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.

05/2021
How Six School Systems are Responding to Disrupted Schooling: Will It Be Enough?

This report examines how six school systems tried to address the academic consequences of disrupted learning in the 2020-2021 school year.

08/2019
Lessons from the Trenches: Sustaining Improvements after State Takeover

This report provides key lessons for states seeking to make improvements in districts and schools navigating a transition to local control.

05/2019
California Charter Schools: Costs, Benefits, and Impact on School Districts

Three new briefs assess the impact of California charter schools on school districts.

11/2018
Local Governance for an Innovating System

This essay lays out a theory of integrated “light governance” of local schools, colleges, learning pathways, and special courses.

11/2018
Funding a Nimble System

This essay explores what it would take to ensure that personalized and weighted funding follows students across multiple learning experiences.

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.

Mar 30 2021

Paul Hill is quoted in The 74 on teachers unions impacting districts' reopening plans.

Jan 25 2021

Paul Hill and Heather Schwartz write how different stakeholders can use pandemic-related momentum to make online learning a common staple of public schooling.

Oct 21 2019

Paul Hill discusses the four-day school week on BYU Radio's Top of Mind With Julie Rose.

Oct 3 2019

Paul Hill is quoted by OZY on the four-day school week.

Oct 1 2019

Ashley Jochim and Paul Hill write that the authority to intervene in local districts remains an essential tool if states want to continue playing a meaningful role in improving local schools.

Jun 3 2021

The downsides of the rush to jam everyone back into classrooms are evident.

May 25 2021

District leaders who seek more profound and radical changes—some of which aim to fundamentally upend the education system—will face even bigger challenges with acceptance and support. 

Apr 6 2021

As children return to school after as much as a year away, schools and districts have a new strategy for helping them make up for lost time.

Mar 19 2021

Experienced state and district leaders see dangers among the opportunities offered by the K–12 education stimulus funding.

Feb 23 2021

Schools and districts must set priorities so students don't fall perpetually behind because of school closures and the difficulties of virtual learning.