Blog: The Educated Reporter

Best Of 2011: What Education Stories Make Your List?

I’m compiling a list of the most interesting education stories of 2011, and I’d like your help. Were there thought-provoking pieces that were conversation starters in your office? Who wrote the profile that you sent to co-workers and friends? What was the investigative series that made you say “wow!”

We’ve been talking about this over on EdMedia Commons (click here to sign up, if you’re not already a member). Two stories have already been nominated: Paul Tough’s remarkable piece in the New York Times Magazine’s annual education issue, looking at the influence of “grit” on student learning and achievement; and Michael Winerip’s column (also from the NYT) about Tennessee’s controversial plan for evaluating teachers teaching subjects that don’t require standardized testing of students.

I’d like to add a few more stories to that list. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution deserves credit for pushing hard on the cheating scandal that’s rocked its public school system (click here for a link to the collected stories). This is probably one of the most talked about stories of the year, and it spurred closer scrutiny of testing procedures and results in other states, as well.

I also was impressed with the Boston Globe’s “Getting In” series, which followed parents navigating the city’s confusing — and often confounding — school assignment maze. The multimedia elements of the project, including video interviews with the families, were an effective way of bringing readers deeper into the narrative.

So, what stories stood out for you this year? To my education journalist colleagues — don’t be shy about nominating your own work. I also encourage you to submit it to the EWA’s annual contest. 



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