Jerry Bracey, Rest in Peace

from EPIC. Education and the Public Interest Center, School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder. posted with permission.

October 22, 2009

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 20th 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. We will finish that work and publish it at

Just a few months back, Jerry put out a new book, Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality, which joins a shelf full of earlier works, including many published with EPIC/EPRU.

Some online tributes to Jerry are already up and can be read read here (Sherman Dorn), here (EdWeek, Debra Viadero), here (EdNotesOnline), here (WashPost, Jay Mathews), here (DairyStateDad), here (EducationExaminer, Caroline Grannan), here (Schools Matter, Jim Horn), here (Thomas Mertz), and here (SubstanceNews, George Schmidt). If there are others you feel should be added and posted at the EPIC website please email

We have also responded to calls from many of the people who have been touched by Jerry and his work to create a memorial fund or project that we could donate to in his memory. We have now created one, attached to this policy center which has recently 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.

Pleased visit the memorial fund website to make a donation 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 memorial 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.

©2009 EPIC. Education and the Public Interest Center, School of Education

2 Replies to “Jerry Bracey, Rest in Peace”

  1. Dr. Bracey was a true friend of public education. We will miss him but I agree, we ALL need to get busy.

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