My 6 favorite columns so far in 2019

In honor of having reached the midpoint for 2019 and the Fourth of July holiday, here are six favorite columns from 2019 you might want to check out:

Covering the ‘education primary’ of 2019: Early coverage of the candidates’ education platforms tended to be superficial, especially when compared to campaign coverage being provided by political reporters. Controversy over hot-button issues like school integration is going to make the challenge even harder. But there are some bright spots and go-to strategies education teams can use to do it well.

Favorite bylines, outlets, & education teams for spring 2019: These are the people and teams whose work I’m most happy to see when it appears. Since this came out, WAMU’s Jenny Abamu has done even more great work, and The Atlantic’s Alia Wong and Adam Harris continue to produce strong pieces. Anyone else I should add to the list for summer 2019?

Profiling valedictorians to highlight school inequality: This amazing series from the Boston Globe’s investigative team used high school valedictorians as a way to highlight inequalities in the education system. If you haven’t read it, you really should. It’s also one of the inspirations for the newly-expanded education team within the investigative unit funded by the Barr Foundation, an interesting experiment in outside funding focused on investigative journalism rather than daily beat coverage.

The New York Times wrote a big story about online learning in Kansas. It didn’t go well.: Factual errors are the most obvious kind of problem to discuss, but they’re also relatively unusual and often they’re not the real problem with the story. This NYT piece combined factual errors with contextual inaccuracies and overstatements. To its credit, the Times corrected the factual errors.

How editors shape education coverage: Editors don’t get enough credit for the work that they do, helping come up with ideas, shaping them, and editing them. Contributor Mareesa Nicosia took a look into their role and found a handful of reporter-editor pairs to focus on.

Newsroom diversity 2019: This year’s newsroom diversity snapshot was a particularly difficult one to produce, largely because a handful of outlets that had previously participated did not respond. The good news is that there is a small but growing cadre of editors of color handling education, and a handful of education teams who are now primarily composed of journalists of color.

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

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