Member Since 2009

Peter Meyer


Peter Meyer is 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), and “Can Catholic Schools Be Saved?” (Spring 2007). Meyer also writes and edits, mostly on education, for the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute, and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, where he is a Senior Visiting Fellow.

Published Articles & Media

A Misplaced Race Card

My jaw did the proverbial drop when I read this opening sentence in a front page story in Sunday’s Albany Times Union: Albany’s charter schools have created a second school system that is almost entirely segregated.

For Labor Day: School Should Be a Child’s First Job

The debate about poverty’s impact on education is close to ridiculous in large part because our poverty is as much intellectual as it is economic, especially when it comes to education.

Field Notes: My Piece of Kafka

If I were to write an education book, it would be called, "Don’t Know Whether to Laugh or Cry: Life on the School Board." Of all the emotions accompanying these events — and school board meetings are more full of emotion than anything else – the feeling of not knowing whether to laugh or cry is one of the more common and consistent ones – for me.

Forget STEM: “To the dreadful summit of the cliff”*

Mark Bauerlein has a wonderfully refreshing piece in the new Education Next. It is especially welcome to those beleaguered liberal arts and humanities folks among us who feel so un-21st century. But I hope that even die-hard periodic tablists among you would be impressed by Bauerlein’s subtle skewering of the current head of the National Endowment of the Arts, Rocco Landesman.

Stop the Presses!*

Another front-page story in the New York Times this morning is sure to stoke the Gotham education fires. “Triumph Fades on Racial Gap in New York City Schools” makes it pretty clear that the recent goal line adjustment made by New York State’s new education Commissioner David Steiner did not affect all groups equally.

The Gray Lady, Part 2: The Other Shoe Drops

What seems central to Winerip’s reportorial DNA is a sympathy for the little guy, whether the disabled kid or the handicapped school. Though I can’t claim to have studied his writings thoroughly (nor have I communicated with him), if Winerip does have political or ideological views about the education system, it would appear that he sees the thing through the prism of leaving no child or school behind – that is, before allowing any child or school to get ahead, we must pick up those behind. The market place, which allows success and failure, is a threat; the social safety net is wide and deep.

Money Talks – But Does It Educate?

This is American education’s sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. Or is it $64 million? Billion? Or, how about $26 billion? That’s the number moving through the Capitol at the moment.

Sexting and Other Constitutional Issues

It is hard to be a reporter in America for very long, including as one trying to fathom our richly diverse public education system, without having to deal with a Constitutional issue.

Voice in the Wilderness: Save NCLB!

Despite the bashing the ten-year-old federal law has been taking--much of it deserved--on the ground, in the provinces NCLB has succeeded in beginning a much-needed change in the culture of public education: from a system focused on adults to one looking behind all the curtains to see how kids are doing. It hasn't been a pretty launch, of course, but the ship is only barely out of port.

Can Catholic Schools Be Saved?

Lacking nuns and often students, a shrinking system looks for answers

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