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Since 2008, the Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship program has given three education writers a chance to spend a year reporting on a story that they might otherwise never have gotten the chance to write. The results have included books by Sarah Garland, Dana Goldstein, Greg Toppo, and me.

This year’s fellows — Sara Mosle, Vanessa Romo, and Erin Richards are starting what could be a big year for them and (hopefully) for education readers and observers:

A longtime reporter and editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Richards is going to spend her year exploring “the growth of voucher schools, their impact on kids and communities, and the struggle to regulate their quality.”

Romo has written about schools from LA (including for the LA School Report and KPCC LA). She’s going to spend her time exploring “the connection between language, culture and the achievement gap among foreign language speakers through the lens of LA’s pioneering initiatives.” 

Despite having know her work since the late 1990s, I have still never met Sara Mosle. Mosle has both taught and written about schools for many years (and was at one point going to write a biography about the AFT’s Al Shanker). Her focus will be “the past, present, and future of the national standards movement.”

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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