With 2016 quickly winding down, let’s take a look back at the year’s education journalism gems.
As you will see, there’s no shortage of quality work. Clearly, there are lots of smart, hard-working, and extremely devoted reporters and editors working to bring stories about American schools to readers.
Short of time? The 2016 story with the most real-world impact is probably the Houston Chronicle’s expose of state-led limitations on special education. The most explosive story might have been the NYT’s story about a Success Academy charter school teacher’s outburst, captured on video. The most memorable piece is probably Nikole Hannah-Jones’ first-person essay on choosing a majority-black school for her daughter.
But you’ll be missing a lot if you stick to those three
NATIONAL / POLITICAL
With the late-2015 passage of ESSA and Common Core and standardized testing being all but ignored in Campaign 2016, this wasn’t a big year for education on the national scene. But there are still several pieces worth highlighting.
The dramatic black and white pictures, combined with the fascinating and little-known tale of Sanders’ involvement in school desgregation efforts, made this Chicago Reader piece something everyone who came across it wanted to read.
This Think Progress story takes us behind the scenes and help us understand the people and dynamics that are shaping what’s happening on the streets or at press conferences. (For more behind-the-scenes coverage, see The Atlantic’s story titled The Ambitious Education Plan of the Black Lives Matter Movement http://ow.ly/wwGO307jnb2 and NPR’s Questions Of Race And Charter Schools Divide Education Reformers http://ow.ly/p8dJ307jIqf.)
This Boston Globe piece gives the fascinating backstory behind the Massachusetts ballot fight over charter schools, in which outside money was trumped by a massive, methodical, teacher-led ground game. For more about Question 2, see Money at the heart of the Mass. charter debate http://ow.ly/1rZ3307gugQ.
The Nation takes a big-picture look at the Obama education agenda as it evolved over time — from a focus on charters, standards, and accountability to a more recent emphasis on integration and school discipline. (For more high-quality campaign coverage, see also The Atlantic piece titled Hours Before Campaigning With Obama, Clinton Tries to Distance Herself on Education http://ow.ly/Gl0r307jmVh.)
"Given today’s high-tech, globalized economy, the single best step would be to help more middle- and low-income children acquire the skills that lead to good-paying jobs. Notably, most college graduates still earn more than their parents did, other data show — yes, even after taking into account student debt." -- David Leondhardt in the NYT ( The American Dream, Quantified at Last)
December 12, 2016 | Posted At: 08:24 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Daily News
The latest PISA data (which includes private-school students) shows that America’s most advantaged teenagers scored below their well-off peers in science in 20 other countries, including Canada and Britain… The good news is that a handful of places, including Estonia, Canada, Denmark and Hong Kong, are proving that it is possible to do much better. These places now educate virtually all their children to higher levels of critical thinking in math, reading and science — and do so more equitably than Americans do.
Watch-the much-discussed short video above, then read background here. Or, watch ten year-olds address negative stereotypes head on here. You can also watch a fascinating discussion of school integration from last week here.
December 5, 2016 | Posted At: 09:06 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Daily News
My students in the South Bronx do not want to take a bus to Staten Island. They do not want their school to become a magnet school, because they said, 'what about everyone else?' And they don't necessarily have an interest in changing the entire composition of their neighborhood for integration to happen. They don't believe in a lot of the models of integration that they've seen replicated around the United States.
This video features PS 705, a Brooklyn school that's gone from 90 percent free and reduced lunch to just over 60 percent in just five years. It's applied to join a program that will let it prioritize low-income students, but will still likely lose its Title I funding soon.
December 2, 2016 | Posted At: 09:27 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Daily News
"Natomas Charter School of Sacramento, Calif., has won the $100,000 prize offered by the Center for Education Reform to tell comedian John Oliver to back off the abusive rhetoric about charter schools," according to Hey, John Oliver: Here's The Winner Of The Charter School Contest. "Honorable mentions in the contest went to: Southland College Prep Charter High School, Richton Park, Ill.; Gary Comer College Prep, Chicago; Inlet Grove Community High School, Riviera Beach, Fla. STRIVE Prep-Smart Academy, Denver, Col., and •Purpose Preparatory Academy Charter School, Nashville, Tenn."
Ms. DeVos will probably be a boon to the relatively small, growing population of families that home-school their children. But most parents will still want their children in a school building during the day, taught by a teacher, not by a computer... The federal government is a much larger financial contributor to colleges and universities than to K-12 schools, and college students don’t need an adult looking after them all day.
When Katrina hit, it hit everybody's schools ... They rebuilt and modernized all the white suburb public schools. They ended up better than before and they bulldozed the public schools in the black neighborhoods.
- NEA head Lily Eskelsen Garcia quoted in Inlander
From Monday in DC: "At EWA’s forum on the 2016 election outcome, a panel of experts discuss the future of higher education policy with members of the media. Speakers: Lindsey Burke, Heritage Foundation Kevin Carey, New America David Cleary, Office of Senator Lamar Alexander Terry Hartle, American Council on Education Kenneth Terrell, Education Writers Association." via Education Writers Association.