Best education news of the week



The storms that hit Texas and Florida continue to be the big education story of the week.

For national overviews, try USA Today (Hurricane Irma: 8.5 million students lost school time), the NYT (Under academic scrutiny, Houston schools seek a quick recovery from Harvey), or The 74 (Ten Percent of All Public School Students Missing Class on Tuesday as 6 States Continue to Cope With Irma), or NPR (Houston Public Schools Open After Delays From Hurricane Harvey).

For some pretty amazing local coverage and the unique role of schools and education reporters during disasters, read this week’s column (below).


New data from the OECD finds teachers’ pay lags farthest behind other college-educated professionals in the US, notes EdWeekBBC News, and others.

Apparently, college-educated teachers in the US make roughly 60 percent of their counterparts.

Pro-charter folks in MA and Los Angeles are in big trouble for campaign contribution and disclosure issues, racking up fines and felony charges. See WBURBoston HeraldLA TimesUSA Today.

The Washington Post’s rundown of false claims from Trump include ones about immigrant gang members infiltrating US schools and undocumented immigrants burdening local schools.

This video shows a teacher saving a student from jumping off a 17-story building in China.



The latest column of the Grade focuses on the unique role schools — and education reporters — play during disasters

Education reporting might seem like a side issue when there’s a major catastrophe going on, but schools often provide food and safety to students as well as shelter to displaced persons – sometimes at the same time.

That gives education reporters a unique and important role to play.

For additional reading on journalism, disasters, and related issues:

Nieman Report: The Trauma of Covering Traumatic Events

Baekdal: Unintentional harm journalists can cause

International Journalists Network: How journalists can better approach victims of disaster

WLRN: Damaged Schools, Families With No Place To Live (2016)


White parents in Washington, D.C., are no longer said to be “flocking” to private schools in the online version of last week’s NYT Sunday Magazine, which is a good thing because that’s not what is happening.

Corrections don’t have to be a big deal, if news outlets would only get over their inordinate fear of them. They build a lot of trust with readers, which is one of the key things journalism needs most right now.

Thanks to Conor Williams and Austin Nichols for helping dig out the numbers, and to various folks at the NYT for being willing to listen.


On Thursday, EWA hosted a webinar on ESSA state plans, 32 of which are due to the USDE by Monday.

Next week’s column from the Grade will take another look at how well the mainstream media is doing at covering ESSA.

Earlier this summer, I wrote that mainstream coverage of the law had been skimpy and superficial – but that it wasn’t too late.


America’s local newspapers might be broke – but they’re more vital than ever Guardian

Media Matters: CBS Evening News failed viewers in its DeVos interview on sexual assault protections 


Incredible reporting by the Cincinnati Enquirer in This Is What An Epidemic Looks Like chronicles a week of the heroin epidemic unfolding in the city and surrounding area. Perspectives shared across photos, video and from police, medics, users, family, and area residents brings holistic and deeply human coverage to the issue.

For more on how the drug crisis is affecting students, teachers, and schools, check out Joyce Tsai’s recent piece from The Grade.


Occasional education writer and author Amanda Ripley (pictured above) joined a dozen other writers talking about how the influence much-missed journalist David Carr had on their lives.

Writes Ripley: “With Carr, I never felt left out. He treated me and everyone else like he had big plans for us.”

We should all hope that those we work with feel the same way about us.

NPR’s legendary education reporter Claudio Sanchez (above)  appeared at last weekend’s EWA event for Spanish-language education reporters (#ewaespanol17). Image via Eileen Truax.

This job announcement for an education reporter at WDRB 41 Louisville Newssignals the departure from the beat and the news business of Toni Konz, a 16-year veteran.

Want to read more about journalists leaving journalism? Read A feature writer’s poignant farewell in CJR.

There are lots of jobs open at Chalkbeat, including Story Editor and New York Bureau Chief.

In other media moves, Peter Balonon-Rosen started at Markeplace in August. He previously covered education at StateImpactIN and WBUR Boston public radio.

Reminder: CJR is holding a September 18 event in Charlottesville on Race, Racism, and the News: Lessons for journalism, and an October 4 event in Atlanta on The Year That Changed Journalism.


“Single-file line, just like in elementary school!”

Flamingos being moved to safe areas at @BuschGardens.


Here’s the archive of past newsletters, plus a handy-dandy signup form if you’re not already following or are sick of passing it on to colleagues.

Ten years ago this week, LAUSD awarded control over Locke High School to Green Dot charter schools, whom teachers had voted to help rescue the school. From that vote came Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors, my 2011 book about the effort to rescue the school and its effects on the teachers who led the charge.

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

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