A Capital Idea: More N.Y.C. Education News

By Mark Walsh — December 04, 2013 3 min read
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New York City is the media capital of the world, so it’s probably fitting that the city has multiple news outlets covering education policy and the nation’s largest public school system.

There are three major daily newspapers—the Daily News, The New York Times, and the New York Post—as well as Gotham Schools, and other outlets such as New York 1 News, and School Book, the education news site of public radio station WNYC.

Now there is one more, an offshoot of the highly successful Politico brand.

This week has brought the launch—the relaunch, really—of Capital New York, a Web publication that includes education coverage among its main topics of New York City Hall, doings in the state capital of Albany, and media.

Capital was founded in 2010 by two former editors of The New York Observer, the irreverent weekly newspaper that focuses largely on the wealthy Manhattan set. Back then, New York magazine said Capital New York would “contain magazine-quality journalism in a continuous format, accessible through a Politico-like homepage portal that brings together all their areas of coverage.”

Earlier this year, Washington-based Politico, the growing political news site, acquired Capital New York. Now the site has relaunched with several Politico-like elements. These include Capital Playbook, the Big Apple version of Politico‘s main daily newsletter, and Capital Pro, akin to Politico Pro topical newsletters on various policy areas, including education.

“Welcome to the bigger and better Capital,” Jim VandeHei, the CEO of both Politico and Capital, said in a note to readers on Tuesday. “We’ve redesigned the site, hired the best team of editors and reporters in the city and turned this into an essential experience for anyone who cares about City Hall, Albany and the media business.”

Capital New York received a shout-out from its Washington, D.C., cousins at Politico Pro Education, who said in Tuesday’s newsletter that “Capital offers a Politico-style experience for anyone who cares about city politics, state politics or the business of media. And it includes education coverage.”

Among the most recent education stories are these:

Dems bless De Blasio Pre-K plan,” about Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s goal of a tax increase on the wealthy to fund a prekindergarten plan.

A story from Albany headlined, “Teachers’ union: Tax cap widens inequity,” about an analysis of a statewide property tax cap backed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

And “Bloomberg on Common Core: ‘Life is Full of Tests’,” about outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s views on the exams being developed based on the educational standards adopted by a vast majority of states..

Of course, the earlier incarnation of Capital New York hit a trifecta of sorts with an education story that fell under all three of its main areas: media, City Hall, and Albany. That was Bloomberg’s doomed selection of Hearst magazines executive Cathleen P. Black in 2010 as schools chancellor. (The Albany angle was that Black needed a waiver of administrator certification requirements from state education officials to take the reins of the city school system.) Black lasted three months in the job.

Elizabeth Green, the co-founder of Gotham Schools and the executive editor of Chalkbeat, the new multi-city education news site, said in an e-mail that she welcomed the re-launched Capital New York.

The site “does great work, and we love reading their stuff, including on education, an area where they’ve just expanded (understandably, since if you’re covering politics and government, education is, of course, the biggest government expenditure),” Green said.

“We think their reporters do a great job covering the daily political stories— just one part of the story but a crucial one,” she added.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.