Expertise: 

Michael J. Petrilli

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Mike Petrilli is an award-winning writer and president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, one of the country’s most influential education policy think tanks. He is the author of The Diverse Schools’ Dilemma: A Parent's Guide to Socioeconomically Mixed Public Schools and coeditor of Knowledge at the Core: Don Hirsch, Core Knowledge, and the Future of the Common Core. Petrilli is also a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and executive editor of Education Next. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post Bloomberg View, Slate, and Wall Street Journal and has been a guest on NBC Nightly News,, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and Fox, as well as several National Public Radio programs, including All Things Considered, On Point, and the Diane Rehm Show. Petrilli helped create the US Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, the Policy Innovators in Education Network, and Young Education Professionals. He lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Blogs

Not Meeting Standards: A Warning Light, Not A Death Sentence

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Last week, I complained that Eva Moskowitz and other reformers weren’t being fair when they described schools as “persistently failing” because they didn’t get many of their students to the ambitious levels built into the Common Core.

Blogs

Eva et al. Flunk The Fairness Test

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Thursday, March 19, 2015

In the pre-Common Core era, we had a big problem. Most state tests measured minimal competency in reading and math. But we failed to communicate that to parents, so they reasonably thought a passing grade meant their child was pretty much where they needed to be.

Empty Desk
Featured Commentary

Take Back Our Schools

by Michael J. Petrillivia National Review
Thursday, March 12, 2015
The Student Success Act would end ‘big-government conservatism’ in education
education

How To End The Education Reform Wars

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On Sunday, Mike spoke to the New York State Council of School Superintendents. These were his remarks as prepared for delivery.

Blogs

What Schools Can Do To Address America's Marriage Crisis, Part II

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Last week, I argued that single parenthood is a major impediment to upward mobility for low-income youth, especially when parenthood starts in one’s teens or early twenties.

Blogs

Marriage As A Springboard To The Middle Class

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Friday, February 27, 2015

Regular followers of Fordham know that, over the past few years, I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about “education for upward mobility,” starting with a series of posts on Deborah Meier’s Bridging Differences blog and culminating in last December’s conference on the subject. Now I’ve got a new essay in Education Next, “How Can Schools Address America’s Marriage Crisis?

Featured Commentary

Define The Core Mission Of Schools

by Michael J. Petrillivia Washington Post
Friday, February 27, 2015

The sudden departure of Joshua Starr, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, caught many by surprise — including Starr. That’s a depressing sign of a dysfunctional school board, one whose members failed to signal serious concerns with their superintendent, even as recently as last fall’s school board elections.

Blogs

Ed Trust Midwest Report on Michigan’s Charter Authorizers: A Decent Start, But Hardly the Final Word

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Friday, February 20, 2015

Followers of Fordham’s work know that we are obsessed with charter school quality, both nationally and in our home state of Ohio. We are also a charter school authorizer, responsible for overseeing a portfolio of eleven schools in the Buckeye State—a job we take very seriously.

Scott Walker the Governor of Wisconsin
Featured Commentary

Scott Walker Doesn’t Need A Degree — And Neither Do You

by Michael J. Petrillivia National Review
Friday, February 20, 2015
The pundit class is raising questions about whether Scott Walker’s lack of a college degree disqualifies him from being America’s 45th president. This is what educators call a “teachable moment,” because the issue goes much deeper than Governor Walker’s biography.
Blogs

One Size Fits Most, Even in the Suburbs

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Last week, writer Laura McKenna took to the Atlantic to try to understand why some suburban moms (many of them white) have turned against the Common Core. She settles on misinformation as a driving force, which is certainly a factor.

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