Slate Gets Schooled…in a Good Way

Belated kudos to Slate, which last week added to its arsenal of interest-focused blogs—the XX Factor for women’s issues, Convictions for legal issues, Human Nature for psychology and sociology—with Schoolhouse Rock, an education-related blog.

SR is penned by Paul Tough, a New York Times Magazine editor who covers education issues for the publication; he’s written cover stories, most recently, on school reform in New Orleans, the achievement gap and charter schools, and the Harlem Children’s Zone.

At work, for the past five years, on a soon-to-be-released book about the HCZ, Tough writes,

I came to appreciate that I had stumbled into a particularly fertile moment in education, with heated political debates, surprising scholarship, and promising initiatives underway around the country.

I’m hoping to use this blog over the month as a place to explore some of those ideas and developments, as well as news from the presidential campaign and elsewhere.

So far, Schoolhouse Rock has focused on some of the most controversial and urgent issues facing public education: school funding and teachers’ contracts. Heady topics, both. But Tough accomplishes the rather formidable task of making his discussions of both easily digestible and, dare I say, engaging.

Here’s hoping Tough’s own contract gets extended well beyond this month.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.