Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Barbara Martinez

There are a handful of education writers who I follow closely, with Jay Mathews and Andy Rotherham at the top of list, but there's a new one you should be aware of: Barbara Martinez of the Wall St. Journal, who is part of the team for the WSJ's New York City section that debuted on April 26th (see: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/04/the_journal_new_york_newsroom.html). 


You might think a reporter who's never covered the education beat (most of her very successful career was spent covering healthcare; see her bio at: www.anderson.ucla.edu/x30713.xml) wouldn't have much to add, but she really understands this issue deeply, in part because of her personal experience.  She was born and raised in Newark (her father was an auto mechanic) and she attended public schools until they became so dangerous that she had to attend Catholic school for high school, so she's spent many years in the belly of the beast and understands DEEPLY the horrific situation in most of our inner-city public schools.


She's already doing original research – for example, she dropped the bombshell on April 28th, Teacher Absences Plague Schools (http://edreform.blogspot.com/2010/04/teacher-absences-plague-schools.html), which revealed that 20% of NYC teachers missed more than two weeks of school last year – and 3.2% missed more than SIX weeks!

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