Alexander Russo


The Never-Ending Debate Over John Oliver’s Testing Segment

Nearly five days after it first ran, this 18-minute “Last Week with John Oliver” segment on testing, Pearson, and all the rest continues to generate attention on social media and elsewhere: By and large, those concerned about testing, test-prep, and accountability-based school reform loved the HBO segment (and thought it was hilarious). Reform critic and… Read more »

AltSchool, Media Hype, & the Dilemma of Innovation Stories

There are two problematic approaches to writing about education I see a lot of these days: one I’ll dub “hysteria,” and the other I’ll call “hype.” The first — much in vogue right now among some national reporters and local outlets — is taking a hyper-negative, super-critical approach in which a new program, idea, company,… Read more »

Four Pinocchios for Jon Stewart on Education Spending

HBO’s John Oliver isn’t the only cable news comedian getting heat for recent comments about education. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart recently got dinged in the Washington Post for wildly overstating the amount of funding going to build schools in Afghanistan that could otherwise be better spent closer to home (ie, in Baltimore). As you may… Read more »

Welcome Aboard!*

Welcome to The Grade, a new blog about education journalism. No actual grades will be given — though praise and criticism will be offered quite regularly. Think of it as NPR’s “On The Media” for education news, or as a public editor or ombudsman for national K-12 news coverage. There’s a ton of education news… Read more »