Blog: The Educated Reporter

Overview

The Educated Reporter

EWA's blog about education issues and topics from a journalist's perspective. The Educated Reporter is anchored by Emily Richmond with contributions from EWA staff and guests.

EWA’s blog about education issues and topics from a journalist’s perspective. The Educated Reporter is anchored by Emily Richmond with contributions from EWA staff and guests.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

If you like reading about politics, or Washington, or really quirky dudes…

… read this terrific profile in the upcoming New York Times Magazine about Mike Allen. I reside practically within watermelon-cannon distance from the nerve center of Washington and spent the most formative chunk of my professional life on the national desk of the Washington Post, during which time I was a recipient and observant of Mike’s generosities and curiosities.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

What I didn’t get to ask about teacher quality.

The conversation about improving teacher quality these days centers primarily on two pieces: whether teachers should be evaluated and paid based on the test scores of their students, and how to fire bad teachers. But there are so many other point in the life cycle of a teacher where we might look at cultural and practical changes, tiny and massive, that might improve quality, from the point at which entering college students decide to major in education to the point at which teachers decide whether to retire.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Get your teacher quality groove on, today.

Turns out you can see today’s 3 p.m. event on teacher quality even if you aren’t in D.C. Register for the live webcast here. It’s Joel Klein, Randi Weingarten, David Monk, Andy Rotherham and me. We are dispensing with the whole prepared-remarks thing and going “Meet the Press” style, me being the press. Is there something you want me to ask? Put it in the comments below.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Rankings fail?

If you know me, you know I am inherently skeptical about ratings and rankings. As an authority of both cake and pie, I lowered my guard and developed high hopes for the Jezebel dessert March Madness, and look what happened: cheesecake won! As a PIE! Which is it not.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Joel, Randi and me.

When I reported in middle schools I always picked up stray notes off the floor. A highlight of my collection is a crumpled piece of loose-leaf that says in now-fading pencil:
 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The other gender gap: Who are your sources?

My friend Lizzie Skurnick wades into the NPR discussion about how airtime and sources lean heavily male. Curious, I did some math on my source lists, which turn out to be about two-fifths female in preK-12 and one-third female in higher ed. Certainly if you look at the usual cast of characters commenting on education in the Washington policy world, it is very, very male—and very white.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

No comment.

While I was away, I was glad to see I am not the only one who thinks newspaper online comments are a mess. Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald and Connie Schultz of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer last week called for a ban on anonymous comments—though the atmosphere on comments threads is so toxic I am not sure requiring names will truly improve it.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Escalante Conundrum: Possible versus Probable

The death of wonder teacher Jaime Escalante Tuesday at the age of 79 has provoked some thoughtful remembrances of his remarkable life and the even more remarkable math achievement he provoked among the many students he taught at Los Angeles’ Garfield High.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Tuition Free?

OK, Pet Peeve Time, readers of The Educated Reporter. Why is that so many charter schools in their promotional messages describe themselves as “tuition free”? I understand that people often are confused about what charter schools are or are not, but they are emphatically public schools, not private schools.