BEST OF THE WEEK
Probably the biggest education-related news out there this week was the Thursdaynight revelation that the Trump administration will continue deferred action (know as DACA) for tons of children who were brought here by their parents. The New York Times seemed to have it first. No word yet on what the announcement means for Diego Puma, the Ossining NY kid who was detained last week after abandoning efforts to remain in the country. EdWeek’s Evie Blad has an explainer here.
EdSec Betsy DeVos surprised many folks this week when she delivered a speech at the National Association of Public Charter Schools conference in which she warned as well as praised charter school advocates about their work – and didn’t make all that much of accountability. There was coverage from US News, BuzzFeed, and many others.
Speaking of DeVos, you should also probably read Erica Green’s articles trying to get at what makes DeVos tick and how the world has responded to her previous efforts: Charter School Founded by DeVos Family Reflects National Tensions and To Understand Betsy DeVos’s Educational Views, View Her Education.
Meanwhile, one of the strangest and most widely-covered events of the week was the Cabinet meeting at which Trump appointees thanked the President in ways many found creepy. DeVos was there, as you can see above — but what did she say? I still haven’t seen that covered, and sort of want to know.
Over at the Connecticut Mirror, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas has been doing a series about efforts to support ELLs better, including this exploration of what other districts are doing.
Dataviz of the week comes from The 74, which reports on the relationship between increased spending and lower NAEP scores. Maybe it’s my tiny laptop screen, but it’s not the easiest chart to read. Maybe a national-level chart would have been a good place to start, before charting state-level spending and NAEP scores?
#EDgifs of the week go to EdWeek for their use in a story about edtech and teacher prep.
FROM THE GRADE
There were two new columns published at The Grade this week, by contributors Tara Garcia Mathewson and Richard Lee Colvin:
Colvin’s column focused on the NYT’s coverage of Google’s education efforts. “The tone of the entire May 13 story by Natasha Singer conveys a warning that public schools and America’s young are being put at risk by a crafty marketing campaign driven by an unseemly hunger for profit.”
Earlier in the week, Garcia Mathewson highlighted the lack of source diversity in non-race education stories, and how to improve the situation. “Journos should think about racial/ethnic diversity of sources for all stories, not just those explicitly about race,” she writes. Indeed. The Pulitzer Center has more on diversifying your stories here.
Even if you’ve never heard of the show or have no intention of ever watching it (you fool), do yourself a favor and read Mitra Kalita’s 10 secrets to great journalismhidden away in ‘Master of None’.
“So much of journalism often feels built upon telling audiences how different the places we report from are (dusty roads, colorful clothing, the sounds of foreign languages, pool halls filled with smoke — the stuff ledes are made of). What if instead we focused on sameness as an entry point, a building block upon which to start a conversation?”
Once again, PBS defended its decision to run School Inc, citing an abundance of other school-related programming. To get contributor Amy Shuffelton’s take, see last month’s The Grade column here.
Nine years ago, says Facebook, we were worrying about the rise of military-backed public schools. Were those worries warranted? Whatever happened to those programs?
Oh, and also: “If it is sexist for men to cut off women, it is sexist for men to cut off women.”
PEOPLE, PLACES, & THINGS
Occasional education writer Amanda Ripley’s big new piece on women in politics came out in Politico, focusing in part on school board elections. “School boards are the only elected bodies in America that have ever come close to achieving gender parity.” Also: Former Slate education columnist Laura Moser is running for Congress. Someone should write about that.
It was a VERY rough week employment-wise for journalists at TIME, HuffPost, and a few other places. The LA Times is doing more buyouts.So far as I know, the newsroom cuts didn’t touch any education reporters. Crossed fingers everyone out there is safe for now.
Speaking of jobs, EdWeek chose NPR’s Scott Montgomery as its new executive editor, according to EdWeek. And there’s at least one job opening I know of: Social Issues & Education Reporter (Asheville NC). See EWA’s jobs board for others.
I’m always happy to see national education coverage from the Wall Street Journal, but light pieces like Schools seek the boost from a monkey-bars break, by expanding recess make me think national education reporter Tawnell Hobbs is being wildly under-used.
Maybe she’s working on some big projects? Maybe the Journal has decided against having her cover day-to-day national education news the same way everyone else does? Anyone who remembers Stephanie Simon or Stephanie Banchero when they were in that job will understand my confused impatience. Read Hobbs’ stuff here.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Danielle Dreilinger went back to find out how the kids she profiled last year were doing. Click to see what they’re up to. More of us should do these kinds of lookbacks, for all sorts of reasons. Whatever happened to the parents who opted their kids out of standardized testing? Whatever happened to the kids who went to the school that got closed?
I was sad to miss New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones talk about the State of Education and Race earlier this week, and I’m still looking for video or audio of the event. But according to Twitter it was a great event. “We need to hear about stories of white people who went to integrated schools,” she’s quoted as saying. “We are so used to no progress that we are accepting crumbs”
Meanwhile, the Knight Foundation has a piece about how the Ida B. Wells Society is working to diversify the ranks of investigative reporters (traditionally super-white).
There’s a nice mention for last week’s Washington Post’s piece on a school shooting in South Carolina included in the New York Times’ “What We’re Reading” section. You know, the one I (and everyone else) told you about last week, which begins: “Recess had finally started, so Ava Olsen picked up her chocolate cupcake, then headed outside toward the swings. And that’s when the 7-year-old saw the gun.”
The folks behind movies like Creed and Fruitvale Station (including Michael B. Jordan, above center) and Atlantic writer Ta-Nahesi Coates (above right) are working on a feature film about the Atlanta test cheating scandal, focused on a math teacher who got pulled into changing students’ test scores.
To Be His ‘Most Authentic Self,’ Brookline Elementary School Principal Announces He’s Transgender | WBUR News http://ow.ly/bAK430cCUMc
Last week’s edition of the newsletter can be found: http://ow.ly/