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John Merrow and Lorraine Monroe: New TC Trustees


John Merrow and Lorraine Monroe: New TC Trustees

John Merrow

John Merrow and Lorraine Monroe: New TC Trustees

Lorraine Monroe

Two well-respected leaders in education joined the Teachers College Board of Trustees. They are John Merrow, Executive Producer and President of Learning Matters Inc. and Executive Editor of "The Merrow Report"; and Lorraine Monroe, Executive Director of the School Leadership Academy at the Center for Educational Innovation.

As a Trustee, Merrow said, he hopes "to be of help in getting the best schools of education, like TC, to take the lead in educating teachers."

As President of Learning Matters Inc., which he established in 1995, he works on television and radio programs that focus on education and directs the effort to train youth to celebrate their own public service messages.

Learning Matters, Inc. is the not-for-profit corporation that produces "The Merrow Report," a nationally broadcast PBS documentary series that he created in 1992, which looks at issues that shape the way people live and work "through the prism of education."

His latest series for PBS, "School Sleuth" had him "playing detective." In the show, he defined the characteristics of excellent schools and each segment focused on these characteristics. Even in its entertaining detective guise, the series had a serious point. Merrow said, "The show helped to find the difference between good enough and excellent qualities of schools." His book, Choosing Excellence, which will be published in April, will focus on the issues that were brought up in the series. As a former high school teacher, Merrow began his career in public broadcasting at National Public Radio (NPR) with an hour-long show about school finance. He created and hosted the weekly series, "Options in Education."

In 1982, Merrow "ventured into television" with a seven-part series about America's Youth, "Your Children, Our Children." He then covered youth and education for five years on "The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour" and two years at The Learning Channel.

Merrow is currently on the Board of Directors at the Hechinger Institute at Teachers College. He received his M.A. from Indiana University and his Ed.D. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Nationally recognized teacher and principal, TC alumna, and the Executive Director of the School Leadership Academy (SLA) at the Center for Educational Innovation in New York City, Lorraine Monroe also recently joined the TC Board of Trustees to share some of her vast experience in education.

Monroe heads SLA, a program to teach strategies for innovation and excellence to principals and school administrators in the Center for Educational Innovation that began as an operating unit of the Manhattan Institute in 1989. The Center's mission is "to transform public education in America by shifting accountability from centralized bureaucracies to local schools and by creating systems of school choice for communities."

Monroe has been an administrator at several high schools in New York City and was Chief Executive for Instruction for the New York City Board of Education. She has taught at Bank Street College and is the founder of its Center for Minority Achievement.

In 1991, she opened the Frederick Douglass Academy, an experimental public high school in Harlem designed to help poor urban children graduate and go to college. The test scores at the academy quickly shot to among the top in all of New York City.

Monroe left the academy in 1997 to found the School Leadership Academy, a business-sponsored non-profit organization that aims to foster creative school leadership. Her first book, Nothing's Impossible: Leadership Lessons from Inside and Outside the Classroom, builds upon her 30 years experience as an educator.

She preaches what she calls the "Monroe Doctrine" which she describes as a hands-on approach in educating inner-city youth by holding students to high standards and helping them achieve these standards.

"Nothing is impossible. Children can learn anything that teachers put before them," said Monroe. "We helped kids who had been ‘discounted' do incredible stuff."

As a member of former Gov. Mario Cuomo's Commission for the Study of Youth Crime and Violence and Reform of the Juvenile Justice System, she helped develop New York State's K-12 curriculum guide titled, "Creating a More Human and Violence-Free Society Through Schooling: Understanding and Valuing Cultural Differences."

Monroe received her Ed.D. from Teachers College in 1985 in Educational Administration. She received her M.S. from Bank Street College and her B.A. from Hunter College. She also received honorary degrees from several institutions.

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