A series of articles in Education Week that examined the sexual abuse of students by school employees and the frequent lack of safeguards against such abuse has won the grand prize in the Benjamin Fine Awards for education journalism.
The series, “A Trust Betrayed,” by Associate Editor Caroline Hendrie, was chosen as the best overall entry from nearly 200 submissions from newspapers and magazines for the annual awards sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Ms. Hendrie, now an assistant managing editor at the newspaper, was scheduled to receive the $1,500 prize at the organization’s annual convention this week in San Antonio.
Published in December 1998, the articles drew new attention to often-overlooked cases of sexual misconduct with students by teachers and other school employees. Since it appeared, policymakers and legislators in several states have launched new efforts to provide more stringent safeguards.
An Education Week series by Jeff Archer, Ann Bradley, and Joetta L. Sack that examined issues related to teacher supply and demand, “Help Wanted: 2 Million Teachers,” received an honorable mention.
The Benjamin Fine Awards for Outstanding Education Reporting, now in their 19th year, are named for the 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who wrote about education for more than 20 years at The New York Times. Along with the separate National Awards in Education Reporting sponsored by the Education Writers Association, the Fine awards are the most prestigious awards honoring education journalism.
This year’s only multiple- award winner was Jay Mathews, an education writer for The Washington Post, who won two awards, for best single article and best column or editorial.
Winners are chosen by category and are not ranked in any way.
This year’s other winners included:
Best single article: J. Christopher Hain and Art Hovey, the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star; Kathleen Vail, TheAmerican School Board Journal; Bob Norman, New Times, Broward/Palm Beach, Fla.; Jolayne Houtz, The Seattle Times; Janet Bingham, The Denver Post.
Best series: Benjamin Grove, Las Vegas Sun; Lisa Chedekel and Rick Green, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant.
Best editorial or column: Margaret Downing, the Houston Press; Jill Stewart, New Times, Los Angeles; Quin Hillyer, the Mobile (Ala.) Register.
Best supplement: Joe Williams, Alan Borsuk, and Mary Zahn, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A version of this article appeared in the February 09, 2000 edition of Education Week as Education Week Series Wins Benjamin Fine Award