The Brookings Institution has a report out today decrying the low volume and poor quality of journalism about education. Education stories are too rare, making up 1.4% of all national news, the report finds. When they do happen, the stories are too often not really about schools at all; instead, they dissect strip-searches of students and H1N1.
Yet the sad state of the news business makes improvement difficult. From the report:
… education represents a fundamental mechanism for social and economic advancement and long-term civic engagement.
But the ability of the general public to understand what is happening in elementary and secondary schools, as well as higher education, is limited by the current collapse of traditional media organizations.
Well, duh. This is why we exist, and why we are asking for your support.
Interestingly, the report also draws attention to a lack of coverage of education issues that fall outside the K-12 box: community colleges and early childhood. I would love to pour more of our time into writing about how the average 3-year-old is educated in this city — and into investigating the education received by the average community college-attending high school graduate. I’m especially curious about the daycare workers the UFT organized last year, and about claims of turnarounds, like at Hostos Community College in the Bronx (see the TV interview cited here).
Are you, readers, curious about those subjects too? Please send tips to the tips line or write them publicly.
Here’s the full report: