Key Coverage

The Biggest Education News Story You’ve Never Heard Of

There’s no shortage of journalism focusing on education. But little of it has examined a fundamental question: What gets taught in our schools and how?

Look through a newspaper or magazine—or one of the education-focused news websites that have sprung up in recent years—and you’ll see plenty of stories about schools: teacher strikes, racial and socioeconomic disparities and segregation, charter schools, the role of technology, and (alas) school shootings. But if you’re curious about what is actually going on in American classrooms—what texts and topics are being taught, what kinds of questions teachers are asking students—you’re unlikely to find much information. And yet that’s what the public needs if we’re going to understand many of the problems that plague our education system, not to mention our society as a whole.

There are encouraging signs that the situation is beginning to change—including a panel at a recent conference of education journalists on “Curricular Concerns: How to Cover What Gets Taught.” Attendance was high, and one prominent education journalist tweeted afterwards, “This is the session that will change my lens for the year.”