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Ted Fiske

Edward B. (Ted) Fiske is an internationally known education writer and editor who has written informatively on topics ranging from American higher education to primary school reform in Cambodia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
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Formerly the Education Editor of the New York Times, Fiske is well known as the author of the best-selling Fiske Guide to Colleges (Sourcebooks), an annual publication that has been a standard part of college admissions literature for more than 35 years and is now the country’s best-selling college guide. Other books on college admissions, co-authored with Bruce G. Hammond, include the Fiske Guide to Getting Into the Right CollegeReal College Essays that Work and Countdown to College. Fiske is also author of the highly praised 1991 study of systemic school reform in the United States entitled Smart Schools, Smart Kids (Simon & Schuster).

Fiske has teamed up with his wife, Helen F. Ladd, who is Susan B. King Professor Emerita of Public Policy and Economics at Duke University, on three major projects. In 1998 they were based at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, where, with support from a Fulbright Grant, they did research on that country’s experiment with parental choice and competition in the delivery of public education. Their book, When Schools Compete: A Cautionary Tale was published in 2000 by the Brookings Institution Press. In 2002 another Fulbright Grant took Fiske and Ladd to the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where they studied that country’s efforts to create an equitable and democratic state education system in the post-apartheid era. Their book, Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa, was published in July 2004, also by Brookings, with a South African paperback edition published in May 2005 by HSRC Pres.

Ladd and Fiske are also co-editors of the first edition of Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy, which was published in 2008 by Routledge and is the official handbook of the American Education Finance Association. They spent the first half of 2009 at the University of Amsterdam, where they carried out research and published several articles on the Dutch system of financing primary schools. In 2015 and 2016 they lived for short periods in London and published a series of reports on the success of primary schools in two Inner London boroughs as well as a study of England’s system of academies, which are similar to charter schools in the U.S.

Fiske joined the New York Times in 1964 as a news clerk and, after serving as Religion Editor, became the Education Editor in 1974. He edited the Times’ quarterly education supplements and in 1983 authored an award-winning series on Japanese schools. In 1991 Fiske left the Times to pursue his interest in education in developing countries. He spent 1993-94 in Cambodia, where he worked with the International Rescue Committee on a UNICEF-sponsored cluster school project in the northwestern city of Battambang. He also worked with the Asian Development Bank and authored Using Both Hands, an analysis of the situation of girls and women in education in Cambodia.

Fiske’s journalistic travels have taken him to more than 60 countries. In 1995 he went to the former Soviet Union on behalf of the Academy for Educational Development to assess the effects of a major training program sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and in 1996 he visited Alaska and the Russian Far East to evaluate an exchange program run by the U.S. Information Agency. Other assignments have included a 1996 study of the politics of school decentralization for the World Bank; a series of reports for UNESCO, including the final report of the World Forum on Education for All, held in Dakar, Senegal in April 2000; a 2001 report for the Aga Khan Foundation on its schools in northern Pakistan; and multiple reports for the U. S. Agency for International Development. He has written several reports for the Asia Society, including Asia in the Schools: Preparing Young Americans for Today’s Interconnected World and Learning in a Global Age: Knowledge and Skills for a Flat World.

Fiske was born in Philadelphia. He attended the William Penn Charter School and Wesleyan University, from which he was graduated summa cum laude. He received master’s degrees in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and in political science from Columbia University and has been awarded honorary doctorates by Occidental College and other institutions.

In addition to the New York Times, his articles and book reviews have appeared in American Prospect, Atlantic Monthly, Education Week, Chronicle of Higher Education, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New Republic and other national publications. He has received numerous awards for education reporting.

A resident of Durham, North Carolina, Fiske has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations working to promote educational access among underserved urban students. He is currently vice-chair of the board of advisers of the East Durham Children’s Initiative. He is also a member of the board of GoGlobal NC, a public service program of the University of North Carolina that promotes global awareness among North Carolina education, business, political and other leaders. He previously served on the board of Citizen Schools North Carolina and was a founding member of the board of the Central Park School for Children, a charter school in Durham.

 

Ted Fiske CV

Education Writer & Consultant
Edward B. Fiske is an education writer, editor, and consultant whose areas of expertise range from college admissions in the United States to education policy in developing countries.
Address: 1723 Tisdale Street, Durham, NC 27705
Home Telephone: (919) 493 9476
Cellphone: (919) 641 1278
Fax: (919) 493 9476
E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Websites: www.edwardbfiske.com , www.fiskeguide.com
Nationality: American
Married to: Helen F. Ladd, Susan B. King Professor Emerita of Public Policy Studies and Professor of Economics Emerita at Duke University. http://sanford.duke.edu/people/faculty/ladd-helen-f

Professional Activities

Education writer and consultant – 1991-Present

Author of numerous books, monographs, op ed articles and other materials on current educational issues in the U.S. and other countries.

In 1993-94 spent 14 months in Cambodia working for the International Rescue Committee on a cluster school project and carrying out a study of women and education in that country for the Asian Development Bank (Using Both Hands).

Since 1994 carried out multiple research and writing projects for UNESCO. These included the Final Report of the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal in 2002 as well as three of the annual Education for All, Status and Trends studies, and the World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education, published in 2012. Carried out other editorial projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the Academy for Educational Development, the Asia Society and the Aga Khan Foundation. For details, see “Monographs and Other Publications” below.

Extensive collaboration with his wife, Helen F. Ladd, in research and publishing on global education issues. With the support of a Fulbright Grant, they spent five months in New Zealand  in 1998 studying that country’s experiment with market-based school reform. Their book, When Schools Compete: A Cautionary Tale, was published in April 2000 by the Brookings Institution Press.

Spent the first half of 2002 at the University of Cape Town in South Africa with Ladd conducting research on that country’s efforts to build an equitable and democratic state education system in the post-apartheid era. Their book, Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa, was published in 2004 by Brookings Institution Press. The South African paperback edition was published in 2005 by the HSRC Press in Cape Town.

Co-edited with Ladd the Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy, which was published in 2008 by Routledge as the official handbook of the American Education Finance Association.

Spent the first half of 2010 with Ladd at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands carrying out research on the Dutch system of weighted student funding for primary schools. The goal was to determine what lessons the Dutch experience might hold for U.S. education policy makers. Findings were reported in several papers.

Spent October 2015 and April-May 2016 with Ladd in London based at the Institute of Education and at the Institute for Fiscal Studies carrying out research on current changes in the English state education system. Wrote Educational Success in Two Inner London Boroughs: Lessons for the U.S., which was published by the Brown Center on Education Policy of the Brookings Institution in February 2016. A second paper, England Confronts the Limits of School Autonomy, was published in October 2016 by the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia Univeristy.

Senior Adviser to Widmeyer Communications, a Washington-based public affairs consulting firm, doing policy analysis and writing with clients such as the College Board, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and numerous colleges and universities.

Editor, The Fiske Guide to Colleges – 1982-Present

Creator and editor of The Fiske Guide to Colleges, an annual publication of Sourcebooks, Inc. First published in 1982 under the auspices of the New York Times, it has long been the country’s best selling and most respected college guide. www.fiskeguide.com

A companion volume, The Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College, co-authored with Bruce Hammond, was first published in 1997 and has been repeatedly updated.  Other books by Fiske and Hammond include Countdown to College, Real College Essays that Work and The Fiske Insider’s Guide to the New SAT.

Religion Reporter and Editor, New York Times – 1964-1975

Wrote articles on religion for the daily and Sunday New York Times. Topics included reforms resulting from the Second Vatican Council, the proliferation of religious cults and sects and the increase in political activity by American evangelicals. Duties involved numerous trips to Rome and other foreign countries, including those in the Islamic world.

Education Editor, New York Times – 1974-1991

Wrote and edited articles for the daily and Sunday New York Times on all levels of education, from pre-school to graduate and professional education. Topics ranged from curricular and governance trends to social issues such as desegregation and school finance reform. Duties also included supervising other education writers and editing Education Life, the Times’ quarterly education supplement.

Education

MA, Columbia University, Political Science, 1965

MA, Princeton Theological Seminary, Theology, 1963

Graduate School of International Relations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1961-62

BA, Wesleyan University, English Literature with Highest Honors, 1959

Books on Education Policy

Smart Schools , Smart Kids: Why Do Some Schools Work? Simon & Schuster, New York , 1991, Touchstone, New York, 1992.

Using Both Hands: Women and Education in Cambodia. Asian Development Bank, Manila, 1996.

When Schools Compete: A Cautionary Tale, with Helen F. Ladd, Brookings Institution Press, 2000

Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africawith Helen F. Ladd, Brookings Institution Press, 2004. South African paperback edition by HSRC Press, Cape Town, 2005.

Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy, co-editor with Helen F. Ladd.  Routledge, 2008.

Books on College Admissions

Fiske Guide to Colleges. Sourcebooks, Naperville, IL. Annual – 1982 to the present.

Fiske Guide to Colleges (Chinese edition). Sourcebooks. 2008, 2015.

Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right Collegewith Bruce G. Hammond. Sourcebooks. 2001, 2004, 2010, 2014.

Fiske Countdown to College, with Bruce G. Hammond. Sourcebooks. 2009.

What to Do When for Collegewith Bruce G. Hammond. Sourcebooks. 2005, 2008.

Fiske Nailing the New SATwith Bruce G. Hammond. Sourcebooks. 2005, 2006, 2007.

Real College Essays that Work, with Bruce G. Hammond, Sourcebooks, 2006.

Fiske Word Power, with Jane Mallison and Margery Mandell, Sourcebooks, 2006.

Fiske 250 Words Every High School Freshman Needs to Know, with Jane Mallison and David Hatcher. Sourcebooks. 2009.

Fiske 250 Words Every High School Graduate Needs to Know, with Jane Mallison and David Hatcher. Sourcebooks. 2009.

Get Organized!, with Phyllis Steinbrecher, Peterson’s Guides, Princeton, 1990.

Best Buys in College Education, Times Books/Random House, New York, 1985, 1988.

Monographs and Other Publications (Partial list)

England Confronts the Limits of School Autonomy, was published in October 2016 by the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia Univeristy.

Educational Success in Two Inner London Boroughs: Lessons for the U.S. With Helen F. Ladd, Brown Center on Education Policy of the Brookings Institution. February 2016

Vision of Public Education in North Carolina: A Great Public Education System For a Great State, with Helen F. Ladd. North Carolina State Board of Education, October 4, 2012.

World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education, UNESCO, Paris, 2012

The Dutch Experience with Weighted Student Funding. With Helen F. Ladd. Phi Delta Kappan. September 2010. 

Meeting the Challenge: Preparing Chinese Language Teachers for American Schools. Asia Society, NY. 2010

The Carolina Covenant, Chapter in “Rewarding Strivers: Helping Low-Income Students Succeed in College,” ed. By Richard D. Kahlenberg, Century Foundation Press, 2010.

Learning in a Global Age: Knowledge and Skills for a Flat World. Asia Society, NY. Report of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Forum on Education, held in November 2006 in Beijing, 2007.

Progress in Education 2005: Meeting the Global Challenge. With Susan G. Foster. Office of Education, Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade, U.S. Agency for International Development, 2005.

Educating Leaders for a Global Society. With Stephanie Bell-Rose and Vishakha Desai, Goldman Sachs Foundation and Asia Society, NY, 2005.

Lumina Foundation Focus, Spring 2004. Analysis of issue of retention in U.S. colleges and universities. Lumina Foundation, Indianapolis, IN.

Final Report of the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal, April 2000, UNESCO, Paris, 2002.

Asia in the Schools: Preparing Young Americans for Today’s Interconnected World, Asia Society, NY. Report of the National Commission on Asia in the Schools. 2001

Education for All: A Global Commitment, A Report of the United States to the International Consultative Forum on Education for All, with Barbara O’Grady, the Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC, January 2000.

Education for All, Status and Trends 2000: Assessing Learning Achievement, UNESCO, Paris, 2000.

Education for All, Status and Trends 1998: Wasted Opportunities: When Schools Fail, Repetition and Dropout in Primary Schools. UNESCO. Paris, 1998

Education for All, Status and Trends 1997: Adult Education in a Polarizing World. UNESCO, Paris, 1997

Decentralization of Education: Politics and Consensus. The World Bank, Washington, DC . 1996.

Basic Education: Building Block for Global Development. Academy for Educational Development, 1993.

Investing in Change: Training for Free-Market Economies and Democracies in the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. Academy for Educational Development, 1996.

Articles on education and other topics have appeared in numerous other publications, including the New York Times Magazine, American Educator, American Prospect, Atlantic, Change, Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, New Zealand Education Review, Philadelphia Inquirer, Popular Computing, Raleigh News & Observer. Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Seventeen, Theology Today and other periodicals.

Wide experience as lecturer at colleges and universities and professional conferences. Numerous appearances on radio and television shows, including The Today Show” and Good Morning America.

Other Professional Experience

2002 – Conducted journalism workshops under sponsorship of the U.S. State Department for African journalists in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lilongwe, Malawi.

2001 – Visit to Northern Pakistan to evaluate rural schools in behalf of the Aga Khan Foundation.

2000 – Attended World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal and wrote the final report of the conference for UNESCO.

1996 – Trip to Alaska and the Russian Far East to write a report for the American Russian Center in Anchorage on a U.S. Information Agency exchange program.

1995 – Trip to the former Soviet Union to write a report for the Academy for Educational Development on the training of leaders of the New Independent States.

1993 – Participant in two-week UNICEF mission to Dhaka, Bangladesh to evaluate education programs of the Bangladesh Rural Development Committee.

1992-1993 – Consultant to the Pew Forum on Education Reform, Stanford University. Also to Scholastic, Inc., and the Business Roundtable Education Initiative.

1987 – Co-moderator of debate on education policy by the major Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

1963-1964 – Staff, Church of the Master, New York City.

1961-1962 – Assistant Director, John Knox House, Geneva, Switzerland.

Academic and Professional Honors

Phi Beta Kappa, 1958

Wolynsky-Joukowsky Fellow, Brown University, 1990

Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College, 1991

Honorary doctorates: Occidental College, Wheeling Jesuit College, Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College)

Numerous journalistic awards from Education Writers Association, American Association of University Professors and other groups

Outside Interests

Vice-chair of Advisory  Board of the East Durham Children’s Initiative, which works to provide comprehensive educational and other services to children in the poorest section of Durham, NC. www.edci.org

Member of the Board and former Chair, GoGlobalNC, a public service program of the University of North Carolina (formerly known as the Center for International Understanding) that promotes global awareness among leaders in education, health, criminal justice and other sectors. http://ciu.northcarolina.edu

Founding member of board of Central Park School for Children, a charter school in Durham, NC. www.centralparkschoolforchildren.org

Previous board memberships include the American Association for Higher Education. Wesleyan University, New Canaan Country School, College for Every Student and Citizen Schools North Carolina.

REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

 

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