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Gerald W. Bracey

~In Memoriam~

Jerry Bracey, Rest in Peace. Brilliant. Blunt. Independent. Truth. Integrity. Iconoclast. Irascible. Uncompromising. After our colleague and friend Jerry Bracey passed away in his sleep during the night of October 20, 2009, at the age of 69, the memories and tributes hit our in-boxes, and it started to sink in that Jerry’s dominant presence as an eloquent and reliable truth-teller would no longer grace the educational landscape. The evening before he died, Jerry was working on a new “Bracey Report” for us. It’s pure Bracey – forthright, clear, compelling, and grounded in evidence. That work was completed enough that colleagues Susan Ohanian and Pat Hinchey were able to do the final editorial work so that we could publish it here on our site. Just a few months earlier, Jerry put out a new book, Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality, which joined a shelf full of earlier works, including many published here with NEPC's predecessor, EPIC/EPRU. Some online tributes to Jerry can be read here (USA Today), here (WashPost, Jay Mathews), here (Sherman Dorn), here (EdWeek, Debra Viadero), here (EdNotesOnline), here (DairyStateDad), here (EducationExaminer, Caroline Grannan), here (Schools Matter, Jim Horn), here (Thomas Mertz), here (SubstanceNews, George Schmidt), here (Generation YES, Sylvia Martinez), and here (Matt Stager). If there are others you feel should be added, please email us at We responded to calls from many of the people who were touched by Jerry and his work to create a memorial fund or project that we could donate to in his memory. We  created one, attached to this policy center which had, before he died, been Jerry’s academic home. Working with the CU Foundation, we are building a memorial fund that would, if fully funded, provide a doctoral fellowship in Jerry’s name. We’re thinking of it as the Bracey Memorial Fellowship, given to a doctoral student with a research-based, hard-nosed commitment to further truth, equity, and social justice. Please visit Don’t click the “in memorial of” option since you probably don’t have the info requested about his next of kin (his wife, Iris). Instead, just write “In memory of Jerry Bracey” in the box. You may also mail checks, made out to "CU Foundation" with "EPIC - Jerry Bracey" in the memo line, directly to the School’s Development Officer, Margot Neufeld, at: University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education Margot Neufeld 249 UCB, room 116 Boulder, CO 80309. The Foundation has no fees for memorial gifts -- all the money goes to the gift purpose (student support in Jerry’s name). If we reach the $25,000 level for all donations in Jerry’s name, we can create an ongoing scholarship/fellowship. Even if we do not reach that threshold, we would still use the money for student support in Jerry’s name.



The late Gerald W. Bracey's research focused on assessment and policy analysis. Bracey held a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University.

Gerald Bracey at the Huffington Post

Education Disinformation Detection and Reporting Agency (EDDRA)

NEPC Publications