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Press Releases

Friday, October 1, 2010

Meier is Next E. Pauline Riall Lecturer Tuesday, October 5

SALISBURY, MD---It’s one thing for a teacher to work at a school. It’s another for a teacher to create one.

Deborah W. Meier, a former kindergarten teacher in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York, did just that in 1985, founding Central Park East Secondary School, a New York public high school at which more than 90 percent of entering students went on to college.

As this fall’s E. Pauline Riall Lecturer at Salisbury University, Meier speaks on “Why is K-12 Schooling Mandatory? For Whose Benefit?” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 5, in Holloway Hall Auditorium. Earlier that day, from 2-3:15 p.m., she speaks to a smaller audience of SU students and faculty in the Great Hall of Holloway Hall.

“We are fortunate to have Deborah Meier on campus as part of the Riall Lecture Series,” said Dr. Gwen Beegle, series coordinator. “She is a wonderful writer who has extensive knowledge and direct experience in school reform and improvement. She will continue the Riall’s tradition of bringing thought-provoking, informative and nationally recognized educators to SU.”

Since establishing Central Park East, Meier has helped found and reform at more than a dozen more schools. As co-director of New York’s Coalition Campus Schools Project, she lead the charge to redesign the reform of two large failing city high schools and helped create a dozen new small coalition schools.

In 1997, she founded Boston’s Mission Hill School, serving some 180 children in the Roxbury area from kindergarten through eighth grade. She served as the school’s principal from 1997-2005. Prior to that, she was a senior fellow at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. She also created a network of highly successful public elementary schools in East Harlem, NY.

The schools she has founded serve predominately low-income African-American and Latino students. They include students with a typical range of academic skills and needs, and have no entrance requirements. Many of the schools are affiliates of the national Coalition of Essential Schools.

In addition, Meier serves on the editorial boards of Dissent magazine, The Nation and the Harvard Education Letter. She is a board member of the Educational Alliance, the Association of Union Democracy, Educators for Social Responsibility and the Panasonic Foundation. She is a founding member of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the North Dakota Study Group on Evaluation and the Forum for Democracy and Education, among others.

She also has authored and co-authored a number of books on education, including Playing for Keeps: Life and Learning on a Public School Playground; Many Children Left Behind; Keeping School; In Schools We Trust; Will Standards Save Public Education? and The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons to America from a Small School in Harlem.

The E. Pauline Riall Lecture Series is named in honor of its founder, the long-time principal and teacher at SU’s Campus School. The series’ purpose is to bring to the University and community outstanding national lecturers in the field of education.

Sponsored by the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies, admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6393 or visit the SU Web site at

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