Best of the week (August 17, 2018)

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A first day/new school story that packs a punch, a local reporter’s sudden success, and newsroom changes at the New York Times. 

🏆  HOW TO TELL A GREAT FIRST DAY/NEW SCHOOL STORY 🏆

This week’s best is a story about a new school opening. But it’s not just any new school opening. University Charter is the rural Alabama county’s first integrated school. And reporter Trisha Powell Crain does a great job reporting on a newsworthy event. She also helps the reader understand the significance of what they’re reading. The combination of a truly newsworthy event, vivid details (to help us feel like we’re there), and helpful context (for readers from other parts of the country) really makes the piece stand out for me.  And I’m not at all the only one.

🚨 HOW THE OREGONIAN’S STAR EDUCATION REPORTER DOES IT 🚨

This week’s column is a profile of The Oregonian’s Bethany Barnes, who’s emerged in the last two years as one of education’s top talents.  But, as it turns out, Barnes didn’t have an easy time getting where she’s gotten. These experiences tested her — and, she says, helped make her into the impressive reporter she is today.

📰 EDUCATORS RUNNING FOR OFFICE  📰

Congrats to EdWeek’s Maddy Will, whose teacher candidate tracker was picked up by NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday. Check out the cool graphic here. There are roughly 150 current teachers running in the midterms, and about 300 current and former teachers (according to the teachers union). And let’s all give credit to Rachel Cohen (and co-author Ryan Grim) for this May 21 profile of former NTOY Jahana Hayes, who won a Democratic primary in Connecticut this week despite having lost out on the state Democratic Party’s endorsement and have no prior political experience. Unless I missed something, Cohen and Grim were among the first to write a major piece about her.

🔥 STAFFING CHANGES AT THE NEW YORK TIMES 🔥

The big job news of the week has to be the announcement that former PoliticoNY reporter Eliza Shapiro is going to join the New York Times Metro desk, covering NYC schools. Shapiro replaces Elizabeth Harris, who is leaving the beat to be an arts and culture reporter. And it looks like Kyle Spencer will take Shapiro’s place as a 2018-2019 Spencer Fellow at Columbia. Congrats to everyone.

⏰ FALL EWA EVENTS ⏰

The Education Writers Association is hosting two live events this fall: a two-day seminar October 18-19 in Chicago on teacher quality and a Higher Education Seminar Sept. 24-25 in Las Vegas. I’m going to be at one of them, at least. How about you?

 

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ALEXANDER RUSSO (@alexanderrusso) is editor of The Grade.

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