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Remember last week’s kerfluffle over whether the Washington Post’s writeup of a new education site/effort that is being headed by former CNN host Campbell Brown was fair and neutrally-worded? 

Sure you do.

What I’d forgotten in the heat of the moment is that this wasn’t the first time I’d taken some objection to the media coverage of Paul Farhi, the Washington Post media reporter. 

Much the same (or worse) happened a few years ago, when Farhi took to the pages of the American Journalism Review to bemoan the quality of education journalism: Flunking the Test. His best line? “The prevailing narrative – and let’s be wary of our own sweeping generalizations here – is that the nation’s educational system is in crisis, that schools are ‘failing,’ that teachers aren’t up to the job and that America’s economic competitiveness is threatened as a result.”

I didn’t think much of his analysis, and wrote as much in the Huffington Post: Critique of Education Journalism Flunks Its Own Test: My best line? “The only thing worse than superficial, credulous education journalism is superficial, credulous criticism of education journalism.”

As with many things, not everyone agreed with my takedown. One of them — a veteran education journalist — wrote a detailed analysis of Farhi’s piece and gave it a solid “B.”

Related: About The Washington Post’s Campbell Brown Story…

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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