Get Ready For A New Parenting Site from The Awl (& “College Premium”)

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 TeachersHow They’re Destroying Philadelphia’s Schools [by Lucy Madison]; Venture Capital’s Massive, Terrible Idea For The Future Of CollegeYour Massively Open Offline College Is BrokenSoros 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.

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Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at