June 13, 2024

Let’s Put Deborah Meier on Our Money!

Popular Web 2.0 enthusiast, Will Richardson, live-blogged about a recent conference presentation by Deborah Meier and Dr. Diane Ravitch. Several people, including myself felt compelled to explain who Meier and Ravitch are to Will’s readers.

In fact, I contributed the following…

You owe it to yourselves to read Meier’s seminal works, “The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem” (1995) and “In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing and Standardization.” In most countries it would be assumed that every teacher has read a Macarthur Genius like Deborah Meier.

Dr. Ravitch worked for President Bush 41 as Assistant Secretary of Education and works for the Hoover and Brookings Institutes. Despite her right-wing background, she is rational and thoughtful. She has been smeared and attacked repeatedly by the Bloomberg/Klein junta. Dr. Ravtich has demonstrated courage, integrity and an admirable capacity for growth. Her book, “The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn,” is a great read.

Those two women are the type of speakers every confrence should feature. Their expertise is awesome, accomplishments great and ideas are timeless.

I have long admired Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch and have recommended their books to my magazine readership, graduate students and friends.

I wrote about Ravitch’s book in a 2003 article, “The End of Textbooks.”

My interview with Deborah Meier was published in 2002 and may be read here, “The Power of Her Ideas.”

The more I think about it, the more I believe the point I made about American educators’ awareness (or lack thereof) of powerful ideas is important. Why hasn’t every American educator read Meier, Kohl, Dewey, Holt, Papert, Sizer, etc?

Until the recent adoption of the Euro, Italy’s currency featured educator Maria Montessori. Can you imagine if our nation afforded great educators that level of respect and admiration?

3 thoughts on “Let’s Put Deborah Meier on Our Money!

  1. at a nice thing to read. Someone was telling me that my old friend (andf high school teacher in Chicago) Saul Mendelson was linked to Barak Obama on the website. I was curious how they managed to do that and lo and beold, I found myself and your column there.

    Small correction: re the old quote, you refer once to Dr. Meier when you meant Dr. Ravitch.

    Keep the good work up. I enjoy reading your columns in the media. And it’s fun to contemplate mysel in a 150 years on a coin. But, I doubt there will still be coins.


  2. Oops. Gary–the sentence is supposed to read “I clicked it on and… What a nice thing to read.”


  3. Dear Deb (if I may be so casual),

    Thanks so much for your kind comment and for catching my now-repaired typo.

    I am quite thrilled that you enjoy my work. That is the highest honor I can contemplate.

    Thanks so much for making the world a better place for kids and their the adults who care about them.

    All the very best,


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