Washington Post’s education writer, Jay Mathews, makes a key point in his piece, National ed reporting overrated:
National education stories have a place, but too often they are about ideology, politics and budget fights (Will the Adequate Yearly Progress rules be changed? Who will get the Race to the Top money?). The most important changes, I learned long ago, occur in classrooms because of the actions of educators, not members of congress.
The distinguished authors of the Brookings report recognized the importance and depth of local education news, but still reached debatable conclusions. They said the lack of national education coverage “makes it difficult for the public to follow the issues at stake in our education debates and to understand how to improve school performance.”
Really? How much can one learn about what teachers and students are doing from a story on the latest NAEP scores or a fight in congress over vouchers?
Let novice reporters cover national education news. It won’t take many of them if it’s only 1.4 percent of the total. Let the rest of us report the more valuable story of learning at the local level, for which there is still a lot of space in the paper.
As schools trend towards looking more like homeschooling, how much more ‘local’ can you get than homeschooling?
Speaking of local coverage, Midland Daily News’ (Midland, MI) staff photojournalist, John Tully, posted images from his homeschool assignment at his blog, Life in the 989. He writes, “I met Kelly Aguilera and her 8 children between preschool and a senior in college and was able to hang out with them yesterday.”