This is an abbreviated version of the August 3, 2018 Best of the Week newsletter. To get the new edition in full, sign up here.
🏆 COVERING LEBRON JAMES’ NEW SCHOOL 🏆
There was no shortage of coverage of the new LeBron James-funded school opening in Akron this week. Pretty much everyone seemed to think they needed a version of this story. And most of them presented it as a feel-good piece. However, the two smartest pieces I saw were Theresa Cottom’s simple, straightforward piece explaining the ins and outs of the school in the Akron Beacon Journal and EdWeek’s explainer by Arianna Prothero, headlined Is LeBron James‘ New School Really the First of Its Kind?. Get the full newsletter to hear why.
🚨 THE 11 MOST MEMORABLE EDUCATION STORIES OF ALL TIME 🚨
This week’s column from The Grade is contributor Kristen Doerer’s write-up of 11 must-read stories recommended by education journalists.
What did these 11 spectacular pieces of education journalism have in common? The vast majority of them addressed the challenges and dynamics surrounding the education of students of color in distressed communities. And they relied less on talking heads and more on the people living the stories.
Nearly as good as the recommended stories are the helpful insights from the education reporters about what makes these stories so good: “I dream of writing this article,” Knight-Wallace fellow Danielle Dreilinger said about Rachel Aviv’s New Yorker story, “A Wrong Answer.”
📰 NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES TAKES ON CHARTER SCHOOLS 📰
Though she’s hasn’t addressed the charter school debate in her major work for the New York Times, ProPublica, and This American Life, the MacArthur “genius” grant-winning NYT writer came out strongly this week for district-run schools, praising Lebron James for funding a school that isn’t “taking resources from the Akron Public Schools.” This is an unfortunate development from my point of view, largely because it distracts from Hannah-Jones’ immensely powerful and distinctive work on racism and school segregation — work that’s helped shape the current debate in massively segregated systems like New York City.
🔥 PEOPLE, JOBS, & AWARDS 🔥
Congrats to AJC’s Marlon Walker for being a #NABJ2018 finalist for a story he wrote last year about metro Atlanta school districts failing to report school bus accidents and other transportation dysfunctions. Other finalists include Erica Green and Liz Bowie (for Bridging the Divides) and one entry I’d never heard of: the Houston Press story Caught in the Middle by Margaret Downing.
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⏰ EVENTS, DEADLINES, ANNOUNCEMENTS ⏰
Hard to believe it but it’s been five years since the Politico Morning EDU newsletter launched. Congrats to all. How did we get through the day without you?