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

Nine Questions: What Does It Even Mean to Oppose the Common Core?

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Friday, January 30, 2015

Almost every article and column written about the nascent GOP presidential campaign mentions Tea Party opposition to immigration reform and the Common Core—and most candidates’ efforts to align themselves with the Republican base on these two issues. (A Google News search turns up more than 11,000 hits for “Common Core” and “immigration” and “Republican.”)

Detention Dysfunction

by Michael J. Petrillivia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The government wants to force a racial quota system onto student punishment. This is an even worse idea than you might suppose.

Blogs

The Case Against Federal Accountability Mandates in Education

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Congressional Republicans have promised to overhaul the No Child Left Behind act this year; the big debate so far has been whether to maintain the law’s annual testing requirements.

Blogs

Stump Speech Contest: What Members of Congress Should Say About Testing

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Thursday, January 22, 2015

The word around town is that support for annual testing among rank-and-file members of Congress—in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle—is dangerously low. They are constantly hearing complaints from their constituents about the overuse and abuse of standardized tests, and many are eager to do something about it.

Blogs

Timely Ohio Report Could Change The ESEA Testing Debate

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Though hardly the only issue to be debated during the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education act, annual testing has taken center stage in discussions so far. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate HELP committee, put forth a bill that leaves open the possibility of removing the federal requirement that states test students annually in reading and math from grades three through eight—a possibility that has thoroughly freaked out much of the education-reform community.

Featured Commentary

Dems Pull the Race Card on Education, Again

by Frederick M. Hess, Michael J. Petrillivia National Review Online
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Liberals deploy the same old tactics to shoot down any attempts to curtail bad federal laws.

Blogs

ESEA Update: More Red Than Green in Lamar Alexander’s Reauthorization Bill

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Last week, I explained the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (a.k.a. No Child Left Behind) in a single table:

Blogs

Three Thoughts About Secretary Duncan’s ESEA Speech

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Overachieving Andy already beat me to the punch with ten thoughts about the secretary’s speech yesterday. Rather than try to compete, I’m going to keep it simple and stick to three. Anyway, who has time for ten of anything?

Blogs

ESEA Reauthorization Explained in a Single Table

by Michael J. Petrillivia Hoover Daily Report
Thursday, January 8, 2015

Once upon a time (OK, it was 2007), we D.C. policy wonks were gearing up for a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education act (a.k.a. No Child Left Behind), and all the buzz was about the new federal requirements that would be added. Checker and I dubbed it “No Idea Left Behind.”

Education and testing
Featured Commentary

Common Core’s Test For States

by Michael J. Petrilli, Michael Brickmanvia The News Tribune
Friday, December 26, 2014

Last month, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush suggested to hundreds of lawmakers and education reformers gathered for his foundation’s annual summit that “the rigor of the Common Core State Standards must be the new minimum.”

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