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.

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.

05/2016
Suburban Schools: The Unrecognized Frontier in Public Education

This paper reviews trends around changing student populations in suburban America and the accompanying demands facing suburban public school systems.

11/2015
The Street-Level Politics of School Reform

Paul Hill and Ashley Jochim profile portfolio strategy efforts in five cities and offer lessons for leaders to sustain long-term education reform amid political opposition.

08/2015
Backfill in Charter High Schools: Practices to Learn From and Questions to be Answered

Paul Hill and Tricia Maas explore the charter high school "backfill" issue, using interviews with charter sector leaders to understand competing perspectives and practices that support transfer students.

07/2015
The Four-Day School Week in Rural Idaho Schools

This report was published by the Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho as part of their research on the four-day school week in rural Idaho.

Feb 14 2018

Paul Hill is quoted in The New York Times about the search for a new chancellor of the New York City school system.

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.

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

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

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.

Apr 28 2018

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