Paul Hill

Paul Hill

Founder, CRPE and Research Professor, UWB

Amazon Author Page: Paul Hill, Author

Paul T. Hill is Founder of the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Research Professor at the University of Washington Bothell. His current work focuses on re-missioning states and school districts to promote school performance; school choice and innovation; finance and productivity; and improving rural schools.

Dr. Hill’s ideas have profoundly impacted education reform nationwide, influencing the way that many scholars, policymakers, and education leaders think about how the U.S. public education system can be restructured. His development of the portfolio school district management strategy has directly shaped education reform initiatives in cities like New York and New Orleans, among others. He launched the Portfolio School Districts Project in 2008, and built a national network of district officials, mayors, foundations, nonprofits, and others pursuing the portfolio strategy. Dr. Hill has been a trusted advisor to many of the nation's leading superintendents, state chiefs, and governors; he works closely with city and state leaders facing the need to transform their urban public school systems, and is a frequent source of expertise for legislators and the media. He chaired the National Charter School Research Project and its Charter School Achievement Consensus Panel, as well as Brookings National Working Commission on Choice in K-12 Education.

Dr. Hill is lead author (with Lawrence Pierce and James Guthrie) of Reinventing Public Education: How Contracting Can Transform America’s Schools (University of Chicago Press, 1997). The book concludes that public schools should be operated by independent organizations under contract with public school boards, rather than by government bureaucracies. These ideas profoundly influenced the Education Commission of the States 1999 report, "Governing America's Schools." His books include A Democratic Constitution for Public Education (2014), Strife and Progress: Portfolio Strategies for Managing Urban Schools (2012), Learning as We Go: Why School Choice Is Worth the Wait (2010), Making School Reform Work: New Partnerships for Real Change (2004), Charter Schools and Accountability in Public Education (2002), It Takes A City: Getting Serious About Urban School Reform (2000), and Fixing Urban Schools (1998). He is editor (with Julian Betts) of Taking Measure of Charter Schools: Better Assessments, Better Policymaking, Better Schools (2010), and editor of Charter Schools Against the Odds (2006). 

Before joining the University of Washington faculty, Dr. Hill worked for 17 years as a Senior Social Scientist in RAND’s Washington office, where he served as Director of Washington Operations (1981-87) and Director of the Education and Human Resources program (1979-80). He conducted studies of site-based management, governance of decentralized school systems, effective high schools, business-led education reforms, and immigrant education, and contributed to studies of defense research, development, and acquisition policy. As a government employee (1970-77), Hill directed the National Institute of Education's Compensatory Education Study (a Congressionally mandated assessment of federal aid to elementary and secondary education) and conducted research on housing and education for the Office of Economic Opportunity. He also served two years as a Congressional Fellow and Congressional staff member. Dr. Hill holds a PhD and MA from Ohio State University and a BA from Seattle University, all in Political Science.

Unlocking Potential: How Political Skill Can Maximize Superintendent Effectiveness

This paper examines the characteristics of effective superintendents and offers guidance for current and aspiring district leaders as well as those offering superintendent training programs.

How States Can Promote Local Innovation, Options, and Problem-Solving in Public Education

State policy should encourage and empower school district innovation and improvement strategies.

The Power of Persuasion: A Model for Effective Political Leadership by State Chiefs

Paul Hill and Ashley Jochim offer ideas and examples for how state chiefs can best use their powers to effectively lead the improvement of schools and districts.

The SEA of the Future: Maximizing Opportunities Under ESSA

Edited by Ashley Jochim and Betheny Gross, the sixth and final volume of the SEA of the Future provides SEAs a new framework under ESSA for strategic planning and concrete tools for implementation.

Sticking Points: How School Districts Experience Implementing the Portfolio Strategy

This analysis of trends across portfolio districts shows where cities are making progress on strategy implementation and where they are getting bogged down.

Date: Jun 18 2015
Where: The Sheraton Hotel, New Orleans

CRPE's Robin Lake, Betheny Gross, and Paul Hill will be featured speakers at "The Urban Education Future?" - Lessons from New Orleans 10 Years after Hurricane Katrina conference, hosted by the Education

Date: Mar 26 2015
Where: Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

Join CRPE's Paul T. HIll and Ashley E. Jochim as they discuss their new book, A Democratic Constitution for Public Education.

Date: May 13 2013
Where: Online

This webinar provides a deep dive into the portfolio strategy, the importance of school autonomy within a district context, and the conditions that make a district a promising choice for Carnegie Corporation of New York's "Opportunity by Design" initiative.

Date: Apr 28 2013
Where: San Francisco, CA

Several CRPE researchers are presenting at the 2013 annual conference of the American Educational Research Association in San Francisco.

Date: Jan 19 2013
Where: Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida

Paul Hill will be a key issue speaker at the 2nd Annual International School Choice and Reform Academic Conference, presented by the Journal of School Choice.

Jan 25 2018

Paul Hill highlights Unlocking Potential: How Political Skill Can Maximize Superintendent Effectiveness in a blog for the School Superintendent Association.

Dec 18 2017

Do Americans today understand what it takes to keep a democracy? Take a self quiz, and see how famous Americans might have scored.

Sep 20 2017

CRPE's new report identifies possible solutions to help districts adapt to the reality of enrollment decline.

Jul 14 2017

In this Education Week commentary, Paul Hill discusses how moving to a four-day school week won't bring the savings districts need, and suggests alternative options.

Jun 1 2017

Robin Lake and Paul Hill urge the new L.A. school board to avoid repeating mistakes of the past in this Los Angeles Daily News commentary.

Jan 31 2018

Robin Lake and Paul Hill propose a new political strategy to meet the need and demand for more high-quality charter schools.

Jan 17 2018

Paul Hill explains why superintendents’ political skills are fundamental for success in their job, and offers a new paper to help prepare aspiring leaders.

Sep 26 2017

In a new blog series, we invite several experts to weigh in on the challenges and opportunities for addressing this complex and urgent issue.

Sep 6 2017

Paul Hill shares his thoughts on David Osborne's new book, Reinventing America's Schools.

May 24 2017

Terry Ryan and Paul Hill offer real-world examples of how chartering can be successful in rural communities in this blog originally posted in Brookings Chalkboard.

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