New Outlet Covering Education in New York, City and State

By Mark Walsh — December 11, 2014 2 min read
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There are eight million stories in the Naked City, as they said in the movies. Are there enough school stories in New York City to sustain another specialized education publication?

The online publication Capital thinks so. The Gotham outlet, part of the thriving Politico empire based in Washington, this week launched a daily newsletter about education in New York—the city and the state.

Capital Education arrives in subscribers’ email inboxes by 5:45 a.m., the publication promises. The free (at least for now) newsletter is in the style of Politico Morning Education, the chatty newsletter with a federal education bent that also carries some general education news and links to other outlets’ stories.

The Politico organization moved into New York City in 2013 with the launch of Capital, which focuses heavily on New York (city and state) politics and media, but has been providing at least some coverage of education from the beginning.

The new Capital Education newsletter, and an education channel collecting the publication’s longer stories in the field, are a statement that the larger publication values education as a core topic, Capital co-editor Josh Benson said in an interview.

“What we’re doing in education is a continuation of what we’re doing across the site,” he said. “This is a way for us to formalize coverage by creating a newsletter to get it in front of more people.”

Wednesday’s newsletter led with a summary of a longer Capital story about New York City charter school advocate and operator Eva Moskowitz. That story was by Eliza Shapiro, who covers New York City schools. The education staff also includes reporter Jessica Bakeman in Albany and higher education reporter Conor Skelding.

Bakeman was busy later Wednesday with the breaking news that New York State Education Commissioner John King would be heading to Washington to become a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Of course, Capital Education hardly has the city and state education beat to itself. Chalkbeat New York is one of the most comprehensive and aggressive of the local, online-only education publications that have arisen in recent years. And there is the SchoolBook blog of WNYC radio, not to mention publications that have been covering education for more than a century, such as The New York Times and the New York Post.

“It’s a really competitive arena,” Benson said. “If you not up for that, then you shouldn’t do this.”

Capital Education (and some other topical “verticals,” or channels, such as real estate, media, and health care) will be following Politico’s “pro” model, which means some content is free and some will be behind a subscription paywall. Benson declined to say what the subscription price is.

“It’s explicitly part of the deal that some of the stuff we write is only going to be interesting to people deeply, deeply involved in education,” Benson said. “But we don’t want to just be niche.”

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