Photo: Dale Robbins

Barbara J. Miner

Writer and Education Advocate

Barbara Miner is a reporter, writer, editor and public education advocate who’s been following the decline of her own Milwaukee hometown for nearly 40 years. Her most recent book, Lessons from the Heartland: A Turbulent Half-Century of Public Education in an Iconic American City, won the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, given annually by New Press to celebrate authors “who share Studs Terkel’s commitment to exploring aspects of America that are underrepresented by mainstream media.”

In March 2013, Miner was presented the “Eunice Z. Edgar Lifetime Achievement Award” by the ACLU of Wisconsin, for “her tireless fight in support of public schools.” In May, she received the “2013 Education Advocacy Award” from Marquette University’s College of Education for her contributions “to the betterment of the Milwaukee educational landscape.”

The former managing editor of Rethinking Schools, Miner has co-edited numerous books on education, including the ground-breaking Rethinking Columbus. Her two daughters graduated from Milwaukee Public Schools and her husband, Bob Peterson, is a Milwaukee Public Schools teacher. Peterson taught fifth grade for almost 30 years, and in 2011 was elected president of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association.

Miner has a BA in journalism, a Masters in English Literature and an Associate Degree in photography. In 2008 she received a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship, considered the most prestigious art fellowship in Wisconsin. That fellowship led to a 60-page photo essay on North Avenue, beginning at the lakefront in Milwaukee and ending 16 miles later in Pewaukee.