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

Analysis and Commentary

The States That Are Swimming Against The NAEP Tides

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The bad news from the latest Nation’s Report Card has us analysts wearing out our thesauruses. Gloomy, dismal, a bloodbath…no negative seems overwrought for what we saw the other week, especially for our lowest-performing students. For example, since 2013, the start of our “Achievement Recession,” eighth grade reading scores for students at the 10th percentile have dropped by ten points. Ten points! That’s the equivalent of an entire grade level. The bottom seems to be falling out.

Analysis and Commentary

NAEP 2019: The Terrible Impact Of The Great Recession

by Michael J. Petrillivia Thomas Fordham Institute
Friday, November 8, 2019

In previous posts and in comments to the media, I’ve been making the case that the lingering effects of the Great Recession might partially explain the disappointing student achievement trends we’ve seen as of late, both on the Nation’s Report Card and on state assessments.

Interviews

Michael Petrili: The Education Gadfly Show: NAEP 2019: It (Was) The Economy, Stupid

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli talks about last week’s NAEP results and their relationship to the Great Recession.
Analysis and Commentary

What To Make Of The 2019 Results From The ”Nation’s Report Card”

by Paul E. Peterson, Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"Shame on us," "Return to accountability," "Focus on the low-performing students," and other reactions to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress results.

Interviews

Checker Finn and Michael Petrilli: The Education Gadfly Show: On Education, Warren’s Got A Pander For That

interview with Chester E. Finn Jr., Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Hoover Institution fellows Checker Finn and Michael Petrilli discuss Senator Warren’s flawed education proposal.
Analysis and Commentary

On NAEP, Bright Spots Amidst The Gloom

by Michael J. Petrillivia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Alas, it wasn’t hard to predict that this year’s results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress would be bleak. With the lingering effects of the Great Recession still serving as powerful headwinds against progress, it would have taken a miracle to see big gains at the national level. Truthfully, I expected worse news for fourth graders, given how poorly they did upon entry into kindergarten; in reality, though, it turned out to be eighth grade where the news was most dismaying.

In the News

Student Performance Lags On Nation’s Report Card

quoting Michael J. Petrillivia Kold 13 News
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

America’s eighth graders are falling behind in math and reading, while fourth graders are doing slightly better in reading, according to the latest results from the Nation’s Report Card.

Analysis and Commentary

What To Expect From The “Nation’s Report Card”

by Paul E. Peterson, Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Thursday, October 24, 2019

On October 30, federal officials will release results from the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, in reading and mathematics for grades 4 and 8. In anticipation of the test scores, Education Next asked a series of education-policy thinkers to share what the news later this month may be.

Interviews

Michael Petrilli: Early Warning: Kindergarten Readiness Skills Are Trending Downward

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli discusses with Megan Kuhfeld, a research scientist at NWEA, her recent, sobering findings about the reading and math skills of children entering kindergarten.

Interviews

Michael Petrilli: The Education Gadfly Show: Why The Big Easy’s Big Gains Are Over

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli discusses the progress, and recent plateauing, of New Orleans's ed reforms.

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