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BEST OF THE WEEK

There was lots of the usual DeVos outrage coverage this week, but the big education story had to be the Washington Post’s investigation showing that some D.C. high schools are reporting only a fraction of suspensions.

The implications for the rest of the nation, where schools are also trying to replace suspensions with restorative justice, are clear. Read more about how the Post examined suspensions in D.C. schools here.

While most outlets highlighted the controversy and conflict of DeVos and Title IX, the New Yorker described DeVos’s “fraught attempt to address campus sexual assault.” It’s this kind of thoughtful exploration of issues and dynamics that many readers crave.

Over at the LA Weekly, Hillel Aaron reports that the big salary increase that LA school board members received last week is dwarfed by huge pensions that three of the board members receive as former principals. Again, reporting that gets below the surface of a story stands out.

Kudos also to the New York Times for keeping us current on Trump Administration nominations and appointments. Only 2 of 11 top USDE jobs have been nominated, making the agency among the slowest/lowest of the bunch.

Colorado-based outlets are gearing up for a big education-themed fight for governor. Check out some recent coverage from the Denver Post and Chalkbeat to get yourself up to speed. Colorado and California are shaping up to be the big education battlegrounds of the next year.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

📰  Baltimore Sun: Facing a changing political landscape, NAACP national convention comes to Baltimore https://t.co/wXd47SPxdY

📰  The 74: House Republicans Warn Education Dept. on ESSA Overreach as Democrats Lament Lack of Accountability Rules https://t.co/sJMMZz8LXl

📰  SCPR: Changes to teacher tenure law on hold in Sacramento. Again. https://t.co/Mv9hiAWLAe

📰  Chalkbeat: New research finds a perverse consequence of accountability: Struggling teachers move to teaching younger grades, which aren’t tested. https://t.co/4O6CGFE886

📰  Seattle Times: Number of girls taking AP computer-science exam more than doubles in one yearhttps://t.co/SU4V19rG98

📰  USA Today: Easy A? Nearly half of HS seniors graduate with A average – http://USATODAY.com

FROM “THE GRADE” 

The latest column from The Grade – co-published with the Columbia Journalism Review – focuses on flaws in the coverage of the recent LA school board race by both local and national outlets.

Most national outlets failed to grasp the national themes in the contest, according to this analysis. And local outlets covered the money and the “proxy war” between unions and reform advocates but generally left readers in the dark about how the campaigns were being run or what issues really mattered to voters.

Apologies to Politico for having mischaracterized its efforts – the piece is now corrected.

ALSO:

Mainstream media nearly missed out entirely on a Bay Area education controversy due to media downsizing (& inequitable coverage), according to the Washington Post’s  What happens to local news when there is no local media to cover it?Stanford journalism students scooped the mainstream media on a widespread teacher protest against district administrators in East Palo Alto, leaving the big guys scrambling to catch-up.

EWA’s survey on diversity and inclusiveness came out and a whopping 80 percent of respondents said the association of education journalists “has a significant role to play” in promoting diversity in education journalism. Indeed. See EdWeek coverage here.

NB: Last week’s newsletter described the DeVos Q-and-A session with education reporters. It turns out that Inside Higher Ed was also at the event, as was the Washington Post.

PEOPLE, PLACES, & THINGS

Kicking off the back- to-school surge of stories, APM Reports has a slew of new podcasts coming soon. “Shadow Class: College Dreamers in Trump’s America” is scheduled for August 21. Other pieces focus on kids with dyslexia in public schools, the legacy of slavery in higher education, rural schools struggling to find and keep teachers, and why so few black men enter teaching – and why it matters.

It was fun to hear the LA Times’ Joy Resmovits talking about teacher effectivenesson KPCC the other day, along with UCLA’s Pedro Noguera.

We should all probably be reading CALmatters, a nonprofit site including education stories including this one about how California’s next election will be a tug-of-war on education. There’s also a big project on California’s school funding formula. It looks like they’re going to give EdSource, SI&A Cabinet Report, and LA School Report a run for their money.

In a recent opinion piece on PBS, a journalist revealed that her parents gamed the education system to send her to a better school than the one she was otherwise assigned. I wonder how many other journalists’ parents did something along the same lines, and whether other journalists would be willing to talk about it.

At AlterNet, former PBS education correspondent John Merrow critiqued a recent Washington Monthly feature penned by former US News education writer Tom Toch. Merrow’s book is out next month. No response yet from Toch or the Monthly that I know of.

EWA’s Spanish-language media seminar, Covering Latino Education in the Trump Era, is coming up fast. ¿Este evento va a ser realizado en inglés o español? ¿Qué nivel de español se necesita? No se.

ALSO:

Washington Post DC schools reporter (and former Star Tribune education reporter) Alejandra Matos is “soon to be @HoustonChron state politics reporter.”

NPR and the union representing on-air talent came to agreement at the last minute, meaning that we don’t have to go without NPR Education.

The Chicago Sun-Times has been bought by a group of investors including organized labor. However, they have promised not to interfere, and the outrage at the purchase seems … strangely absent.

Talking Points Memo has doubled its paid circulation in a year, according to this writeup. It’s a fascinating model, and I’m guessing that an education site is going to have subscriptions soon. I just wish TPM’s education coverage was smarter and more frequent.

On his podcast, the New Yorker’s Malcom Gladwell dared to critique the Supreme Court’s much-loved Brown school integration decision, saying that “the court, for its own particular reasons, wanted to claim that black people, as a result of segregation, had suffered a kind of grievous and catastrophic psychological injury. And I’m sorry, that’s just not true.”

Needless to say, journalists like Nikole Hannah Jones had a lot to say about that (check Twitter).

KICKERS

Russia is investigating fidget spinners after reports claim they ‘zombify’ youth, reports The Verge and the NYT. Then again, the Russian Blue Whale Game is encouraging kids to kill themselves, according to Newsweek. Russia wins.

Sunscreen is banned from many schools. State legislators are working to change that. http://to.pbs.org/2tCr0bO  #edchat #scichat via @NewsHour

Marketplace: It’s back-to-school season all year https://t.co/a4SyHwDm1a

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.