Add “This American Life” & New Yorker’s Malcolm Gladwell To Best Of 2015

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At number 10 of The Atlantic’s 50 Best Podcast Episodes of 2015, This American Life’s pair of segments on school segregation gets a nice writeup: 

“The Problem We All Live With” was an ambitious undertaking even for TAL, chronicling segregation and integration in public schools… Of special note is an outlandish PTA meeting with parents spewing a subtle brand of racism. Listeners will feel as though they’re seated in the packed gymnasium as one black student breaks down while trying to muster the courage to simply introduce herself to the angry white crowd.

In the New York Times, David Brooks gives a mention to several Malcolm Gladwell pieces in his roundup of essays (The 2015 Sidney Awards, Part 2): “Gladwell’s piece “Thresholds of Violence” describes how school shootings are in some ways like riots, complex dialogues of violence between far-flung killers.”

Other education stories that have been included in national roundups include Catalyst Chicago’s expose of a $20 million contract that led to the resignation and criminal investigation of former school superintendent Barbara Byrd-Bennett. 

Related posts: CJR 2015 Journalism RoundupMore Kudos For Chicago Catalyst From CJR.

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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