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

NAEP Gains Over the Past 25 Years: A Closer Look at the Trends

How have U.S. students performed over the past twenty-five years on NAEP?

A Supposed Discipline Fix Threatens School Cultures

This wasn’t just routine guidance. Instead, by applying a shambolic version of disparate impact theory to school discipline, the letter marked an enormous shift in federal policy and set up the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to be both judge and jury.

Debating Obama-Era Guidance on School Discipline

Should the Trump administration retain, revise, or rescind?

2017 NAEP Scores Coming Next Month: Why the Scores Matter

NAEP scores and trends have great value and reveal much that’s important to know.

Parenting in the iPhone Age

A review of The Art of Screen Time by Anya Kamenetz and Be the Parent, Please by Naomi Schaefer Riley

Why Disparate Impact Theory Is a Bad Fit for School Discipline

Jumping to conclusions from districts’ raw discipline data ought to end.

Education Reform Developments to Watch For in 2018

The big stories will be NAEP scores, the Janus Supreme Court case, gubernatorial elections, school discipline, and school ratings.

Empowering Parents to Help Schools

Parents are an untapped resource for reform. It’s time to give them—to give us—a voice.

Are Discipline Disparities Due to the Behavior of Students or the Responses of Adults?

Some of the disparity in suspension rates may stem from racism or variations in discipline policies but some may stem from differences in student behavior—differences driven by poverty and the other out-of-school factors.

Most States Step Up on Accountability under ESSA

When Congress enacted the Every Student Succeeds Act, many reformers voiced concern that states would give up on rigorous accountability systems.

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