Expertise: 

Michael J. Petrilli

Visiting 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 visiting 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

Interviews

Michael Petrilli On The Education Gadfly Show: How Assessment Data Can Drive Instruction This Fall

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia The Education Gadfly Show Podcast
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli talks about Fordham’s new case study on data-driven instruction in Washington, D.C.

Analysis and Commentary

David Brooks, Please Don’t Give Up On Education

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Friday, June 26, 2020

David Brooks has long been a stalwart supporter of education reform, both the choice-and-charters flavor and the testing-and-accountability variety. So it was a real downer to read his recent column declaring that, when it comes to Black America, “Better education is not leading to equality.”

Interviews

Michael Petrilli: The Education Gadfly Show: The Case For Good Schools As A State Constitutional Right

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli is joined by Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and David Griffith to discuss Rees's new AEI paper, “A constitutional right to a high-quality public education.”
Interviews

Chester Finn and Michael Petrilli: The Education Gadfly Show: Effecting Real Change In America

interview with Chester E. Finn Jr., Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Hoover Institution fellows Chester Finn and Michael Petrilli along with David Griffith discuss what it takes for real change to happen in America.

Interviews

Michael Petrilli: The Education Gadfly Show: School Districts Failed The Remote Learning Test

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli discusses how well school districts handled remote learning this spring.

Analysis and Commentary

Florida’s New Math And English Standards Aren’t Ready For Prime Time

by Amber M. Northern, Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

It’s no secret that the Common Core State Standards ushered in much higher-quality academic expectations for K–12 students across the nation. It’s also no secret that their arrival in 2010 unleashed a national melee that a decade later is still playing out in political theatre at state and local levels. 

Featured

The Unequal American City

by Michael J. Petrillivia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 8, 2020

The hollowing out of the middle class is largely a metropolitan phenomenon, but no one fix will help all.

Interviews

Michael Petrilli: The Education Gadfly Show: The Crisis’s Outsized Impacts On Catholic Schools

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli discusses how Catholic schools are weathering the pandemic and economic downturn, and what public policy can do to help.
Analysis and Commentary

With His Remarks On The Murder Of George Floyd, Joe Biden Showed Us How To Teach Empathy And American History

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

“I wish I could say this hate began with Donald Trump and will end with him,” former Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. “It didn’t and it won’t.”

In the News

How To Recover From Our School Disaster: Top Curriculums, Training And Resolve

quoting Michael J. Petrillivia The Washington Post
Thursday, May 28, 2020

Measured by the amount of teaching and learning, this was probably the worst school year in decades. We can’t be sure because nearly all year-end standardized tests were canceled. But students got the least time with teachers I can remember. Most parents will concede that neither they nor the Internet were good substitutes.

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