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: Want Kids Back In School? Make Sure They Feel Safe.

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia The Education Gadfly Show
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli discusses Imperfect Attendance: Toward a fairer measure of student absenteeism, the notion of “attendance value-added,” and how improving school safety could help keep kids in class.

Interviews

Michael Petrilli On The Education Gadfly Show

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly
Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli discusses how new regulations proposed by the Biden administration could stunt the growth of charter schools across America.

Analysis and Commentary

The Upside Of The Downward Trend In College Enrollment

by Michael J. Petrillivia Fordham Institute
Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The media have been full of reports of college students, almost a million strong, who have gone missing during the pandemic. Virtually every article quotes experts expressing alarm and dismay.

Analysis and Commentary

The College Readiness Battle Is Won Or Lost In Elementary School

by Michael J. Petrillivia Fordham Institute
Thursday, March 31, 2022

College-readiness corollary: “Amateurs talk high schools. Professionals talk elementary schools.”

Interviews

Education Gadfly Show: Rick Hess And Mike Petrilli On Ed Reform And Culture Wars

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia The Education Gadfly Show
Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli discusses how to advance an education reform agenda in the midst of ongoing culture wars.

Analysis and Commentary

Why We Should Follow The Science—To School

by Michael J. Petrillivia Fordham Institute
Thursday, March 24, 2022

“Follow the Science” Those three words became a rallying cry during the Covid pandemic. And at first blush, the message seems straightforward: Identify best practices according to the evidence, and then do them.

Interviews

Education Gadfly Show With Michael Petrilli

interview with Michael J. Petrillivia Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Petrilli discusses Follow the Science to School: Evidence-based Practices for Elementary Education, a new book that Petrilli edited with Kathleen Carroll and Barbara Davidson. 

Analysis and Commentary

Follow The Science To School: Evidence-Based Practices For Elementary Education

by Michael J. Petrillivia Fordham Institute
Monday, March 21, 2022

“Follow the science.” Those three words became a rallying cry during the Covid pandemic. And at first blush, the message seems straightforward: Identify best practices according to the evidence, and then do them.

Co-Authors: Kathleen Carroll and Barbara Davidson

Analysis and Commentary

Work Instead Of School: A Better Approach For Our Lowest-Performing Students?

by Michael J. Petrillivia Fordam Institute
Thursday, March 17, 2022

Several weeks ago, I asked whether America’s present strategy for serving our lowest performing high school students is really the best we can do. This wasn’t a rhetorical question; possibly the answer is yes.

In the News

Google Career Certificates: Heralding The Future

quoting Michael J. Petrillivia Inside Higher Ed
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Postsecondary education is broken. The signs are obvious and pervasive. Although not perfect and not a universal solution, Google has launched an alternative approach that illuminates the way to address many of the shortcomings that plague our current system.

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