John Merrow | Education Correspondent with PBS NewsHour and President of Learning Matters, Inc.

John Merrow

Education Correspondent with PBS NewsHour and President of Learning Matters, Inc.

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John Merrow

John Merrow began his career as an education reporter with National Public Radio with the weekly series, Options in Education, for which he received the George Polk Award in 1982. For over four decades, he served as Education Correspondent for PBS NewsHour and host of his own documentary PBS series, The Merrow Report.

His varied reporting was on the forefront of education journalism: He was the first NPR reporter to gain entrance to the People's Republic of China (1976); the first to videotape the college admission process (Williams College, 1985), and the initial force in exposing the illicit financial relationship between CHADD, a child advocacy group, and Ciba-Geigy, the pharmaceutical company that produces the A.D.D. drug Ritalin (1996). Merrow's work took him to all 50 states and a half dozen countries, from community colleges to kindergarten classrooms, from the front lines of teacher protests to policy debates on Capitol Hill. At the time of his retirement in late 2015, Merrow was the only reporter to have interviewed every U.S. Secretary of Education.

For his reporting, he received two George Foster Peabody Awards, the George Polk Award, Emmy nominations in 1984, 2005, and 2007, four CINE Golden Eagles, and numerous awards from the Education Writers Association. he is the author of Addicted to Reform: A 12-Step Program to Rescue Public Education (2017); The Influence of Teachers (2011); Choosing Excellence (2001), and co-editor of Declining by Degrees (2005). John Merrow also maintains a weekly blog,

Merrow earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.A. in American Studies from Indiana University, and a doctorate in Education and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He received the McGraw Prize in Education in 2012, a Lifetime Achievement Award From the Academy Of Education Arts And Sciences in 2012, the James L. Fisher Award for Distinguished Service to Education in 2000, the HGSE Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education in 2006, The Horace Dutton Taft Medal in 2010, and honorary doctorates from Richard Stockton College (NJ) and Paul Smith's College (NY).

He lives in New York City with his wife, Joan Lonergan.

John Merrow
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John Merrow
Featured Book

Addicted to Reformby John Merrow

Addicted to Reform

by John Merrow

John Merrow
Featured Reviews

Still the Toughest Job in America

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS WHO are familiar with my work probably associate me with former District of Columbia Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, the untraditional school leader...
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The biggest regret from a 41-year career in education reporting (and a lot more)

By the time he retired last October, John Merrow had had a 41-year bird’s eye view of American schools as a journalist with NPR and PBS NewsHour. Armed with a doctorate in...
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Podcast | Lessons from John Merrow's 40 Years in Education

Following up to John Merrow's recent retirement as a special correspondent for PBS Newshour after more than forty years, he was recently featured on the Education Writers...
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PBS Newshour Correspondent John Merrow Retires After Four Decades

After over four decades years of impeccable coverage on current affairs in classrooms across the country, educational journalist John Merrow has retired. His career began as a...
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Why Failure is Crucial for A Student's Success

If you’re at all like me, somewhere in your home you have at least one can of WD-40®, because the stuff works wonders. If you teach science, I believe that you ought to have a...
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