in the system of national testing is no longer in the crown. High-performing Massachusetts lent considerable luster to the national testing aligned with the national Common Core curriculum-content standards.

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The War Over A Word

by Williamson M. Eversvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bobby Jindal’s lawsuit against the Obama administration is ultimately about who has sovereignty over public education—the federal government or the states. 


Don’t Let State Hide Test Scores

by Williamson M. Evers, Ze’ev Wurmanvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, September 3, 2015

The California Department of Education has been acting in a way that would have made the Soviet government proud.

Education Image
Analysis and Commentary

No Exit, No Voice: The Design Of Common Core

by Williamson M. Eversvia Heritage Foundation
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

One of the most influential and most cited books in social science in the past 50 years is economist Albert Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty. Hirschman’s book discusses how individuals respond to a situation in which the services on which they rely are deteriorating. As such, Exit provides valuable conceptual tools for analyzing the design of the Common Core national curriculum content standards.

Analysis and Commentary

Statement by Burke, Evers, Rebarber, Stotsky, and Wurman on ESEA

by Williamson M. Evers, Ze’ev Wurmanvia Jay P. Greene's Blog
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The following is a statement by Lindsey M. Burke, Williamson Evers, Theodor Rebarber, Sandra Stotsky, and Ze’ev Wurman that they asked me to post.  I have not yet had a chance to think carefully about ESEA re-authorization, but I think their views are worth consideration:

Analysis and Commentary

Exit, Voice, Loyalty—And The Common Core

by Williamson M. Eversvia Education Next
Monday, January 19, 2015

One of the most influential books in social science in the last 50 years is economist Albert O. Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty.

Analysis and Commentary

Letter: The Conservative Case for Education Isn't Common Core

by Williamson M. Eversvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Many of us critics of the Common Core national standards are carrying forward concerns that former Secretary of Education Bennett voiced in the past.