November 15th, 2000

WATCH: School Sleuth


When a mysterious woman hires Detective John Merrow to help her choose the right school for her children, the hard-nosed sleuth launches an investigation. He discovers there are three kinds of schools: Bad, “Good Enough,” and Excellent. It’s not an easy case, particularly when he upsets the status quo. For that offense, Detective Merrow gets a beating from a tough guy hired by those who don’t want change. But the scratches and bruises don’t scare him away…and his client seems impressed by his dogged determination.

Underneath the tongue-in-cheek humor, “School Sleuth” is a serious documentary that explores five key aspects of education: School Safety, Academic Quality, School Facilities, The Adults in Charge, and A School’s Sense of Purpose. The program presents 25 practical measures of educational excellence beyond standardized tests scores and college acceptance rates.

This program has received a First Place EWA Award, a Gold Hugo, and a Peabody Award.

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Transcript (PDF)


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[...] and as host of his own series of documentaries. He has received George Foster Peabody Awards for School Sleuth: The Case of An Excellent School (2000) and Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet (2006), Emmy nominations in 1984, [...]

[...] late Ted Sizer. He taught adults and children, and his influence is still being feltĀ  and [...]




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