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Farewell (Sorta) to One Half of the Politics K-12 Team

By Alyson Klein — May 29, 2019 2 min read

A personal and professional update: I’ll be moving from the Politics K-12 blog and the federal beat this month to take on a new challenge at Education Week: coverage of technology and the future of work.

I will really miss the politics and policy community, which I began connecting with when I came to Education Week more than a dozen years ago, and especially since I co-founded the blog, with my former colleague, Michele McNeil, in 2009. Since then, it’s grown to more than 50,000 Twitter followers and has become a go-to news source for anyone interested in K-12 policy in Washington.

As a federal policy reporter here, I covered the early days of the No Child Left Behind Act and was the first reporter to interview Arne Duncan, days after he became secretary of education. I covered the Obama administration’s dismissive attitude toward attempts to reauthorize NCLB, and wrote the first comprehensive explainer of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

And I was one of the first mainstream print reporters to get a solo, sit-down interview with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, where she previewed new messaging on school choice.

I’ve broken some big stories, including the Trump administration’s move to try to combine the departments of Education and Labor, the details of the deal that eventually became the Every Student Succeeds Act, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s education plan, and Duncan’s selection as President Barack Obama’s first secretary of education.

I took the Obama administration to task for taking credit for rising graduation rates and school turnarounds without the data to back it up. And I’ve written lighter posts, like this one asking whether Betsy DeVos is the only secretary of education never to attend public schools or send her own kids to them.

I’ve been fortunate to work with some great partners, including Andrew, who is equally awesome at explaining wonky policy, chronicling the rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s school system, and finding just the right GIF for Twitter.

Luckily, I’m not going anywhere, and neither is Politics K-12. Andrew will still be here and he’ll be joined by the talented Evie Blad, who recently turned-in a must read story centered on the challenges of a substitute teacher who was shot in last year’s massacre at Sante Fe High School in Texas. They’ll also be teaming up with Daarel Burnette II, who you’ve known as our ace state reporter. Daarel will now be covering school finance. Daarel has already written some great pieces on school money, including this one on why more funding for K-12 hasn’t translated into teacher raises.

And the blog will be changing too—to include much more state politics and policy, coverage of philanthropy and influence, along with the same Washington reporting you’ve come to depend on. (More on these and other changes at Edweek in this letter from Scott Montgomery, our editor-in-chief.)

In the meantime, if you know anything at all about education technology—help me out!

It’s a brand new world for me. I’m looking for smart people—especially high-flying educators—who can explain the impact of Artificial Intelligence, help me figure out how districts are preparing students for jobs that don’t exist yet, or tell me why those newly-purchased devices are sitting around gathering dust. And much more. Let’s stay in touch on Twitter: @AlysonRKlein. Or email me at aklein@epe.org.


Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12. And follow the Andrew Ujifusa half of Politics K-12 @AndrewUjifusa.

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