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Media: 8 Cool Things I Learned At #EWAEarlyEd (That Weren't About Early Ed)

Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 12.57.06 PMThere was tons of great early ed discussion and sites visits via EWA's New Orleans #EWAearled seminar (Building a Child's Mind) earlier this week -- plus no shortage of shmoozing and good food shared among hard-working education journalists.

I especially enjoyed the mock battle between USDOE's Libby Daggett and Brookings' Russ Whitehurst, and a rogue visit to a charter school startup where they're doing balanced listeracy and a mini maker event about which I am still apologizing.

However, I probably learned as much about things going on in journalism as I did about Early Ed, and you probably care more about that stuff than the rest:

8- The LA Times has three fulltime K-12 education reporters (Blume, Caesar, and Watanabe) plus three more higher ed reporters (who don't count), which means that EdSource (with Fensterwald, Frey, Mongeau, and Baron plus an LA-based reporter TBD) is - holy cow! --the biggest education newsroom in California if not the universe. 

7-The Seattle Times' recently-announced Education Lab takes the "solutions" approach to journalism to a grand scale but has already run into some controversy thanks to an info-sharing deal revealed by KUOW radio that some say could endanger student privacy.

6-The new CNN/Robert Redford series, ChicagoLand, looks like it features LOTS of education-related footage (the teachers strike, etc.).

5-The New Haven Independent combines serious public affairs journalism with tabloid-style headlines like 2012's"Beyonce Scores A Faldita" -- thankfully minus the ALL CAPS.

Read below for the remaining items.

4-NPR's StateImpact experiment may not be expanding anytime soon -- they announced as much last year -- but the three education-focused efforts (FL, IN, OH) have all found ways to continue even after national funding has wound down.  For example, StateImpactIN has a two-person education team who shares digital (blogging) and broadcast responsibilities rather than splitting them into two different jobs.

3-Hard to believe it's already four years ago that The Hechinger Institute began converting from a training / seminar provider (and direct competitor with EWA) into its current life as a content provider (and still sort of competitor to EWA). It's grown into an impressive (if not particularly juicy) outlet.

2-Longtime Philadelphia education activist Helen Gym (pictured above) has gotten a big profile in Philadelphia Magazine, which normally focuses on suburban / middle-class issues. 

1-There are great-sounding character-driven education books being written all over the place that I somehow never seem to hear about (or remember), including 2013's Drama High, by Mike Sokolove, reviewed here in the NYT, and In These Girls, Hope Is A Muscle.  These books, most of them written by non-education writers, are good reminders to all of us (educators, ed journalists, and activists) that students are what make education important and compelling to the rest of the world -- not fights, policy, or any of the rest. They're also the hardest to write about well.

Thanks to everyone for sharing these stories with me!



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