Paul Hill

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.

04/2017
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.

03/2017
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.

11/2016
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.

10/2016
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.

07/2016
The State Role in K–12 Education: From Issuing Mandates to Experimentation

Betheny Gross and Paul Hill discuss the challenges and opportunities for state-level experimentation created by the Every Student Succeeds Act, in the Harvard Law and Policy Review.

Date: Nov 27 2012
Where: JW Marriott, Washington, DC

Paul Hill will moderate a Strategy Session on accountability-based flexibility for school districts.

Date: Jan 10 2012
Where: Online

This webinar provides an introduction to the portfolio strategy, why districts adopt it, what they find challenging, and whether they are seeing benefits to students.

Feb 1 2018

Paul Hill and Robin Lake write in Education Next that the charter school movement requires a new political strategy to continue to grow.

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.

Dec 6 2017

Paul Hill is quoted in this Chalkbeat piece on his development of the portfolio model for public schools.

Sep 20 2017

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

Nov 16 2018

Paul Hill responds to a commentary by Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris on school choice, charter schools, and the portfolio strategy.

Jun 12 2018

The departing Camden superintendent reflects on five years of progress and the challenges that remain.

May 22 2018

 

Robin Lake and Paul Hill look at the effect of charter schools on district finances and suggest solutions to build a healthy public school choice system.

May 22 2018

It will take system-level changes for students to fully exploit learning opportunities, writes Paul Hill.

Apr 28 2018

Paul Hill reviews a new book and is reminded of how tribally divided the policy research field has become.