Guest Appearances:

John has spoken about The Influence of Teachers on a variety of radio shows, podcasts, and web productions. Watch and listen below:

The Influence of Teachers Book Party, Book TV, C-Span (July 26, 2011)
On April 4th, the Institute for Educational Leadership hosted a book release party in Washington, DC. C-Span’s coverage of the event aired in August. Watch it here.

The Bob Edwards Show, Sirius XM (June 23, 2011)
John Merrow was featured on the Bob Edwards Show on Thursday, June 23rd. You can listen in two parts below:

Part 1:
Part 2:

Podcasts for Leaderful Schools (June 16, 2011)
Dr. Robert Maxfield of Oakland University interviewed John Merrow for his podcast series, Podcasts for Leaderful Schools. Listen below:

JCC Conversations: Learning Matters – The Future of Teaching (June 13, 2011)
In an hour-long talk at the JCC in Manhattan, John Merrow and Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp discussed the teaching profession, charter schools and education reform. Listen to the whole conversation below on the link above, or embedded below:

EPI Book Club, Educational Policy Institute (June 7, 2011)
John Merrow was interviewed by EPI President Dr. Watson Scott Swail on EPI’s Book Club webinar series. Click here to learn more.

Bloomberg EDU, Bloomberg Radio (June 3, 2011)
Bloomberg EDU, hosted by Jane Williams, featured John Merrow on June 3rd:

Ed Next Book Club, Education Next (April 25, 2011)
Mike Petrilli of Education Next interviews John Merrow in this in-depth podcast. Listen below:

 EdCast, Harvard Graduate School of Education (April 21, 2011)
Before his recent book talk at Harvard Graduate School of Education, John sat down with Matt Weber to record a podcast for the school’s EdCast series.  Listen below: (April 15, 2011)
Kathy Baron, of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, spoke with John in a video interview for Watch below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.


HearSay with Cathy Lewis, WHRV (April 6, 2011)
On HearSay, a daily call-in radio show for WHRV in Hampton Roads, VA, John discussed inspired teaching and reform within the classroom with host Cathy Lewis and author Erin Gruwell. Listen below:

The Rundown, PBS NewsHour (April 5, 2011)
John Merrow spoke with PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan on The Rundown, the NewsHour‘s online blog. Watch below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.


The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC (March 15, 2011)
John Merrow made a guest appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. Listen below:

Print Reviews:

Check out what people are saying about The Influence of Teachers:

The Influence of Teachers is beautiful for its attempt to look at the teaching profession from several different viewpoints. With his reach as a teacher, journalist, and leader, Merrow provides the reader with a rich discussion concerning the trials, tribulations, and victories that teachers and districts face daily. You will read the book and will run out of space in your margins writing all the questions that eventually arise from each chapter.”
Marcus Sean Hall, The Notebook (March 28, 2012)

“The Influence of Teachers examines how to transform our schools and empower teachers in order to help all students succeed…His chapter on teacher evaluations in insightful and well researched.”
Catherine Vander Ark, edReformer (October 19, 2011)

“[Merrow] brings his rich education background to bear in the daunting task of identifying what really works in school reform in his new book, The Influence of Teachers. In slightly more than 200 pages of well-written narrative, Merrow’s sharp intellect…sorts out a winding path to genuine improvement in the learning process. Merrow’s book is a worthwhile read for each school board member and superintendent in America, as well as by professors of education who design and teach courses to prepare future teachers.”
Thomas A. Shannon, American School Board Journal (September 1, 2011)

“John Merrow, author of The Influence of Teachers, is an expert in the realities of education. So much so that his book should be used as a textbook in a college education class.   Every policy leader should read this book, which gives the breadth and depth of the problems, obstacles, and successes happening right now…It’s comprehensive, readable, and was the best ‘class in education’ I have ever ‘attended.'”
Dina Rock, The VIVA Project (August 19, 2011)

“Let me just say that I had full intent of going to bed at a ‘reasonable’ hour last night, however I became entrenched with John Merrow’s book, The Influence of Teachers. Absolutely-no complaints at all. As a matter of fact, I went to bed feeling more affirmed for having selected the profession that I did. Thank you John!”
James Brauer, Digital Connectivism (August 16, 2011)
(Note: James Brauer has created chapter-by-chapter reviews of the book. See here.  His video-blog reviews are available on his YouTube page as well.)

The Influence of Teachers is a useful read because it presents data and evidence in an accessible manner and provides fresh insights into hot topics in current education policy. With much of the ongoing education policy debates taking place far from the actual work that teachers do daily in the classroom, Merrow sees a need to reposition teachers, school and district leadership, and children at the heart of education reform discussions.”
Ashley Chu, The FINE Newsletter, Harvard Family Research Project (August 9, 2011)

“Unlike most books on K-12 education issues, which seems to be written for policy wonks rather than parents and students, Merrow’s gets to the heart of the matter with style and grace.”
Kristina Rizga, Mother Jones (August 4, 2011)

“A great primer for those new to the field and an essential review for those already embedded within it…What I most appreciate about Merrow’s book is that he does not fall into the trap of allowing his perspectives to become polarized in simplistic ways. He holds the union, teachers, and reform leaders’ feet to the fire in equal measure, and they all do better in its stead.”
Mark Anderson, The VIVA Project (August 1, 2011)

“The best book about education I’ve ever read… I urge you to read The Influence of Teachers. Encourage parents, teachers, administrators, superintendents to do the same. Come armed with it to the fall’s first PTO meeting. Get real about what’s broken in your school. Use John Merrow’s strong recommendations and work together.”
Annie Fox, Annie Fox’s Blog (June 28, 2011)

“The book provides a very readable analysis of many of the pressing issues in education today. Although I found that he stretched the validity of his brief tenure as a teacher, his reporting and analysis on unions, testing, and other pressing issues was insightful.”
Tim Pope, Sine of the Times (June 14, 2011)

“[John Merrow] looks at specific schools, specific reforms, and specific teachers, which provides a nuanced examination of how good teaching can be supported, not just rewarded.”
Leona Baude, Indiana Alumni Magazine (May/June 2011)

“Frames the debate about teacher quality in a spunky, fun-to-read way. Writing in a style that blends journalism with story-telling, Merrow deploys his material to discuss tenure, charter schooling, the leadership shortage, and more… Whether you agree with Merrow’s conclusions or not, he provides an enjoyable, highly readable text, and a useful framing of an ever-important debate.”
Gerilyn Slicker, The Education Gadfly (April 28, 2011)

“The Influence of Teachers is not another diatribe about how awful public education has become. It’s a hopeful book that offers solutions for getting away from the tedium of test-prep learning and making school exciting again for students and their teachers.”
Kathryn Baron, (April 15, 2011)

“[Merrow] deals with many of the hot-button issues by drawing on his own experiences as a student at the Taft School and his subsequent encounters in the less privileged world of urban education…All this is good stuff, even if we have heard about most of it from other sources. What is fresh, however, are his recommendations in his concluding chapter…all of which are very much to the point. While all this may sound to the uninitiated as a litany of the obvious, in fact such changes would be revolutionary and are desperately needed. Thank you, John Merrow, for reminding us.”
A. Graham Down, Education Next (April 7, 2011)

“Merrow’s book…merits a read. He’s got decades of anecdotes to illustrate his points, and, best of all, he makes no bones about what his years studying the world of education have led him to believe.”
Bobby Tanzilo, On Milwaukee (March 24, 2011)

“Merrow tries to let people speak for themselves. Whether he agrees or disagrees, he offers extensive observations of and words from the people we encounter. Usually he will allow diverse points of view to dialog with one another. That does not mean he does not offer an opinion. He does, often forcefully. But he allows the reader to process the materially independently before offering his own thoughts… That allows the freedom for continued conversation and disagreement.”
Ken Bernstein, The Daily Kos (March 19, 2011)

“Several things set John Merrow aside and make his current book eminently readable by academicians, policymakers or simply parents who want the school down the street to be better, more lively, perhaps. His visual, cautious but hopeful, on-the-scene writing style mirrors what he would like to see in schools. He has firsthand knowledge from a variety of educational professionals–from those with experience to first-year plebes. His own views are evident, but so are their roots based on the thoughts of others.”
Jack L. Kennedy, The Joplin Independent (March 6, 2011)

“Would busy Minnesota teachers classify veteran educational journalist John Merrow’s new book, The Influence of Teachers, as liberal or conservative, pro or anti-teacher? Probably not. Two of the best words are ‘pragmatic and provocative.'”
–  Joe Nathan, Hometown Source Newspaper Group (March 4, 2011)

“When making close calls, [Merrow] tended to side with the accountability hawks. He was rock solid, however, in holding them accountable for teaching all students… Seriously, few education experts have proven themselves like Merrow.”
John Thompson, The Huffington Post (February 28, 2011)

“There is a scene in John Merrow’s PBS feature on Michelle Rhee and described in his new book, The Influence of Teachers, in which Chancellor Rhee is talking with members of Merrow’s film crew and casually announces that she is about to fire someone – and asks the crew if they would like to tape it.”
Mike Rose, The Washington Post (also published on Mike Rose’s blog) (February 22, 2011)

“The book is a balanced, but provocative look at education, its problems, and possible solutions and Tony Wagner suggests both practitioners and leaders read the book. We’re held responsible to create healthy learning environments for children. Our leaders also need to create environments where teachers can truly be caring, collaborative, and respected.”
Anthony McGrann, Seattle Seconds (February 20, 2011)

Download the Press Release:

Official Press Release (PDF)

Delve Deeper Taking Note LM
Click here for blogs, podcasts and videos referenced in The Influence of Teachers. John Merrow blogs at Taking Note. Follow along and join the discussion. LM Books is a division of Learning Matters, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit production company based in New York, and all proceeds from The Influence of Teachers go directly to Learning Matters.