Spending time with nieces and nephews this holiday season—teenagers who are making decisions about where to go to college, what to study, and which vocations to pursue—has reminded me of just how lucky I am to have one of the best jobs in the world. On top of working with an amazingly talented, committed, and kind group of colleagues at the Fordham Institute, and in the larger world of education reform, I get paid to do what I love: write about big ideas. I am truly blessed.

As I look back on 2015, these are the blog posts, essays, and editorials that I think (hope?) will stand the test of time. Some of them are topical (the ones about ESEA reauthorization especially), but my favorites go after the tough, overarching issues: How can we stimulate upward mobility? How do we raise the college completion rate? Why are America’s test scores so mediocre?

For sure, I’ve made my share of mistakes this year. Here’s hoping I also got a few things right.

Happy New Year!

  1. The case against federal accountability mandates in education (January 26)
  2. Backfilling charter seats: A backhanded way to kill school autonomy (February 3)
  3. How Can Schools Address America’s Marriage Crisis? (Spring 2015)
  4. College preparedness over the years, according to NAEP (April 8)  
  5. Want more college graduates? Improve our K–12 system (June 10)
  6. The new ESEA will be “loose-loose” because Arne Duncan went overboard with “tight-tight” (August 12)
  7. What the Republican Presidential Contenders Should Be Saying About Education (August 18)
  8. Disruptive Students Hurt High Achievers Most (November 3)
  9. Let's check our halos at the door, education reformers (November 18)
  10. Poverty cannot explain America's mediocre test scores (December 16)

Mike Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, executive editor of Education Next, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Education Commission of the States. An award-winning writer, he…

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