Member Since 2009


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, co-editor of Knowledge at the Core: Don Hirsch, Core Knowledge, and the Future of the Common Core, and co-editor of How to Educate an American. 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 to create the U.S. 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.

Published Articles & Media

Children playfully running out of a school

Student Outcomes Have Improved in More Than Just Reading and Math

Fourth and eighth graders made progress across the entirety of the academic curriculum from the late 1990s until the Great Recession—especially our lowest performing students and students of color.

Betsy DeVos and Other Naysayers Are Wrong: Student Outcomes in the U.S. Have Improved Significantly in Recent Decades

A fair assessment of the past twenty-five years, and especially the years before the Great Recession, is that something improved outcomes for students, particularly the most vulnerable students.

The Results of Florida’s Education Reforms Are Impressive. Their Return on Investment Is Totally Off the Charts.

From the late 1990s until 2017, the reading performance of black fourth graders in Florida skyrocketed 26 points. For Hispanic students, the gain was 27 points, and for low-income kids it was an astonishing 29 points.

You Might Be Surprised Which States Prioritize Higher Teacher Salaries

The U.S. is spending dramatically more per pupil than in decades past, yet teacher salaries have barely kept pace with inflation.

What Schools Can Learn from OrangeTheory about Differentiating Instruction

Like schools, fitness studios aim to provide a great experience for twenty-five or thirty students with great variation in levels and goals.

Are Career-Tech Students Preparing for Jobs That Actually Exist?

A new analysis links data on career and technical education course-taking to employment data.
Figure 1: Per-Pupil Spending on the Rise Where Enrollment Growth Has Slowed

The Baby Bust Goes to School

Are falling birthrates a crisis or an opportunity?

Instructional Coaches: The Heroes of the Golden Age of Educational Practice

Coaches can build capacity and teachers’ understanding in a way that will alter what they actually do in their classrooms.

We Can’t Just Invest in Building Great Curricula

We need to invest in marketing them, too.

Obstacles to a Culture of Improvement

Our traditional public school system is not always hospitable to teachers or leaders willing to take risks to get better.

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