ICYMI: Tax law implications, disaster coverage, #Bestof2017 standouts (December 16-22, 2017)

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TAX BILL IMPLICATIONS: Maybe I’m the only one, but it wasn’t until this piece from The 74 that I understood the reasons why the tax bill had to be redone this week before it could be passed.

DISASTER RECOVERY: There were two very good pieces on how schools are being affected by natural disasters this week. The first, from the Courier-Post: about Camden (NJ) schools facing  an influx of children from storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. The second, from NPR, about the implications for kids missing school after disasters.

SUMMIT SETBACK: It’s not inBloom 2.0 yet. But there was a smattering of coverage about two school districts’ decision to pull back on use of the Summit learning platform: Indiana Gazette,EdSurge, and AP.

STANFORD DATA: Kudos to WNYC and ChalkbeatNY for covering the new Stanford data showing district performance varying even after you control for student income. Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum wrote up the study, too, focusing on highlights like Tennessee and under-performers like Baltimore, LA, and Atlanta.

There’s an amazing Boston Globe story about the city’s racial divide, including the lack of black middle-class enclaves that can serve as anchor points for black families with school-age children.


🔥 EdWeek: A Cheating Scandal Rocked Atlanta’s Schools. Ten Years Later, Efforts to Help Affected Students Fall Short https://t.co/cztFjuI1Ad

🔥Chicago Reporter: Thousands of black students leave Chicago for other segregated districts http://ow.ly/VvBW30hoqJC

🔥 The Trace: Five Years After Sandy Hook, Push to Bring Guns Into Ohio Schools Gains Strength https://t.co/2nvyeTBsp2

🔥 SCPR: The end of ‘Mexican schools’: How Latino families in OC sparked desegregation 70 years ago https://t.co/VdtzpZVSyA

🔥 Chalkbeat: How does New York set education policy? An inside look at the mad dash to make sense of a major diploma change http://ow.ly/8uCC30hnyiQ

🔥 Texas Public Radio: Report Exposes Low Graduation Rates At Texas Charter Schools https://t.co/i4U03uJLig

BEST OF 2017

Nine categories. Forty-three standout stories. A handful of snubs and surprises. This week’s column from The Grade presented the Best Education Journalism of 2017.

Reactions have ranged from happiness (“So much great education journalism happening right now.”) to disappointment (“tfw your favorite school integration story in 2017 is Malcolm Gladwell making the case that separate but equal works.”).

Crossed fingers that other folks will do their own #bestof2017 roundups, or respond to this one. There was way too much great journalism to include in any one list.

So far, the Atlantic’s education page has 10 revealing remarks about education in 2017. The 74 has The 10 Most Memorable Teachers Union Quotes of 2017. Education Week has Photos of the Year for 2017 and 2017’s Top 10 Quotes on Education Issues.

Follow  to learn more about media coverage of education issues. Sign up for the newsletter here: .


🏆 Rebecca Klein (pictured above): “I’m a HuffPost reporter who just finished up a months-long investigation into school voucher programs that are championed by Betsy DeVos. Many of these schools discriminate against LGBTQ and teach inaccurate, unscientific curriculums. Ask me anything.” (444 comments!)

🏆 In a WTTW Chicago interview by Brandis Friedman, Nikole Hannah-Jones describes her goals and updates on her book project.

🏆Hear WBEZ Chicago public radio reporter Sarah Karp “dish on her career in Chicago, and the issues of the day” on The Ed Couple podcast.

🏆 NYT national education reporter Erica Green responded to the news of the death of top editor Janet Elder with a reminiscence about her interview: “She told me the only person doubting I deserved to be at The Times was me… When I walked into my first news meeting, she gave me a big wink.”

🏆 NYT national education reporter Dana Goldstein also recounted a key discussion: “Last year, I told her I was apprehensive about working at The Times during the period of my life when I wanted to start a family. She told me I could do it but that I’d have to work very hard. Real talk, deeply appreciated.


Due Jan 12; Applications for the Selden Ring award for investigative reporting at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalismhttp://ow.ly/hFZA30hnd7K (Brian Rosenthal won last year.)

EWA’s 71st National Seminar will be held May 16-18 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Read the full announcement (and go ahead and register) here: http://ow.ly/iWMQ30hiZLn

Help Chalkbeat reach its $50,000 goal!


📰 In addition to conservative media outlets, mainstream media outlets also systematically and inaccurately portray Black families, according to a new report from Common Dreams.

📰 “In too many countries… the media corrects surreptitiously, when at all.” (via Poynter)

📰 Calling something a “voucher school” is like calling the estate tax the “death tax,” says longtime journalist Beth Hawkins in response to a recent HuffPost article.

📰 Collaborative journalism is a thing, according to this Mediashift report, which includes lots of great examples but none of them about education journalism that I see here.

📰 API has some suggestions about how to cover local refugee communities. Don’t mess it up.


Washington Post: This video of jubilant students at a small-town Louisiana school inspired millions. Here’s why. http://nzzl.us/tJ7GWcQ

That’s all, folks. Have a great holiday break. The Grade will be back the first week of January.

You can read all the back issues of The Grade’s newsletter, Best of the Week, here. Don’t forget to sign up while you’re there.

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

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