John Merrow

John Merrow (born June 14, 1941) is an American broadcast journalist who reported on education issues starting in the 1970s. He was the education correspondent for the PBS NewsHour program. These features - often under the umbrella heading of "The Merrow Report" - were a staple of education reporting on public broadcasting. Additionally, he was the executive producer, host and president of Learning Matters, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that creates television, radio and online segments and documentaries, focusing primarily on education.

John Merrow
John G. G. Merrow II

(1941-06-14) June 14, 1941
EducationAB, Dartmouth College, 1964
MA, Indiana University, 1968
EdD, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1973
OccupationJournalist, news anchor, author
Notable credit(s)
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Spouse(s)Joan Lonergan ()


Merrow earned an A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1964,[1] and received an M.A. degree in American Studies from Indiana University in 1968.[2] In 1973, Merrow graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a doctorate in Education and Social Policy.[3] He began his career as an education reporter in 1974, when National Public Radio began airing his first investigative reports on the nation's schools. Merrow quickly developed a devoted following with his program "Options In Education," which aired for eight years.[4] The weekly radio broadcast received the prestigious George Polk Award in 1981.[5]

Merrow later produced a seven-part television series for PBS along the same lines, entitled "Your Children, Our Children." This program received an Emmy nomination in 1984. He also served as education correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour for five years (1985–1990), and briefly occupied a similar position with The Learning Channel before returning to the PBS program in 1993.[6]

In 1995, Merrow established Learning Matters, which produced his NewsHour reports, along with other media content.[7] In 1998, he created Listen Up! - a project which trains disadvantaged youth and their teachers in broadcast production skills and techniques.[8] He received the George Foster Peabody Award in 2001 for "School Sleuth: The Case of an Excellent School,"[9] and won a second Peabody Award for Listen Up's production, "Beyond Borders," in 2006.[10] In 2005 and 2007, Learning Matters' programming received Emmy nominations.[11][12] In 2012, Merrow was honored with the prestigious Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.[13] Merrow retired in 2015 and Learning Matters was acquired by Education Week.[14]

Merrow is also a published book author: he wrote "Choosing Excellence" (2001),[15] "Below C Level" (2010), and "The Influence of Teachers" (2011).[16] He also co-edited, with Richard Hersh, "Declining by Degrees" (2005).[17]


  • Choosing Excellence Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001, ISBN 9781578860142, OCLC 45207840
  • Below C Level (2010)
  • The Influence of Teachers (2011).
  • John Merrow, Richard Hersh, (eds) Declining by Degrees PBS Home Video, (2005) OCLC 61207761

“Addicted to Reform: A 12-Step Program to Rescue Public Education” (The New Press, 2017)


  1. "Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment & Media Association". Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  2. "Indiana Alumni Magazine: How Safe is Your Child's School". Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  3. "Alumni Council Award Recent Recipients". Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  4. "Broadcast journalist JOHN MERROW". NPR. October 16, 1995. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  5. "The George Polk Awards for Journalism". Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  6. "Fund the Child". Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  7. "Learning Matters". Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  8. "Listen Up! Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  9. "The Peabody Awards". Archived from the original on June 11, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  10. "The Peabody Awards". Archived from the original on June 10, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  12. "CPB Congratulates PBS for earning 46 Emmy nominations". Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  13. "Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education". Archived from the original on September 20, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  14. Walsh, Mark. "Education Week Acquires Learning Matters; Will Boost Video Journalism". Education Week - Education and the Media. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  15. "The Merrow Report - Sales Info (Choosing Excellence)". Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  16. "The Influence of Teachers". Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  17. "Declining by Degrees". Retrieved April 14, 2010.
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