Anthony R. Petrosky

Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading

Anthony Petrosky co-directs the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the Learning Research & Development Center. He holds a joint appointment as a Professor in the School of Education and the English Department. He worked with professional learning and curriculum development in literacy for IFL with teachers and district leaders in the public schools of Austin, Boston, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, New York City, Fort Worth, Prince George's County, and Pittsburgh.

Petrosky currently leads the Institute for Learning Network For School Improvement five-year project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the Dallas Independent School System. He led a design team to develop assessment prototypes in English language arts and literacy for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC). He was the Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the Early Adolescence English Language Arts Assessment Development Lab for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that developed the first national board certification for English teachers.

Petrosky’s first collection of poetry, Jurgis Petraskas, received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Notable Book Award from the American Library Association. He has published two other collections of poetry, Red and Yellow Boat and Crazy Love.

Along with David Bartholomae, Petrosky is the co-author and co-editor of five books, including Facts, Artifacts, and Counterfacts: Theory and Method for a Reading and Writing Course and Ways of Reading. With Stephanie McConachie, he co-authored and co-edited Content Matters: A Disciplinary Literacy Approach to Improving Student Learning.

Instructional Interests

Although Dr. Petrosky's academic appointment is in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading, for the past decade, his primary academic interests have been with the Institute for Learning (IFL) in the Learning Research and Development Center. As IFL’s co-director, his focus on professional learning for teachers and school leaders has taken him into urban schools across the US. His work in those schools continues his academic interests in reading and writing instruction, teacher and student inquiry, culturally relevant curriculum development, and the importance of Accountable Talk for socializing intelligence.

Scholarly Interests

  • Improvement Science
  • Research Practice Partnerships
  • Professional Learning with Teachers and Leaders in Literacy in Urban School Districts
  • Literacy
  • Performance Assessments for Reading, Writing, and Accountable Talk
  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Teaching Writing
  • Reading and Writing Curriculum Development

Selected Grants

  • 2018 - 2023. Project Lead, Network for School Improvement, to establish a network school improvement project with 14 Dallas ISD schools to improve 9th grade outcomes in English and writing for African American, Hispanic, and low-income students, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, $7,460,434.

  • 2015 - 2017. Co-Principal Investigator (with Kevin Ashley), Facilitating a Common Core Approach to Argumentation with Diagramming and Peer Review, to develop & test prototype procedures for high school implementation, the Learning Research and Development Center, $149,938.

  • 2011-2013. Principal Investigator, The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Assessment (PARCC), to develop prototype assessment task models using evidence centered design for the PARCC consortium states, $1,600,000.

Featured Publications

  • Escher, A. & Petrosky, A. (2019). The effects of high stakes testing: A narrowing of writing. In Hochstetler, S. (Ed.). Reforming literacy education. Urbana, Il: National Council of Teachers of English.

  • Petrosky, A. & Mihalakis, V. (2016). Why didn’t I know about this book when I started: US writing trends. Changing English: Studies in Culture and education (Routledge), 23 (2), 172-182.

  • Mihalakis, V. & Petrosky, A. (2015). Collaborative professional development to create cognitively demanding tasks in English language arts. In Supovitz, J. & Spillane, J. (Eds.). Challenging standards: Navigating conflict and building capacity in the era of the common core. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Mihalakis, V. Petrosky, A., & McConachie, S.M. (2015). Sequencing academically productive talk in English language arts. In Resnick, L.B., Asterhan, C., Clarke, S.N. (Eds.) Socializing intelligence through talk and dialogue. Washington, DC: AERA.

  • Bartholomae, D., Petrosky, A. & Waite, S. (Eds.) 2020. Ways of Reading. New York: Macmillan Learning.

Awards and Honors

  • Senior Fulbright Scholar, The J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea.

  • Creative Writing Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Arts, to “published writers of exceptional talent.”

  • Residency Fellowship, The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH.

  • Outstanding Alumni Award, State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Education, Buffalo, NY.

  • The Vi Gale Award for Poetry from Reed College, Portland, OR.

  • Notable Book Award from the American Library Association for Jurgis Petraskas, A Collection of Poems.

  • The Walt Whitman Award for a first book of poems, The Academy of American Poets, New York: NY.

Engagement, Partnerships, and Professional Service

  • Partnership with Community Design Partners for a project in three Dallas ISD schools with empathy interviews with students and teachers interviewing each other on their experiences with race and racism.

  • Editorial Board, English in Australia, Melbourne, Australia.

  • Founding Member and Editorial Review Board, English Teaching: Practice and Critique, A Peer Reviewed International Journal for English Literacy.

Anthony R. Petrosky


University of Pittsburgh
310 Learning Research and Development Center
3939 O'Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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