Addicted to Reform

A 12-Step Program to Rescue Public Education

The prizewinning PBS correspondent’s provocative antidote to America’s misguided approaches to K–12 school reform

“Nobody reports on the treasures and traumas of public education better than John Merrow. He is, quite simply, the leading education journalist in America.” —Jim Lehrer, former anchor for the PBS NewsHour

During his four-decade career at NPR and PBS, John Merrow reported from every state in the union, as well as from dozens of countries, on topics including America’s obsession with standardized testing, the low standards of many teacher-training institutions, how corporate greed created an epidemic of attention deficit disorder, and Michelle Rhee’s indifference to cheating in Washington, D.C. Along the way, he taught in high school, at a historically black college, and at a federal penitentiary.

Now, the revered education correspondent of PBS NewsHour distills his best thinking on American public education into a “twelve-step” approach to fixing a K–12 system that Merrow describes as being “addicted to reform” but unwilling to address the real issue: schools that are inappropriate for the twenty-first century.

Covering topics from how to turn digital natives into digital citizens to why it should be harder to become a teacher but easier to be one, the twelve smart chapters in this book—including “Measure What Matters,” “Embrace Teachers,” and “Don’t Pay the Price”—form an astute and urgent blueprint for offering a quality education to every American child.