Things keep changing over at the LA Times education desk.

Over the past few months, the longtime Education Editor Beth Shuster left the paper, as did longtime editorial page education writer Karin Klein. Managing Editor Mitra Kalita, who brought in several reporters, left for CNN.

During the same period the education team has been castigated numerous times for over- and under-covering various issues and for taking funding from a consortium of funders including Broad.

The resulting coverage can sometimes be extremely careful (and good). For example, take Joy Resmovits’ coverage of the ACLU SoCal study on charter school discrimination: Some California charter schools discriminate, ACLU report says. Resmovits also filled us in on what former LAUSD head John Deasy was doing next (Deasy to build alternative juvenile prisons). Other recent stories from the LA Times include Relationship between LAUSD & charters ‘like a middle school dance’ and Charter school & union unite on retiree benefits for charter teachers.


The latest news on the personnel side is that starting on Monday former NYT, Chalkbeat and Tampa Bay Times reporter Anna Phillips (pictured above) has joined the team covering metro education issues. According to the official announcement, “Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin said Phillips has great talent both for investigative work and for putting a human face on complex legal issues.”

Phillips replaces Zahira Torres, who has according to her Twitter bio become investigations editor at the El Paso Times. She’ll apparently be edited by Nita Lelyveld. Unless others have departed, the remaining education team includes Howard Blume, Teresa Watanabe and Sonali Kohli.

Phillips is among a small but steady trickle of reporters who have returned to the education beat from other topics in recent years — a trend that EWA’s Emily Richmond may be writing about for an upcoming column.

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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