William Reese

Vilas Research Professor and Carl F. Kaestle WARF Professor

wjreese@wisc.edu

(608) 262-1760

223 Education Building

1000 Bascom Mall

Madison, WI 53706-1326

Reese, William

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William J. Reese is a Vilas Research Professor and Carl F. Kaestle WARF Professor of Educational Policy Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a member of the National Academy of Education, and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. He teaches courses on the undergraduate and graduate levels on the history of American education and the history of childhood and adolescence. His books include Power and the Promise of School Reform: Grassroots Movements during the Progressive Era, The Origins of the American High School, America’s Public Schools: From the Common School to ‘No Child Left Behind,’ History, Education, and the Schools, a co-edited volume entitled Rethinking the History of American Education, and Testing Wars in the Public Schools: A Forgotten History. Current research projects include the history of the public schools of Washington, D.C., and the history of child prodigies.

Education

  • PhD Educational Policy Studies (History and Philosophy of Education), , University of Wisconsin at Madison , 1980
  • MA History , Bowling Green State University , 1975
  • BA History, Wilkes College , 1973

Select Publications

  • Reese, W. J., (2013). Testing Wars in the Public Schools: A Forgotten History. In Harvard University Press Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Reese, W. J., (2008). Rethinking the History of American Education: Essays on the Post-Revisionist Era and Beyond. In Reese, William (co-editor) (Ed.), Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Reese, W. J., (2007). History, Education, and the Schools. In Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Reese, W. J., (2005). America’s Public Schools: From the Common School to ‘No Child Left Behind'. In The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Reese, W. J., (1998). Hoosier Schools: Past and Present. In Reese, William (Ed.), Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Reese, W. J., (1995). The Origins of the American High School. In New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Reese, W. J., (1988). The Social History of American Education. In Reese, William (co-editor) (Ed.), Urbana: The University of Illinois Press.
  • Reese, W. J., (1986). Power and the Promise of School Reform: Grassroots Movements During the Progressive Era. In Boston and London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Select Presentations

  • Reese, W. J. (2019). The Mysterious World of Prodigies in an Age of Wonder. Keynote/Plenary Address presented at the Keynote Lecture, British History of Education Society, London, England.
  • Reese, W. J. (2019, October). The Calculating Boy. Lecture presented at the Urban History Seminar, University of Kansas–Lawrence.
  • Reese, W. J. (2018, December). Zerah Colburn: America’s First Child Celebrity. Keynote/Plenary Address presented at the Graduate and Postgraduate Workshop, University of Zurich.
  • Reese, W. J. (2016). Backstory radio program. presented at the History of Testing, University of Virginia.
  • Reese, W. J. (2013, October). Learning Across National Borders/on history of assessment. Keynote/Plenary Address presented at the International Symposium for World Heritage Inscription/Seminar at National Institute of Education, Ashikaga, Japan/Tokyo, Japan.
  • Reese, W. J. (2013, October). Frank L. Bixby Lecture. Lecture presented at the Spencer Foundation.
  • Reese, W. J. (2011). Understanding the American High School. Lecture presented at the History of Education conference, Monte Verita, Switzerland.
  • Reese, W. J. (2011, October). The Origins of the Testing Movement. Keynote/Plenary Address presented at the Great Lakes Historical Association annual conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • Reese, W. J. (2009). The Summer of ’45 and the First Big Test. Lecture presented at the Edgar W. Couper Lecture, Binghamton University.
  • Reese, W. J. (2008). The Origins of Academic Standards. Lecture presented at the Saul O. Sidore Lecture, University of New Hampshire.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Vilas Research Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015
  • Fellow, American Educational Research Association (AERA), 2008
  • WARF Professorship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007
  • Distinguished Lectureship Program, Organization of American Historians, 2004
  • Elected to National Academy of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002
  • Special Overseas Member, Election, Japan Society of Historical Studies of Education, (2019, 2022)
  • Faculty Distinguished Professor Achievement Award, UW-Madison School of Education, 2018
  • Book Prizes, O.L. Davis, Jr., Distinguished Book Award and Outstanding Book Award for Testing Wars in the Public Schools: A Forgotten History (Harvard University Press, 2013), American Association for Teaching and Curriculum and History of Education Society, 2013
  • Named Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Indiana University, 2009
  • President, History of Education Society, (1999, 2000)