ICYMI: #MSDStrong students return, ‘armed teacher’ overkill, & the amazing Carvalho

02.The Grade FB Banner


unnamed (4)

Few education reporters have tackled the intersection between education and housing instability more thoroughly over the past two years than The Oregonian’s Bethany Barnes does in Reading, Writing, Evicted.

Whatever you might want – policy, data, stories – this series has it: a look at efforts in Austin to reduce these obstacles, a “school churn” map – my favorite element — and several in-depth profiles of kids and classrooms. Check it out, be jealous, and maybe consider tackling something like this in your part of the world.

For more about the intersection of housing and education, you might find this interview with Matt Desmond, author of “Evicted,” helpful.


With so much education news, and so many great stories being produced, it’s hard to fit them all in:

🏆 The 74: The Carvalho Show
🏆 Politico: Carvalho shocker leaves City Hall scrambling
🏆 Miami Herald: After a dramatic pause, Carvalho makes decision
🏆 Chalkbeat: Inside the circus that was the Carvalho pick and sudden rejection
🏆 NYT: Miami Superintendent Turns Down NYC Job

🏆Splinter: The teacher who taught his students to challenge the NRA
🏆 TBT: She’s taught at the Parkland high school for 14 years. Can she go back?
🏆 NYT: Once again, push for gun control collides with political realities
🏆 USAT: Since Columbine schools are locked tightly, research shows
🏆 Mic: The devastating effects law enforcement can have on black and brown kids
🏆 The Intercept: Children of color already face violent discipline in schools
🏆 WashPost: Students set to return to shattered Florida school
🏆 NPR: As Stoneman Douglas Resumes Class, Survivors Become Students Once More

🏆 CNN: Exodus from Puerto Rico: A visual guide
🏆 CT Mirror: School choice lottery a mystery for parents, desegregation efforts stall
🏆 TBT: He wakes up at 4:10 a.m. to go to high school. Is it worth it?
🏆 EdWeek: In Canada’s public schools, immigrant students are thriving
🏆 WNYC: How a soccer team united a changing American city (Lewiston)
🏆 LA Times: The day HS students helped ignite the Chicano power movement

🏆 WAMU: Nearly 60 Percent Of DCPS Class of 2018 Are Currently Off-Track
🏆 WashPost: Secret schools audit suggests widespread enrollment fraud

🏆 BuzzFeed: Unions Ready to Use DeVos Against School Choice Democrats
🏆 KQED: Unions prepare to lose in the courthouse, strike back in the statehouse
🏆 WashPost: WV teachers traded classrooms for picket lines 
🏆 NPR: WV Teacher Walkouts, School Closures Continue
🏆 The Atlantic: WV’s Teachers Are Not Satisfied


post reporters editors DC coverage

Big-city education coverage can be pretty brutal – just ask the heads of the NYC, Chicago, and LAUSD school systems. But the Washington Post coverage of DC public schools was generally soft and credulous, according to pretty much everyone I talked to for this week’s column. The unfortunate result was that the Post didn’t catch the graduation rate scandal while it was still in its infancy. (It didn’t catch it at all, actually. WAMU’s Kate McGee did.)

Why the obvious lapse? There are lots of possible explanations. The DC school system is particularly challenging to cover. Mayoral control has stifled public comment and participation. The editorial page’s support for Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson have bled over into the newsroom coverage. The Post has shuffled folks through the DCPS beat numerous times over the past six years. It’s all on the table: How the Washington Post missed the DC schools graduation rate scandal so badly, for so long.


unnamed (5)

📰 ARMED TEACHERS DISTRACTION: Vox tried twice to persuade news outlets not to cover Trump’s “armed teachers” idea. First attempt: MSNBC CNN took the bait on arming teachers. Second: Arming teachers isn’t just a ridiculous idea. It’s a deliberate distraction. But the coverage just keeps coming. It’s catnip for newsrooms. Please stop. Or, if you can’t stop, please let readers know the backstory.

📰 JANUS: You might think you know what’s going to happen in the Janus case debated in front of the Supreme Court on Monday, but FiveThirtyEight says you are wrong, or at least don’t have the whole story. “We don’t really know what would happen in the long term if those fees were struck down, because the research doesn’t paint a clear picture either way.”

📰 FOUNDATION FUNDING: “In the United States alone, foundations spent $140 million to support journalism in 2015, according to Media Impact Funders, a Philadelphia-based organization that tracks such things” reports Journal-ism’s Richard Prince.

📰 OH, CANADA: “Fascinating story on how Canada manages to get world-class education results despite a higher immigrant intake than US,” notes Amanda Ripley about Kavitha Cardoza’s first print piece in EdWeek.

📰 REVISITING EBONICS: “When white people want to do something experimental in education, it’s called charter schools or experiential learning,” notes Michael Hobbes in a HuffPost Highline story revisiting the late-1990s freakout over Ebonics. “When black people do it, it’s called identity politics.”

📰 EDUCATION OSCARS: Several education stories received Oscar nods this year, noted The 74’s Kate Stringer, including DeKalb Elementary, a film about the 2013 school shooting where the secretary talked down the gunman. The Oscars are Sunday.


unnamed (6)

🔥 For WLRN, Jessica Bakeman shadowed a student from Marjory Douglas High School and her mother as they lobbied on Capitol Hill and tried to navigate the committee process. It wasn’t easy.

🔥 Laura Moser is one of seven Democrats vying to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. John Culberson. She’s also happens to be a former education columnist for SlateMother Jones details how she’s being attacked by the DCCC and defended by Howard Dean’s PAC. Slate has all the latest.

🔥 “We are treating Puerto Ricans like second-class citizens,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said on Thursday. EdWeek’s Andrew Ujifusa covered the event at the U.S. Capitol hosted by the Albert Shanker Institute on rebuilding Puerto Rico’s schools. While most of the schools have reopened, many remain without power.

🔥 Congrats to Scripps Howard Awards finalists including The Orlando Sentinel’s “Schools Without Rules” series by Leslie Postal, Beth Kassab & Annie Martin and also the Washington Post’s “Children and Gun Violence” series featuring John Woodrow Cox.

🔥 “Nikole Hannah-Jones challenges liberals so much harder than Bret Stephens does,” notes Pete Vernon in a CJR piece about the NYT’s problematic opinion section. “She hits you where you live.” Indeed she does.

🔥 Speaking of which, Hannah-Jones points to a NYT oped “for those who *always* ask me about progress, who have some selfish need to push me to optimism, this report sums up why I simply refuse to engage it.” The screenshot is of a chart showing the “10 most segregated states are mostly in the North.”

🔥 A year ago, longtime education reporter John Merrow almost died. Here are his reflections on what happened and how it relates to education. Speaking of Merrow, Don’t miss him talking about his new book “Addicted to Reform.” The talk begins at 6:30pm at the New York Public Library on Monday, March 5.

🔥 Congrats to WAMU’s Kate Mcgee for being included in Washingtonian’s monthly list of notables. “Well, this is awesome,” quipped Mcgee. “But I’m honestly most excited about being featured at a table with Goldlink.”

🔥 Philissa Cramer reminds us that ChalkbeatNY is still looking for a bureau chief. “We have the best news, truly the most amazing. Details on the job here: http://ckbe.at/2FHBhuM Reach out if you want to talk.”

🔥 Chalkbeat co-founder Elizabeth Green is among many former Montgomery Blair high school students voicing #metoo allegations against a longtime math teacher at the prestigious school.

🔥 Thursday was NYT education reporter Dana Goldstein’s first day back at work after being out on maternity leave. As she noted, it was indeed a “fun day on the education beat.”



⏰ It’s time for SXSWEDU in Austin, March 5-8, 2018. Sponsors & partners are listed here. Closing keynote speakers include Alaa Murabit, Jim Shelton, and Jessica Lahey. Lots of folks are headed there. Wave hi if you see me (pictured) wandering around.

⏰ Yep, IRE and NICAR host their annual conference devoted to data journalism, March 8-11, 2018 in Chicago. There are sessions on newsroom diversitydata visualization, and investigating inequality

⏰ Earlier this week at the Newseum, Richard Prince, Francisco Vara-Orta, and Tracy Jan discussed diversity in today’s news media and how the media covers communities of color, fifty years after the publication of the Kerner Report. Is there a livestream we can watch?

⏰ Coming in April, the Yale School of Management’s annual education summit will feature a keynote from former EdSec John King. The theme of the conference is “Fostering the Ecosystem for Change,” which will ask participants to explore various approaches to promoting educational equality and creating lasting social change through education.”

⏰ EWA’s 2018 National Seminar takes place May 16-18, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. If you’re unsure whether you cover the costs, apply for a travel scholarship, and new to the beat education reporters can apply for the New to the Beat program for training and mentorship.

⏰ It’s here: The best & worst education journalism for February 2018


“This is quite a correction,” notes Jon Steingart about an AP correction in which the wire service admits to having confused “sitting shiva” with “sit and shiver.” Indeed it is.

unnamed (7)

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

No comments yet. Add Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

WP_User Object ( [data] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 4 [user_login] => russo [user_pass] => $P$BpKmMvWeGEporGqZWX8UQmwrN84I5Q/ [user_nicename] => russo [user_email] => thegrade2015@gmail.com [user_url] => [user_registered] => 2016-11-09 20:17:42 [user_activation_key] => [user_status] => 0 [display_name] => Alexander Russo [type] => wpuser ) [ID] => 4 [caps] => Array ( [administrator] => 1 [wpcf_custom_post_type_view] => 1 [wpcf_custom_post_type_edit] => 1 [wpcf_custom_post_type_edit_others] => 1 [wpcf_custom_taxonomy_view] => 1 [wpcf_custom_taxonomy_edit] => 1 [wpcf_custom_taxonomy_edit_others] => 1 [wpcf_custom_field_view] => 1 [wpcf_custom_field_edit] => 1 [wpcf_custom_field_edit_others] => 1 [wpcf_user_meta_field_view] => 1 [wpcf_user_meta_field_edit] => 1 [wpcf_user_meta_field_edit_others] => 1 ) [cap_key] => wp_capabilities [roles] => Array ( [0] => administrator ) [allcaps] => Array ( [switch_themes] => 1 [edit_themes] => 1 [activate_plugins] => 1 [edit_plugins] => 1 [edit_users] => 1 [edit_files] => 1 [manage_options] => 1 [moderate_comments] => 1 [manage_categories] => 1 [manage_links] => 1 [upload_files] => 1 [import] => 1 [unfiltered_html] => 1 [edit_posts] => 1 [edit_others_posts] => 1 [edit_published_posts] => 1 [publish_posts] => 1 [edit_pages] => 1 [read] => 1 [level_10] => 1 [level_9] => 1 [level_8] => 1 [level_7] => 1 [level_6] => 1 [level_5] => 1 [level_4] => 1 [level_3] => 1 [level_2] => 1 [level_1] => 1 [level_0] => 1 [edit_others_pages] => 1 [edit_published_pages] => 1 [publish_pages] => 1 [delete_pages] => 1 [delete_others_pages] => 1 [delete_published_pages] => 1 [delete_posts] => 1 [delete_others_posts] => 1 [delete_published_posts] => 1 [delete_private_posts] => 1 [edit_private_posts] => 1 [read_private_posts] => 1 [delete_private_pages] => 1 [edit_private_pages] => 1 [read_private_pages] => 1 [delete_users] => 1 [create_users] => 1 [unfiltered_upload] => 1 [edit_dashboard] => 1 [update_plugins] => 1 [delete_plugins] => 1 [install_plugins] => 1 [update_themes] => 1 [install_themes] => 1 [update_core] => 1 [list_users] => 1 [remove_users] => 1 [promote_users] => 1 [edit_theme_options] => 1 [delete_themes] => 1 [export] => 1 [wpseo_bulk_edit] => 1 [wpcf_custom_post_type_view] => 1 [wpcf_custom_post_type_edit] => 1 [wpcf_custom_post_type_edit_others] => 1 [wpcf_custom_taxonomy_view] => 1 [wpcf_custom_taxonomy_edit] => 1 [wpcf_custom_taxonomy_edit_others] => 1 [wpcf_custom_field_view] => 1 [wpcf_custom_field_edit] => 1 [wpcf_custom_field_edit_others] => 1 [wpcf_user_meta_field_view] => 1 [wpcf_user_meta_field_edit] => 1 [wpcf_user_meta_field_edit_others] => 1 [wpseo_manage_options] => 1 [administrator] => 1 ) [filter] => ) 4 | 4