Jay Mathews

Pasadena, CA

Education writer and columnist

Education: Harvard College, BA in government; Harvard University, MA in East Asian regional studies

Jay Mathews is an education columnist for The Washington Post, his employer for nearly 50 years. He is the author of nine books, including five about high schools. His 2009 book "Work Hard. Be Nice." about the birth and growth of the KIPP charter school network was a New York Times bestseller. He created and supervises the annual Challenge Index rankings of American high schools. He has won several awards for education writing and was given the Upton Sinclair award as “a beacon of light in the realm of education.” He has won the Eugene Meyer Award for distinguished service to The Washington Po
Latest from Jay Mathews

Parents can be clumsy school critics. Teach students to do it better.

My best teacher’s daring idea: have kids seek flaws in their textbooks

December 5, 2021

Should we ease grading and homework rules? Dangers lurk.

Experienced teachers say such a move could cripple all-important learning in class.

November 28, 2021

Parents demand to know more about schools. So why are they banned from observing classrooms?

Officials say it’s too much trouble to let them watch, but few schools have tried.

November 21, 2021

Charlottesville labeled 86 percent of students as gifted. Will learning improve?

Research suggests the city will have trouble tapping all that potential.

November 14, 2021

U.S. teachers pummeled by a hailstorm of conflicting instructions

Changing policy fashions bring many contradictions, says one well-informed victim.

November 7, 2021

New schools are rising across the U.S. that look like charters but aren’t

P-TECH has grown with tough courses in job-rich fields like cybersecurity and health care.

October 31, 2021

School district shrugged off college for most kids until an outsider and business backers got involved

Argelia Rodriguez’s team showed uncertain students how to grasp opportunities.

October 24, 2021

Stuff your 5,000-word limit! Students dare to write longer history papers.

Given such passion, why do high schools almost never encourage big writing projects?

October 17, 2021

Reading war dispatch: Kids need big phonics books they can afford

Some have price tags as high as $100. An experienced tutor asks why we can’t make them free.

October 10, 2021

Gifted programs can slight minorities and don’t accelerate kids. So why have them?

A study of gifted programs in Ohio indicates many smart poor or Black children are unlikely to benefit.

October 3, 2021