John Merrow retired in 2015 as education correspondent for PBS NewsHour and president of Learning Matters, the independent production company he founded in 1995. Merrow began his career as an education reporter with National Public Radio in 1974 with the weekly series Options in Education, for which he received the George Polk Award in 1982. In subsequent years, he expanded into broadcast television, documentaries, and print. He is the only journalist to receive the prestigious McGraw Prize in Education, which he received in 2012. Before becoming a reporter, Merrow taught in public high school, a Black College, and a federal penitentiary.
During his career, Dr. Merrow interviewed every sitting U.S. Secretary of Education. His work took him from community colleges to kindergarten classrooms, from the front lines of teacher protests to policy debates on Capitol Hill. He earned George Foster Peabody Awards for "School Sleuth: The Case of An Excellent School" (2000) and "Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet" (2006), as well as 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).
Dr. Merrow earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, a master’s degree in American studies from Indiana University, and a doctorate in education and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He received the 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.