Baylor School of Education to Host Journalist Ron Berler March 26

  • Ron Berler
    Journalist Ron Berler
  • Ron Berler2
March 24, 2014

Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMediaCom

Contact: Tonya B. Lewis, (254) 710-4656

WACO, Texas (March 24, 2014) – After spending a year immersed in an elementary school getting to know students, teachers and the public school system, journalist Ron Berler believes he knows how to save America’s “failing” schools.

The resulting book by Berler, "Raising the Curve", will be the basis for Berler’s presentations at Baylor on Wednesday, March 26. Berler will speak at 5:30 p.m. in the Fifth Floor Conference Room of the Cashion Academic Building, 1401 S. Fifth St.

Sponsored by the Baylor School of Education and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the event is free and open to the public. Earlier in the day, Berler will meet with students in the School of Education’s Marrs McLean Science Building for a brown-bag lunch discussion at 11:45 a.m. in Room 16 of the Garden Level.

A former columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Berler has spent much of his career reporting on youth issues. His article in the New York Times Magazine about arm injuries among teenage baseball pitchers helped convince Little League Baseball to tighten its pitch-count rules. While he was editor in chief of NBA Inside Stuff, a magazine for teens, the publication won a Parents Choice Gold Award Seal of Excellence. His work has also appeared in Sports Illustrated, Wired, Men’s Journal, and Outside.

Berler's new book, "Raising the Curve: A Year Inside One of America’s 45,000 Failing Public Schools," tells the story of two fifth-grade girls, best friends but very different types of students; their teacher, the school’s literacy specialist and principal; and the daily struggles each faces dealing with the pressures brought about by No Child Left Behind, according to Berler’s biography.

“Ron Berler’s commitment to spending one year in a U.S. public school as a full-time volunteer teacher’s aide seeking to better understand the problems and promises of contemporary public education is a model of engaged citizenship that more people should emulate,” said Tony Talbert, Ph.D., professor of curriculum and instruction in the Baylor School of Education.

Talbert said America’s public school system is important as a foundational institution that is available to all citizens.

“It is one of the few remaining institutions in our society that continues to embrace the fundamental democratic belief that all persons must have equal access to opportunity that betters and enriches the individual and the collective body of citizens,” Talbert said.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Founded in 1919, the Baylor School of Education(SOE) prepares leaders through four departments in two broad program areas, Professional/Teacher Education and Health Education. Leadership preparation begins in undergraduate programs, continues through master’s level work, and culminates in both Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs. The SOE impacts the world as students participate in faculty-guided fieldwork, service learning, and community-focused research in local and global contexts. The school shapes the future by mentoring the whole person, developing an understanding of theory and practice, and encouraging responsiveness to one’s calling.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?