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The Education Gadfly Show

For more than 15 years, the Fordham Institute has been hosting a weekly podcast, The Education Gadfly Show. Each week, you’ll get lively, entertaining discussions of recent education news, usually featuring Fordham’s Mike Petrilli and David Griffith. Then the wise Amber Northern will recap a recent research study. For questions or comments on the podcast, contact its producer, Pedro Enamorado.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Community schools and disadvantaged families - 02/26/20

On this week’s podcast, William Johnston, associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss the positive impacts of New York City’s community schools. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines how expanding private school choice in Florida helped public school students.

23mins

26 Feb 2020

Rank #1

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The link between location and income - 05/27/20

This week’s podcast guest is John V. Winters, Ph.D., associate professor of economics at Iowa State University and author of Fordham’s new report, What You Make Depends on Where You Live. He joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss the report’s findings and implications. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines educators’ strong record in detecting and reporting child mistreatment, and how training and support could help them be even more effective.

26mins

27 May 2020

Rank #2

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Teacher to Chief: Pathways to Education Leadership - 05/20/20

This week we're hosting "Teacher to Chief," a special episode with members of Chiefs for Change on their pathways to education leadership. The discussion is tied to a new multimedia report designed to spark teachers’ interest in the chief role. Elizabeth Green, founder of Chalkbeat, also moderates a candid conversation with aspiring, current, and former chiefs about what the job is really like.

1hr 7mins

19 May 2020

Rank #3

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What Americans think about schools’ response to the Covid crisis - 05/13/20

On this week’s podcast, Paul DiPerna, vice president of research and innovation at EdChoice, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss his organization’s new monthly Public Opinion Tracker. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines how superior social skills improve the performance of groups.

22mins

13 May 2020

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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A blueprint for reopening schools - 05/06/20

On this week’s podcast, John Bailey, visiting fellow at AEI, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss AEI’s new Blueprint for Back to School. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern and special guest Paul von Hippel, associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, talk about Paul’s recent work on year-round school calendars and their many effects, including those on summer learning and achievement.

27mins

6 May 2020

Rank #5

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Schools and social distancing: Just hard, or actually impossible? - 04/29/20

On this week’s podcast, Noelle Ellerson Ng, associate executive director of advocacy and governance at AASA, the School Superintendents Association, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss the complexities that school systems must consider when reopening schools, especially if social distancing is required. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines which news sources social studies teachers find credible, and how that depends on their own ideological leanings. 

25mins

29 Apr 2020

Rank #6

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The one where the pandemic turns Robert into a big softie - 04/22/20

On this week’s podcast, Mike Petrilli, Robert Pondiscio, and David Griffith debate how much we can expect districts to do during the current crisis, whether student work should be graded right now, and if schools will return to normal in the fall. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines the wide variation of substitute teaching across the country.

29mins

22 Apr 2020

Rank #7

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How schools can personalize instruction when students return next fall - 04/15/20

On this week’s podcast, Diane Tavenner, co-founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to offer advice on how schools can help meet students’ individual needs when they return after lengthy closures. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines whether social-emotional learning is improving students’ self-efficacy, self-management, and social awareness.

28mins

15 Apr 2020

Rank #8

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Research Deep Dive: The impact of school closures - 04/08/20

On this week’s podcast, Deven Carlson, assistant professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith for the third installment of our Research Deep Dive series, this one focusing on the impact school closures, due to poor performance or under-enrollment, on student outcomes—both the students whose schools are shuttered and their classmates at their new schools.

20mins

8 Apr 2020

Rank #9

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How school districts are dealing with COVID-19 - 04/02/20

On this week’s podcast, Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss district innovation in the face of country-wide school closures. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines whether Teach For America corps members still improve student outcomes even after a major national scale-up.

21mins

2 Apr 2020

Rank #10

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COVID-19 concerns: Special education and accountability - 03/25/20

On this week’s podcast, Mike Petrilli and Checker Finn discuss Betsy DeVos’s quick and laudable U-turn on distance learning and mull what “accountability” might look like over the next three months. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines the role work experience plays in helping those without bachelor’s degrees find jobs.

18mins

25 Mar 2020

Rank #11

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On technocrats and culture wars - 03/11/20

On this week’s podcast, Mike Petrilli, Checker Finn, and David Griffith discuss Mike and Checker’s new edited volume, How to Educate an American: The Conservative Vision for Tomorrow’s Schools. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines whether the nationwide rise in high school graduation rates is real, and whether high-stakes school accountability played a role.

22mins

11 Mar 2020

Rank #12

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Heavens to Betsy's block grant - 03/04/20

On this week’s podcast, Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss the Trump administration’s proposal to block-grant the federal Charter Schools Program. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines whether instructors who teach several sections of the same universe course improve with repetition.

18mins

4 Mar 2020

Rank #13

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The barriers blocking students of color from challenging courses - 02/19/20

On this week’s podcast, Ed Trust’s Ary Amerikaner and Kayla Patrick join Mike Petrilli to discuss why students of color lack access to gifted programs and advanced coursework, and ways to help fix that. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines how peer suspensions affect non-suspended students’ learning trajectories.

22mins

19 Feb 2020

Rank #14

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Why teachers with higher grading standards get better student outcomes - 02/12/20

On this week’s podcast, Seth Gershenson, associate professor at American University, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss the Fordham study he authored this month, Great Expectations: The Impact of Rigorous Grading Practices on Student Achievement. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines how gender affects the ability of college students to receive favorable grade changes.

24mins

12 Feb 2020

Rank #15

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Finding the right school for your child - 02/05/20

On this week’s podcast, Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss whether affluent suburban kids deserve vouchers too. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines the extent to which older siblings affect college-going behavior. 

24mins

5 Feb 2020

Rank #16

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School Choice Week 2020 - 01/29/20

On this week’s podcast, Mike Magee, CEO of Chiefs for Change, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss National School Choice Week. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines how teachers who specialize instead of teaching all subjects affect elementary school outcomes.

20mins

29 Jan 2020

Rank #17

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Research Deep Dive: School discipline reform - 01/22/20

On this week’s podcast, Matthew Steinberg, associate professor of education policy at George Mason University, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith for the second installment of our Research Deep Dive series, this one focusing on school discipline reform.

27mins

22 Jan 2020

Rank #18

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The 2020 election and education reform - 01/15/20

On this week’s podcast, Mike Petrilli, Robert Pondiscio, and David Griffith discuss the latest news from the 2020 election debate and what it portends for our schools. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines how air quality (yes, air quality) affects student achievement.

17mins

15 Jan 2020

Rank #19

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The best education research studies of 2019 - 01/08/20

On a special all-Research-Minute podcast, Amber Northern, Mike Petrilli, and David Griffith discuss the best research studies of 2019.

17mins

8 Jan 2020

Rank #20