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Peter Meyer
Peter Meyer is a Bernard Lee Schwartz Senior Policy Fellow with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Contributing Editor, Education Next. Meyer is also a former News Editor of Life magazine and the author of numerous nonfiction books, including the critically acclaimed The Yale Murder (Empire Books, 1982; Berkley Books, 1983) and Death of Innocence (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1985; Berkley Books, 1986). Over the course of his three-decade journalism career Meyer, who holds a masters degree in history from the University of Chicago, has touched down in cities around the globe, from Bennington to Baghdad, and has written hundreds of stories, on subjects as varied as anti-terrorist training for American ambassadors to the history of the 1040 income tax form. His work has appeared in such publications as Harper's, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, New York, Life, Time and People. Since 1991, Meyer has focused his attentions on education reform in the United States, an interest joined while writing a profile of education reformer E.D. Hirsch for Life. Meyer subsequently helped found a charter school, served on his local Board of Education (twice) and, for the last eight years, has been an editor at Education Next. His articles for the journal include “The Early Education of our Next President” (Fall 2008), “New York City’s Education Battles: The mayor, the schools, and the 'rinky-dink candy store’” (Spring 2008), “Learning Separately: The case for single-sex schools” (Winter 2008), “Can Catholic Schools Be Saved?” (Spring 2007) (For a full list of his education writing, see here.) Meyer also writes a regular blog for the Fordham Institute’s Flypaper.

Entries by Peter Meyer

The Best Education for the Best Is the Best Education for All

(40) Comments | Posted September 8, 2012 | 4:35 PM

We Don’t Need No Education,” an essay by Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan University, in a recent New York Times, is a succinct and compelling argument for giving all our children a solid liberal arts education, through and beyond high school -- and a cautionary tale about trying to...

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Knowledge Wins

(21) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 9:00 AM

When we think of poverty, what do we think of? Food stamps? Emaciated children? Tin shacks? Empty refrigerators?

I have seen poverty all over the globe in my lifetime and know that it is all of that -- and much more. Some 20 years ago Life magazine asked me to...

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Poverty and Schools: Finally, Some Lights Go On

(9) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 11:24 AM

When Jesus said (according to Matthew), "the poor you will always have with you," he might have added, "and so too the debate about whether schools can educate them." Paul Peterson has written one of the better essays on the seemingly interminable battle between those who believe that...

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The End of Geography (and School Boards?) in Education Governance

(4) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 11:30 AM

Of the thirteen papers presented at Fordham's Rethinking Education Governance for the 21st Century symposium last December, one that had particular resonance for me was Rick Hess and Olivia Meeks' analysis of the school district dilemma.

We have nearly 14,000 of them in this country...

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In Search of the Elusive Reform-Minded School Board Member

(21) Comments | Posted July 12, 2012 | 2:01 PM

I have just finished a five-year school board term, which I have written about on my Board's Eye View blog for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (here, here, here, here). It has been a wild ride.

Are there...

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The Secret to Good Parenting? Good Schools.

(17) Comments | Posted November 15, 2011 | 7:43 AM

I'm not so sure my colleague Mike Petrilli is right that "we have a parenting problem, not a poverty problem," and I'm even less sure that he is right that educators should "start talking about the problem."

I know this may sound heretical, since anyone who has spent...

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The Times Has It Right on ESEA Renewal: Just Say No!

(7) Comments | Posted October 28, 2011 | 10:58 AM

The New York Times editorial page has been a remarkably consistent and clear voice on behalf of smart education reform -- and today it stays the course with a sensible critique of the Tom Harkin (Democrat of Ohio) and Mike Enzi (Republican of Wyoming) proposal to update the...

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New Study on Student Discipline: Black Kids Take It on the Chin

(1) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 5:09 PM

The wonderful hubris of the new National Education Policy Center study on Discipline Policies, Successful Schools, and Racial Justice, is not the assertion that discipline data should be an essential metric in gauging a school's success--which it should--but that current disciplinary policies and practices are racist.


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More Evidence: The "Poor" Can Be Educated

(7) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 4:26 PM

Part of the answer to my colleague Mike Petrilli's "Single-minded Focus" question the other day about the depressing college completion data is in Sam Dillon's recent front page New York Times story on the success of incentives (i.e. $$$) programs in getting poor kids into --...

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New York Leaps Into the Middle School Trap

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2011 | 1:20 PM

What was so odd about Dennis Walcott's announcement that New York City was opening 50 new middle schools is that the most recent research suggesting that a middle school grade configuration (generally, 6-8) is probably not the way to go was done in his city. In last year's...

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Teachers Breaking Out of the Box

(12) Comments | Posted September 20, 2011 | 3:34 PM

I gave up bashing teachers years ago, when I realized that, as with soldiers in the trenches, they had their hands full just staying alive. What I never understood, however, since this wasn't really a war, was why teachers seemed to hide behind their unions on so many school management...

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Michael Winerip's Wrong-Headedness About Race to the Top

(15) Comments | Posted June 8, 2011 | 5:33 PM

The New York Times education columnist Michael Winerip spoils another good story in his recent piece about Jerry Weast's Peer Assessment Review program in Montgomery County, Maryland. Instead of hailing a successful teacher evaluation program, Winerup turns his story into another excuse to throw punches at the school...

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The New Achievement Standard: Divine Intervention!

(8) Comments | Posted June 6, 2011 | 2:58 PM

There has been the "silver bullet" debate, the "secret sauce" battle, the "demonize teacher" tirades, and the "cracking the code" kerfuffle over Waiting for Superman. Now, according to Diane Ravitch, it's the miracle workers perfidy. Sinners, get ye to your rosary beads -- and fast!

According to Ravitch, writing...

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Deep Questions About 'Deeper Thought'

(51) Comments | Posted May 14, 2011 | 1:20 PM

Here we go again. The new buzz phrase in education: deeper thought. Or deep thinking. Or deep learning. Deep is suddenly everywhere. The biggest question for schools experimenting with the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) was discussed in a recent New York Times story by Fernanda Santos,...

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Squaring the Teacher Salary Circle: It Can Be Done

(87) Comments | Posted May 3, 2011 | 3:38 PM

A few days ago Dave Eggers and Ninive Clements Calegari, founders, according to their official ID, of the 826 National tutoring centers and producers of the documentary "American Teacher," wrote an essay for the New York Times titled "The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries." (We know that...

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March Madness and a Common Curriculum

(4) Comments | Posted April 5, 2011 | 12:50 PM

Imagine a March Madness in which the coaches, umpires, parents and players gathered at the appointed regional stadiums at the appointed times, argued about the rules of the game for a couple of weeks and then went home. Same thing the following year. No games ever got played. No doubt,...

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