An Amazing Year

What can you say about a company that–in just one year–produced major films about education for Frontline and Netflix, 20 reports for the PBS NewsHour, 36 web-only pieces, 25 “Why I Teach” essays, a new web series called “Follow the Leader,” and 50 major “Taking Note” blog posts (including several that exposed Michelle Rhee’s failure to investigate clear evidence of cheating by adults on Washington’s standardized tests)?

You might say, “Wow.”

And what if I then told you that just 8 of us accomplished all this for about $1.6M?

I’m hoping  you will say, “Wow, that company deserves to be supported.”

If you are having that reaction, here’s your opportunity, because Learning Matters, the non-profit organization with that track record, has received a challenge grant of $150,000 from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation.  However, to earn the $150,000, we must raise the equivalent amount in the next few months.

Meeting the challenge will put us in the black for 2014, because $300,000 amounts to nearly 20% of our annual budget.  Meeting the challenge will also guarantee another year of probing coverage of education’s toughest, most important issues: the Common Core, expanding early childhood opportunities, deeper learning, the arts, leadership gaps, student debt, the uses of technology and more.

While we are hoping for a few major gifts, we know that we won’t be able to climb this mountain without help from a supportive network of small donors.  We hope we can count on you for help.

Please keep in mind that every fully tax-deductible gift is worth twice that amount to Learning Matters. We get twice the bang for your bucks, and you can feel twice as good about helping us.

We will be creating an icon on our website that will fill up as gifts come in. You may donate online or mail your contribution to Learning Matters, 127 W. 26th Street, Suite 1200, NY NY 10001.

All of us at Learning Matters feel blessed.  We have the privilege of reporting in depth on complex education issues for the 1.4 million people who watch the NewsHour, America’s most respected news program.  Our challenge is to choose from among dozens of significant issues and hundreds of compelling stories.

Ahead in 2014: We are bringing back The School Sleuth, whose exploits in 2000 brought us our first George Foster Peabody Award. This time the aging detective will be investigating ‘blended learning’ and other new-fangled stuff in America’s classrooms.

Thank you, and best wishes for the holidays from all of us at Learning Matters.

6 Responses to “An Amazing Year”

  1. JustCaresAlot 17. Dec, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    Great accomplishments, John and crew! Well done!

  2. Charles Dey 18. Dec, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    John, kudos to you and your staff for your collective willingness to challenge where so many others fear to tread.

    Happy holidays.


    • john merrow 19. Dec, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

      Thanks to those of you who are sending checks or donating on line. Our new web site makes it easier.

    • john merrow 25. Dec, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      Thanks, Doc, and best to you both. We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and will have a healthy and happy New Year.

  3. Chris 22. Dec, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for the sunshine on the Rhee DC test score situation! Please consider a piece on which charter school providers accept evolution and which ones don’t. I willtry to mail a check after end of year bills get paid.

    • john merrow 25. Dec, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

      Thanks, Chris. That’s a story that won’t go away, and shouldn’t. The latest revelations about significant errors by the company computing teachers’ IMPACT scores emphasizes the dangers of this data-driven approach. More to come on this, I am sure. Happy New Year!

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