A product of California public schools, Ethan Hutt has always been fascinated by the organization and operation of school systems. After college, Ethan co-founded and co-directed a non-profit aimed at organizing high school students to have a voice in the decisions that affected their school experience. That work deepened Ethan’s interest in the systems that structure decision making and allocate opportunities within schools and their broader communities—an interest that ultimately led to graduate school. Now Ethan’s research focuses on exploring the historical development and current operation of those systems.
Ethan Hutt’s research focuses on the numbers that we use to describe, define, and evaluate American schools. Whether it’s defining the length of the school year, what constitutes a passing grade, or makes an effective school, numbers are everywhere in modern schools. Ethan’s research asks, where did these metrics come from? How did they become central to the work of schools? And what effects have their use had on how we think about what schools do and how well they do it? In answering these questions, Ethan’s research often takes a historical approach that emphasizes the role of law and policy in shaping these developments.