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

Will there be big education changes after pandemic? No, but look deeper.

Historian of schools sees good news in recent pandemic turmoil, plus long-term education advances we haven’t noticed

February 13, 2022

What to do about affirmative action? Learn from the unstoppable Dominique Mejia.

If the Supreme Court rules against race-conscious admissions, there may still be other ways to get low-income students of color into college.

February 6, 2022

Blew the big exam? Forget about taking it home to figure out why.

At a time in which we seem to be giving more attention to parent complaints about how their children are taught, let's loosen old rules.

January 30, 2022

Why not lottery admissions for great high schools? It’s not church bingo.

The pushback that can come when lotteries are proposed for selective high school admissions.

January 16, 2022

One of biggest, best charter networks stumbles but still grows

IDEA, the Texas-based public charter network, is expanding and moving forward following change in leadership.

January 9, 2022

Geometry before algebra? Schools will try more new angles in 2022.

The pandemic has given schools an urgency to address learning loss — and room to experiment.

January 2, 2022

Abolishing grades on homework will hurt the neediest kids

Teachers point out that kids learn best when they get frequent, incremental feedback. A new proposal in Arlington, Va., would take that away.

December 26, 2021

Why we must shed old fears of changing school boundaries to help poor and minority kids

An Urban Institute study says White flight is less likely in this century.

December 19, 2021

Nonfiction books gave my grandkids no joy last Christmas. It was my fault.

New “What Kids Are Reading” lists show children are choosing nonfiction books more. But adults must buy wisely.

December 12, 2021