M. Blouke Carus
Board Chair and Founder
Blouke Carus, Chairman and CEO of Best in the World Teachers. Blouke graduated in Electrical Engineering at Cal Tech in 1949, studied Chemistry and Liberal Arts 1949-1951 at the University of Freiburg, Germany, married Marianne Sondermann in 1951, and started work at Carus Chemical Company in 1951. Blouke spent his main career focusing on the manufacturing (seven patents) and marketing of potassium permanganate, KMnO4, and Carus Corporation is maintaining its position as best in the world in manufacturing and using potassium permanganate in environmental clean-up, especially in water treatment. Today Carus Chemical Company is branching out in a variety of manganese compounds and the application of phosphates to reduce lead and copper in drinking water. Blouke is still on the Board of Directors of Carus Corporation and is Chairman Emeritus. Blouke is celebrating his 68th year of marriage to Marianne Carus, who is the Founder and was Editor-in-Chief for 40 years of Cricket Magazine Group, now Cricket Media, family of children’s magazines in Chicago.
After graduating from Cal Tech and studies in Freiburg, Germany, Blouke noticed a fundamental problem in American education, so he started comparing American education to European education. When addressing educators and friends about European education, Blouke always received the same negative stereotypical wrong answers, so education became Blouke’s passion since 1951. Blouke and his wife, Marianne, were co-leaders of a local Great Books group for seven years, and he started reading the books recommended by the Council for Basic Education (CBE) in Washington, D.C. (Jacques Barzun, Clifton Fadiman, Jim Koerner, et al) In 1961, he reached out to contact Arthur S. Trace, Jr. who had just written What Ivan Knows That Johnny Doesn’t, which led to Dr. Trace becoming the Editor for the first three grades of the Open Court Reading Program.
Marianne was his Chief Assistant from the beginning, with her education in literature in Germany and the University of Chicago, she was well prepared to become the Editor in Chief of the Open Court Reading Program in 1963. During the next 30 years Blouke reached out to ask the leading cognition scientists such as Carl Bereiter, Marlene Scardamalia, Ann Brown, and other cognitive scientists to develop the Open Court Correlated Language Art Program during the next 30 years, constantly revising the reading, composition, and elementary math programs until they sold the company to McGraw-Hill Education Division in 1996.
Because of Blouke’s study of European education and his admiration of Admiral Rickover’s book Swiss Schools and Ours, Why Theirs Are Better, he took a long-term interest in the International Baccalaureate (IB), supporting it financially. He worked closely with the Director General, Alan Petersen, in 1985, to bring the IB to North America. Starting small, the IB has grown rapidly to become one of the leading educational institutions in the world, with the USA leading the way with over 1,000 IB Diploma Schools in the United States.
During the past 20 years, Blouke has been a leader in organizing and supporting work force training locally and in Illinois. In all of Blouke’s endeavors in education, he was constantly met with the major barrier to educational reform, namely inadequately prepared teachers. Recognizing the cultural and financial implications for continuing failures, Blouke is now leading the way with Best in the World Teachers to reinvent teacher education in the United States.
Cricket Magazine and its companies of magazines for babies to teenagers has reached over 10,000,000 homes, and led many children to appreciate their cultural heritage and to develop the love of reading.