William Mattox currently serves as the Director of the J. Stanley Marshall Center for Educational Options at The James Madison Institute. In this role, he works with a wide variety of researchers, policymakers, educators, and parents to promote innovative reforms designed to make it possible for all K-12 students to obtain a high-quality education tailored to their unique needs, interests, aptitudes, and learning styles.
Over the course of the last three decades, Mattox has
- written numerous articles on education-related issues for a number of leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA TODAY (where he is a long-time member of the Board of Contributors);
- presented expert testimony on education-related issues before legislative committees in Washington and in a number of state capitals;
- spoken at major education conferences around the country and at international meetings in Prague, Geneva, and Rome;
- served as an interim headmaster at a private school and led writing workshops at Duke, Vanderbilt, the University of Virginia, and other prominent universities;
- written supplemental curriculum guides on civic virtue, including one which won a national SPNovation Award from the State Policy Network (SPN); and
- directed a documentary film and a number of education-related video shorts, including a feature story which won a 2015 Spark Freedom national award.
In recent years, Mattox has been honored by the Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University for his work promoting character development in youth sports and by the University of Georgia as the recipient of its Henry Grady Distinguished Alumni Award.
Mattox and his wife, Jill, have four adult children, all of whom benefited from multiple schooling arrangements growing up. Thus, Mattox brings to his work first-hand parental experience with public schooling, private schooling, homeschooling, dual enrollment, gifted programs, magnet schooling, online courses, blended education, and other modes of personal learning.
Bill is a lifelong baseball fan and a big believer in the idea that culture drives social progress more than politics. The Jackie Robinson story has always had special appeal to him — particularly since he moved to Tallahassee and learned Robinson was born less than 25 miles away (in Cairo, GA) and sent words of encouragement to the Florida A & M students who staged an historic “jail-in” after their arrest for protesting segregated lunch counters. Robinson displayed extraordinary grace under pressure. He deserves our honor — as does Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, who resisted segregation and selected Jackie to be the MLB’s first black ballplayer.