Michael J. Petrilli
Expertise: 

Michael J. Petrilli

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Mike Petrilli is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he specializes in education policy studies. He is also executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, where he oversees the organization's research projects and publications, including the Education Gadfly and the Flypaper blog. He also serves as executive editor of Education Next, for which he writes a regular column on technology and media, as well as feature-length articles.

His most recent publication is The Diverse Schools Dilemma: A Parent's Guide to Socioeconomically Mixed Public Schools (Thomas B. Fordham Institute 2012). Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal and appears regularly on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and Fox. He’s been a guest on several National Public Radio programs, including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and the Diane Rehm Show. He is author, with Frederick M. Hess, of No Child Left Behind: A Primer.

Previously Petrilli was an official in the US Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement and a vice president at K12.com. He began his career as a teacher at the Joy Outdoor Education Center in Clarksville, Ohio, and holds a bachelor's degree with honors in political science from the University of Michigan.

He lives with his wife, Meghan, and sons, Nico and Leandro, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Law, Healthcare, and Finance
Blogs

The Federal Government Is Not a State, and ESEA Does Not Give Arne Duncan Mandate Authority

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yesterday’s big news (regarding ObamaCare’s subsidies in states with federal exchanges) is that the judiciary actually expects the executive branch to pay attention to the clear language of laws passed by the legislature. (Update: At least, the D.C. circuit does.) That this lesson in Civics 101 is news at all tells you something about the disrespect the Obama administration has shown to our Constitutional system. Congress may be semi-paralyzed, but the White House and the federal agencies still aren’t allowed to write the laws themselves.

Education Image
Blogs

The Splintering School Reform Movement

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One of the great misconceptions in education is that the reform movement is monolithic. There have always been competing camps, often defined on ideological grounds. Conservatives and libertarians tend to stress school choice, for example; liberals are much more comfortable with an intrusive federal role.

College Isn’t for Everyone—But School Is

by Michael J. Petrillivia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How can we make school more valuable for students who aren’t college-bound?

Blogs

On School Discipline, Let’s Not Repeat All Our Old Mistakes

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just as the education-reform movement is starting to figure out how to use test-score data in a more sophisticated way, the Obama administration and its allies in the civil-rights community want to take us back to the Stone Age on the use of school-discipline data. This is an enormous mistake.

Black students in a classroom
Blogs

New Deal for Teachers; New Will by Managers

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Asking whether teacher tenure should be abolished in public schools is like asking whether the Tampa Bay Rays (18 games below .500) should sack their shortstop. Sure, that might be a good start, but that’s not going to be enough to turn things around.

High school students in class
Blogs

The Mystery That is Twelfth-Grade NAEP

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Friday, May 9, 2014
Education and testing
Blogs

Common Core: Too Little Change, Not Too Much

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Education Image
Blogs

Common Core: The Day After

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pages