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

If You Want a Content-Rich Curriculum for All, Don’t Ignore School Choice

School choice is not a distraction from the critical work of convincing educators that all children benefit from access to rich, curricular content.

A Closer Look at Improving Student Engagement by Letting Students Choose Their Tasks

Choice and relevancy are two arrows in the teacher’s quiver to engage and push children to academic heights. But there are lots of others.

The Next British Invasion: ResearchEd Comes to the U.S.

ResearchED conferences aim at raising the research literacy of teachers and creating a community of educators dedicated to evidence-based practice.

When Teachers Drop Everything to Talk Politics

Teachers, like every American citizen, are free to express their political views in a variety of public forums like Twitter and Facebook. But a series of court decisions have made it clear that a very different standard applies inside publicly funded K–12 classrooms, where teachers have far less freedom to speak their minds.

An Open Letter to My Ed School Dean

There is a science of reading and we owe it to all future elementary school teachers that it be taught and embraced so that it might improve outcomes for children.

In New York City, Charter Schools are Accomplishing Something Exam Schools Aren’t

Increasing the number of low-income students of color who are on track to attend selective colleges and universities is already being done by the city’s charter schools.

Democracy Prep Schools Boost Civic Engagement

Democracy Prep increases the voter registration rates of its students by about 16 percentage points and increases the voting rates of its students by about 12 percentage points.

A Reading Test Focused on Content

Louisiana plans to to develop and pilot a streamlined English and social studies assessment that aligns with what is taught in classrooms.

Meta-Analysis Confirms Effectiveness of an Old School Approach: Direct Instruction

Shouldn’t half a century and hundreds of studies be enough to earn Direct Instruction a little respect if education is so evidence-based?

Education Reform Is Off Track. Here’s How to Fix It.

It was a mistake to assume that education policy, not classroom practice, is the most important lever to pull to drive enduring improvement.

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