Carl Kaestle University Professor Emeritus of Education, History and Public Policy

University Professor,Professor of Education, History, and Public Policy. Ph.D. (1971) Harvard University. Previous appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Chicago. Director of the Advanced Studies Fellowship Program at Brown. Specializations in the history of American education and the history of publishing and reading. His books include Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, and Literacy in the United States: Readers and Reading since 1880. Kaestle co-edited and wrote three chapters for Print in Motion: Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880--1940,to be published by University of North Caroline Press. Kaestle has been President of the National Academy of Education, Vice-Chair of the Board on Testing and Assessment of the National Research Council, and currently serves on boards or study groups sponsored by Educational Testing Service, College Board, Southern Education Foundation, New York State Archives, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Center of Great Barrington.

Brown Affiliations

scholarly work

"Federal Aid to Education Since World War II: Purposes and Politics," in Jack Jennings, ed., The Future of the Federal Role in Elementary and Secondary Education (Washington, D.C.: Center for Education Policy, 2001).

"Toward a Political Economy of Citizenship: Historical Perspectives on the Purpose of Common Schools," in Lorraine McDonnell and Michael Timpane, eds., The Democratic Purposes of Education (Lawrence: Kansas University Press, 2000)

Adult Literacy and Education in America (Washington: National Center for Education Statistics, 2000), with Lawrence Milkulecky, Jeremy Finn, Sylvia Johnson, and Anne Campbell.

"Literate America: High-level Adult Literacy as a National Goal" In Historical Perspectives on the Current Education Reforms, eds., Diane Ravitch and Maris Vinovskis. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995)

research overview

Professor Kaestle does research on the history of American education, history of literacy and print culture, and educational policy. He is currently writing a book on the History of the Federal Role in Elementary and Secondary Education, 1940--1980. He has recently completed co-editing and writing chapters for a book on the history of publishing and reading in the United States, 1880--1940.

research statement

Areas of Specialization: History of American Education, History of Literacy and Print Culture, Educational Policy Studies

Description of Research and Teaching Interests: My research falls in two large areas at present: the history of the federal role in elementary and secondary education since 1950, and the history of books and readers in the United States from 1880 to 1950. My teaching interests are in the history of American education, in American cultural and social history (especially from 1860 to 1940) and in current educational policy issues.

History of the federal role in education; current federal education policy;
History of the book and other print culture, 1880-present;
History of literacy; literacy policy; testing and assessment.

funded research

Spencer Foundation, The Federal Role in Elementary and Secondary Education, 1950--2000, $360,000, July, 1999 (no-cost extension)
Spencer Foundation, training grant, Advanced Studies Fellowship Program at Brown, The Nation and Its Schools: Federal and National Strategies of School Reform, January, 2002,$700,000 (no-cost extension for editing volume and follow-up conference) Also, Spencer Foundation grants of $42,000 July 2001, and $45,000 (January, 2005) for planning the postdoctoral program and for holding the final national conference.
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, (same postdoc program), supplementary grant, July, 2002, $300,000
Annenberg Institute for School Reform, research funds attached to my position as Senior Fellow, July 1997, $70,000
Prior to Brown: (partial list)
National Institute of Education: research grant, est. $200,000, Education and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts, July, 1974
National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, est. $50,000, July 1983.
Spencer Foundation, Literacy in the United States: Readers and Reading, 1880-- present, est. $250,000, July, 1985.
National Institute for Education, same project, grant through the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, $50,000, July, 1983-1985.