Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Education beat losing its best reporters...and now Elizabeth Green

We have lost several terrific reporters from the education beat recently. Erin Einhorn of the Daily News, perhaps the best investigative reporter on schools over the last five years, has moved on to covering City Hall.

Michael Meenan of NY1 has recently departed the station; Mike was the hardest working reporter I've ever seen, in terms of covering hearings, meetings, rallies, and doing his best to cover both sides of every story – including the deep dissatisfaction that many parents and other educational stakeholders have with the Bloomberg/Klein policies.

Today, the NY Sun is closing its doors, which will end Elizabeth Green's peerless education reporting for the paper.

In her short time at the Sun, Elizabeth had one scoop after another: The fact that the Department of Ed had been spying on Diane Ravitch and had enlisted Kathy Wylde of the NYC Partnership to smear her in an oped for the NY Post. That the DOE launched a "truth squad" to scan blogs and list servs for critical coverage. A big cheating scandal at the Ross charter school, founded by the multimillionaire Courtney Ross and located in the basement of Tweed itself.

She also produced a lot of great reporting on the city's vaunted test results, breaking the story that the state scores were likely inflated, according to experts, and that there had been an unusually high level of special ed accommodations in NYC on the national exams.

She led everyone on what will be one of the biggest political stories of this year, the fate of mayoral control of the schools. She was the first to report on the unusually high level of discontent among legislators with the Bloomberg administration's handling of education; and provided leaked testimony from some biggies to the Gotbaum commission studying the subject. Elizabeth was also the first to reveal the likely successor to Randi Weingarten as the head of the UFT, weeks before it was announced.

Many prominent commentators recognized her talent. Eduwonkette called her "the sharpest and most inquisitive education reporter in New York City." Eduwonkette's main rival, Eduwonk, entitled a post about one of her scoops: "Elizabeth Green Strikes Again!"

Alexander Russo, a well-known blogger, included Elizabeth in his 2008 national "Hot...For Education" list, and described her work as follows:

With ability (and ambition) to spare, the NY Sun's relatively new education reporter Elizabeth Green regularly breaks news and scoops her competitors. All the while looking snazzy. Watch out, big-time education reporters. Elizabeth is eating your lunch.

Elizabeth intends to keep reporting on education, and I have no doubt that given her talent, energy and ability to spot the big story wherever it can be found, she will land on her feet very quickly. But it is a huge loss nonetheless to have her missing from the daily education beat – especially now, when we need her most.

5 comments:

Diana said...

Very, very sad.

Before the sun comes up, before I'm really awake, I often check for new articles by Elizabeth Green. There will be more, I am sure, but not from the Sun.

I look forward to her future articles--and I hope she finds a great new place.

Anonymous said...

The New York Times could use her. They don't really have anyone who reports on education.

NYC Educator said...

Couldn't agree more on the Times, which has offered us the very worst education reporting in the city for the last few years. It would be great if they'd grab up a real reporter, like Elizabeth, who actually asks questions.

Chaz said...

Don't forget about Andrew Wolf who wrote some very damming opinion pieces on the DOE. Both will be missed and I hope they are hired by Newsday or the NY Times.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Wolf's alarmist articles have been driving middle class children out of Riverdale's middle school for years. His cause is noble. His delivery, at least in Riverdale Review, is scandalous and counter-productive.