June 7, 2011 - 1:00pm EST, EPI Book Club presents: John Merrow, The Influence of Teachers (Public Welcome)
How can schools and teachers change to keep up with the current educational landscape, a world in which young people must learn how to ask the right questions, not merely parrot back the 'right' answers? In this urgent and insightful book, John Merrow draws on his experience as a reporter for PBS and NPR to examine this question and others, and offer possibilities and solutions for a new education system. Told through warm storytelling and compelling case studies, Merrow paints a vibrant and inspiring picture of why and how we must transform - not reform - our schools. Merrow tackles many of today’s hot-button issues, from teacher tenure, to charter schools, to controversial leaders such as Michelle Rhee and Paul Vallas. Along the way, he leavens his observations with humor, wit, and wisdom from his own personal experience as a teacher.
"Anyone seriously interested in school reform should read this book."
--Christopher Cerf, co-creator, Between the Lions (PBS), & 2010 McGraw Prize in Education recipient
"Nobody reports on the treasures and traumas of public education better than John Merrow. He is, quite simply, the leading education journalist in America. Anybody who doubts that should read this book. John gets it."
--Jim Lehrer, Anchor, PBS NewsHour
John Merrow began his career as an education reporter with National Public Radio in 1974, with the weekly series, “Options in Education.” In 1984, Merrow branched out into public television. He served as host of The Merrow Report, an award-winning documentary series, and currently is the Education Correspondent for PBS NewsHour. Merrow’s work has taken him from community colleges to kindergarten classrooms, from the front lines of teacher protests to policy debates on Capitol Hill. His varied reporting has continually been on the forefront of education journalism.
The quality of Merrow’s work has been distinguished by some of the industry’s most prestigious awards. In 1982, he received the George Polk Award for his NPR series, “Options in Education.” He has been awarded two Peabody Awards – in 2000, for the documentary School Sleuth: The Case of An Excellent School, and in 2006 for the Listen Up! production Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet. Merrow’s work has also received Emmy nominations in 1984, 2005, and 2007. He has also been honored with four prestigious CINE Golden Eagles. Merrow’s work has continually been recognized by the Education Writers Association’ annual contest; to date, he has received a total of 18 awards.
Merrow earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1964, an M.A. in American Studies from Indiana University in 1968, and a doctorate in Education and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1973. He received the James L. Fisher Award for Distinguished Service to Education from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in 2000, the HGSE Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education in 2006, and honorary doctorates from Richard Stockton College (NJ) and Paul Smith’s College (NY). He serves on the Board of Trustees of Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1995, he founded Learning Matters, an independent production company based in New York City, and serves as the current President.