Member Since 2011

Robert Pondiscio


Robert Pondiscio is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on K–12 education, curriculum, teaching, school choice, and charter schooling. Before joining AEI, he was a policy analyst and education reform expert at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education policy think tank. He previously worked for the Core Knowledge Foundation and as an adviser and civics teacher at Democracy Prep Public Schools. He writes and speaks extensively on education and education-reform issues, with an emphasis on literacy, curriculum, teaching, and urban education. After twenty years in journalism, including senior positions at TIME and BusinessWeek, Robert became a fifth-grade teacher at a struggling South Bronx public school in 2002. He subsequently served as vice president for the Core Knowledge Foundation. Robert’s articles and op-ed columns on education have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the New York Daily News, Education Next, and many other publications. A frequent speaker and expert guest on education issues, he has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, and elsewhere.

Published Articles & Media

Can You Be an Ed Reformer and a Conservative?

The real challenge for conservatives has less to do with the nature of school reform than ensuring that the public and private functions served by education are brought into proper balance.

New York’s Common Core Tests: Tough Questions, Curious Choices

The bottom line: the tests are hard, as expected, but the choice of texts needs work.

Not Teacher Quality, but Quality Teaching

Any pedagogy, curriculum, approach, or technology has to be within the skills of ordinary teachers to implement well and effectively. If it takes a superstar teacher it's a nonstarter.

Why Johnny Won’t Learn to Read

We know for a fact that "balanced literacy" has had little effect on closing stubborn achievement gaps. So why is New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina bringing it back?

A Missed Opportunity for Common Core

Common Core supporters should be showcasing lessons that represent a sharp break with the skills-driven, all-texts-are-created-equal approach that has come to dominate too many classrooms.

Conscious Incompetence: New Ed-School Grads are Unprepared to Teach — and We Seem Fine With That

Ask a teacher about his or her first year in the classroom and you’ll hear, either with a smile or a shudder, how “nothing prepared me for my first year as a teacher.”

GPAs, SATs, and TMI?

Our elite universities, should they wish, could end epic oversharing, help student writing, and improve college readiness in one fell swoop.

‘No Excuses’ Kids Go to College

Will high-flying charters see their low-income students graduate?

Tools for Teachers

Review of Doug Lemov's Teach Like a Champion

Edutopian Vision

George Lucas reimagines the American classroom

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