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“In The Influence of Teachers, John Merrow draws on years of his own research, observations, and conversations about education to share what he’s learned. As always, his thoughtful insights are invaluable for anyone concerned about children and the future of American education.”
– Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children’s Defense Fund

“No one knows our schools and understands the fierce debates over them better than John Merrow, and no one parses those controversies with more humaneness and perceptiveness. ‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs’ could be the motto of this fine book. If only there were more John Merrows!”
– E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Founder, Core Knowledge, and author of Cultural Literacy

“The Influence of Teachers is a warm and thoughtful tribute to teachers, as well as a call to action from the dean of American education reporters. This short volume packs punch, with lots of stories from John Merrow’s 35 years of reporting. The Influence of Teachers is both important and enjoyable.”
– Richard C. Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education (1992-2000)

“Although I don’t agree with all of John Merrow’s conclusions, he does capture the public education debate quite well. While all sides understand the importance of teachers, Merrow points out the need to support, not bash, teachers if we want to realize the hope we place in them to educate our nation’s children as well rounded, creative citizens. He also asks the teachers unions to focus more on how to support, and less on how to protect, their members. We are up to that challenge, but we can’t do it alone. Education leaders in this country must walk that walk as well, taking mutual responsibility rather than simply focusing on test scores and individual teacher accountability.”
– Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers

“From our experience as educators, we know the remarkable change that can happen when great teachers and innovative leaders combine forces. In The Influence of Teachers, John Merrow explores the complex, ever-changing relationship between the teachers in our classrooms and the officials who lead them. What he describes is fundamental to changing the face of public education in this country.”
– Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, Co-founders of KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program)

“This book reveals the grand arc of John Merrow’s career–still unfinished–and of his profound interest in and affection for schooling and schools, and for the students and teachers who in-habit them.”
– Larry Rosenstock, Founder of High Tech High & 2010 McGraw Prize in Education recipient

The Influence of Teachers rejects the finger pointing and noise-making of the policymakers and calls for a focus on the real challenge – the need for education to catch up with the changes in student needs that science and technology have wrought. Concise, clear, rare, and most important!”
– Dr. James Comer, MD, Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine

“With passion and wisdom, John Merrow lays out what is required – great teachers and leaders – to solve the most pressing need in America, to educate our children. We have no excuse but to meet this challenge and now have Merrow’s further inspiration and insight to guide us, based upon a life of reporting and teaching. This is a book that will move you to tears and to action.”
– Anthony Marx, President, Amherst College and incoming President, New York Public Library

“Once again, John Merrow has given us a rich collection of portraits from the schools blended with his lively commentary. Whether you nod in agreement or argue with it, you will keep turning the pages of this provocative book.”
– Mike Rose, Author of Why School? and Lives on the Boundary

“John Merrow’s wonderfully wise and highly readable book offers fresh insights that challenge the ideologies of education reformers everywhere. With a laser-like focus on what makes for good teaching, it is ‘must’ reading for policymakers and practitioners alike.”
–Tony Wagner, Innovation Education Fellow, Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and author of The Global Achievement Gap

“In this passionate, persuasive and eminently readable book, John Merrow argues that, to transform our public education system, we must create learning environments where teachers can be truly nurturing, collaborative, and accountable; and where all our children – no matter what their socio-economic background – feel emotionally safe and intellectually stimulated. Anyone seriously interested in school reform should read this book.”
– Christopher Cerf, co-creator, Between the Lions (PBS), & 2010 McGraw Prize in Education recipient

“John Merrow has spent decades looking deeply inside American educational reform movements, fads, failures, and effective class-rooms and schools. He makes his observations and insights accessible in a truly interesting and thought-provoking book that raises all the important questions and also points to some answers. He takes the reader through the stories of various educational leaders carrying out one interesting experiment after another. I learned a lot and enjoyed the read.”
– Dorothy Stoneman, Founder of Youthbuild

“A stunningly balanced and penetrating analysis of our schools and the challenges we face in fixing them by one of the greatest commentators on education our country has. Let’s move beyond simplistic slams about who is to blame and understand the complex set of constraints we face in transforming our schools and honoring and unleashing our teachers. John Merrow takes us on a most important journey toward that end. And it is a great read.”
– John Seely Brown, author of A New Culture of Learning & former Director of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

“John Merrow’s incisive observations and powerful, moving stories in his new book, The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and Leadership, are prescient at a time when the public is searching for solutions to America’s systemic educational challenges. His dedication ‘To Outstanding Teachers Everywhere,’ and his preface ‘Fighting the Last War’ foreshadow the problems and solutions that the book richly develops. A ‘must read’ for those responsible for American’s children and their future: that would be all of us.”
– Patrick Bassett, Executive Director, The National Association of Independent Schools

“In 1948, Adlai Stevenson could say with justice, ‘The most American thing about America is the free common school system.’ Not today, with public education distressingly uneven, defined by the geography of wealth and race, feeding a nation of the rising rich and the sinking middle class. No one has tracked this decline and the struggle to reverse it with more zeal or a clearer mind than John Merrow. His biting conclusions make this book bitter but instructive reading.”
– Robert MacNeil, author of Wordstruck & former anchor, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour

“In The Influence of Teachers, John Merrow writes with passion and conviction about teachers, a group uniquely positioned to have a “lasting impression” on the lives of learners. Drawing on his vast interactions with students and educators – as well as on his own experiences as a teacher – Merrow’s central message is that we need to shift our focus, from adults to children, to make progress as a nation. His timely recommendations on how to make teaching a ‘better job’ for ‘better people’ go to the heart of the problem.”
–Kathleen McCartney, Dean & Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development, Harvard Graduate School of Education

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.