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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Recent Commentary

Great Ideas For Designing Accountability Systems For Schools

by Michael J. Petrillivia EducationNext
Monday, February 1, 2016

On Tuesday afternoon, we at the Fordham Institute will host a competition to present compelling designs for state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The process has already achieved its objective, with more than two dozen teams submitting proposals that are chock-full of suggestions for states and commonsense recommendations for the U.S. Department of Education.

Analysis and Commentary

Some Great Ideas From Our ESSA Accountability Design Competition

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Friday, January 29, 2016

On Tuesday afternoon, we at the Fordham Institute will host a competition to present compelling designs for state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act. 

Analysis and Commentary

ESSA Accountability Design Competition: The Contenders

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Under the newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states now face the challenge of creating school accountability systems that can vastly improve upon the model required by No Child Left Behind. To help spur creative thinking about how they might do so, and also to inform the Department of Education as it develops its ESSA regulations, the Fordham Institute is hosting an ESSA Accountability Design Competition.

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Bad News Is Good News

by Michael J. Petrilli, Robert Pondisciovia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Low test scores may be unwelcome, but they’re entirely necessary. Parents shouldn’t shoot the messenger.

Analysis and Commentary

The School Choice Movement's Schisms, Explained

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

As my Fordham colleague David Griffith wrote late last year in a post accompanying the release of The Best (and Worst) Cities for School Choice), resistance to the spread of parental choice in education is futile. The genie is out of the bottle, and there’s no going back.

Featured

Free Tuition Is A Needless Windfall For Affluent Voters And State Institutions

by Michael J. Petrillivia The New York Times
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nothing in life is truly free — but don’t tell that to dogmatic liberals and their pandering politicians, who would turn the first two years of college into a new universal entitlement. This idea has the same fatal flaws as universal pre-school: a needless windfall for affluent voters and state institutions that does very little to help the needy.

Analysis and Commentary

The Case For Maximum State Flexibility On ESSA Accountability

by Michael J. Petrillivia EducationNext
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Officials at the Department of Education have requested public comments by January 21 about areas in the new Every Student Succeeds Act where regulation might be “helpful or necessary.” My recommendation to the feds: Tread very lightly.

Analysis and Commentary

Schools — Especially Elementary Ones — Skipping The Other Basics

by Michael J. Petrillivia Great Schools
Thursday, January 14, 2016
When history, science, and arts are extras our children are missing facts, perspective, and a complete education. So what can we do?
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Analysis and Commentary

The Case For Maximum State Flexibility On ESSA Accountability

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Officials at the Department of Education have requested public comments by January 21 about areas in the new Every Student Succeeds Act where regulation might be “helpful or necessary.” My recommendation to the feds: Tread very lightly.

Analysis and Commentary

Don't Shoot The Test-Score Messenger, New Hampshire

by Michael J. Petrilli, Robert Pondisciovia Fosters.com
Sunday, January 10, 2016

Five long years ago, New Hampshire and more than 40 other states adopted tough new standards in reading and math, setting dramatically higher expectations for students in elementary and secondary schools.

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