— alexanderrusso (@alexanderrusso) April 20, 2015
Enthusiasm and annoying repetition are not very Awl-like, but what can I do? I’m sure there are good reasons to hate the site (super-white, super-male might be an issue), but still it’s hard to argue with bits like these that I’ve found and shared over the years: More Dumb Ideas About Education [skewering George Mason economics professor for urging schools to imitate supermarkets]; The Evil Economics Of Judging Teachers; How They’re Destroying Philadelphia’s Schools [by Lucy Madison]; Venture Capital’s Massive, Terrible Idea For The Future Of College; Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken; Soros and Gates — Our Billionaire Philanthropists; Maybe Teachers Aren’t To Blame For Every Terrible Thing.
The gist of education pieces in The Awl is often critical of popular reform ideas, but in a way that’s smarter and less self-interested than usual. It’s like a smart, honest version of what you might read in Salon.
Among the many new things I learned reading this The Verge article about the site are that (a) it’s hired Gizmodo editor Brian Barrett to run a new parenting vertical (which in my mind is just a hair’s breadth from an education vertical), and (b) in the near future colleges and professors might offer “in-app purchases” or provide native advertising during their lectures:
Struggling to keep a straight face, Buchanan describes college lectures with professors delivering sponsored native ads indistinguishable from the course — environmental science brought to you by Exxon. “In-app purchases for college! College premium! I can’t wait!” Herrman says.
While we’re waiting for the parenting vertical to launch, is there something else that’s smart, bleak, viral-free, and otherwise Awl-like for education out there that I don’t know about? If not, there should be. Or at least you should be pitching them stories so that they’d cover the topic more frequently. Or if there’s a problem with The Awl that you have spotted, I want to know about that, too.