Robert Pondiscio

Senior Fellow & Vice President for External Affairs, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Speaking at

researchED Washington


Why Knowledge Matters

Persistent myths about reading comprehension–how we teach it; and how we test it–are holding back student achievement in the U.S.  Once we see reading comprehension for what it really is, not a skill to be taught but a condition to be created, one conclusion is inescapable, particularly for the most vulnerable learners:  knowledge matters. The only way to ensure reading success is with a rich, well-rounded curriculum for all children.


In addition to serving as senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Robert is also a senior advisor to Democracy Prep Public Schools, a network of high-performing charter schools based in Harlem, New York. 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.