Robert Pondiscio

Senior Fellow and Vice President for External Affairs, Thomas B Fordham Institute


Practice-Policy-Prep Panel

In this panel discussion, four of US education’s most experienced and insightful thinkers (50CAN’s Derrell Bradford, NCTQ’s Kate Walsh, and Johns Hopkins University’s David Steiner, moderated by Robert Pondiscio) will discuss the role of evidence in shaping current ed policies, practices, and professional preparation.

Attend for insights–and to perhaps ask questions you might have–about (1) how soundly education policy/practices/preparation are based in evidence, (2) priorities policymakers/practitioners/preparation designers should be setting for near- and short-term improvements, (3) how everyday practitioners can have an impact on (1) and (2), and more.


In addition to his work at Fordham, Robert writes and speaks extensively on education and education-reform issues, with emphases 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 NY Daily News, and Education Next, among others. A frequent speaker on education issues, he has appeared on Fox News Channel, CNN, and elsewhere.



Washington 2016

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.