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NY Daily News education reporter Ben Chapman, and wife Brooke Vermillion, from NY Magazine.

On Monday, an education-related story about Brooklyn gentrification won a national magazine award for best use of multimedia. An essay against traditional high school education was a finalist but didn’t win the top honor in its category.

The November story, in New York Magazine, is called “This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.” One of the block’s residents profiled in the story — Moriam Johnson — moved there specifically to be closer to a better school


Another resident is the partner to the NY Daily News’ education reporter Ben Chapman [@NYDNBenChapman], who recently became a parent. See picture at the top.

I wrote up this story on This Week In Education when it first came out (All Eyes On Bed-Stuy): “There is a charter school at one end of the block (Excellence Boys Uncommon Charter School) and a district school on the other (PS/MS 262 El Hajj Malik El Shabazz School. One of the renters who’s profiled says she moved to the neighborhood to be closer to the charter school her son attends.”

Gentrification and school diversity stories are all over the place these days:

The AP recently picked up a Redfin report showing that very few neighborhoods in big US cities offer both affordable housing costs and quality schools. just published a video about the perils of residential assignment of kids to schools and the challenges of getting parents to agree to diversity (Brownstone Brooklyn’s Racial Divide).

YouTube video

At this weekend’s Teach For America 25th Anniversary summit event in DC, there’s a panel on “intentionally diverse” schools bucking the segregation trend, moderated by NYT Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones.

In the essays and commentary section, Harper’s Magazine was nominated for three “Easy Chair” columns by Rebecca Solnit including one titled “Abolish High School.” It’s opening lines:

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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