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Commentary: In Praise of the LA Times’ Karin Klein

Alexander Russo | May 10, 2013

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Grossman (left) and Klein (right)

Two of my favorite education writers right now write a lot about education but you may not know their names because they don’t usually have bylines.

Karin Klein of the LA Times (right) and Kate Grossman(@kategrossman1) of the Chicago Sun-Times  (left) are editorial page writers whose work often comes out in the form of unsigned editorial page positions.

What do I like so much about their work? They take nuanced, sometimes unexpected positions on the issues.  There’s not much extremism in their views (and they don’t spend much time addressing extreme elements and positions that get so much coverage elsewhere).

They write in plain English for a general audience that may or may not care about education in a day-to-day way.  They’re not trying to grab attention.

This is the smart middle ground that is so hard to find online these days — even in traditional news coverage of education events.  It’s reasonable, reasoned writing that neither conveys nor quotes extreme views, focuses on immediate events rather than speculation, and is basically pragmatic.

The focus is simple: What’s the current situation, best as we know it, what are the viable options, and realistic outcomes?

I don’t always agree with Klein or Grossman. And being in the middle isn’t glamorous or appealing when the next-door blogger can put out ten posts and generate scads of attention during the time it takes to write a careful editorial. But I, for one, am very glad they’re out there right now. That steady, thoughtful voice, without any obvious self-interest or desire to advance a particular cause or outcome, is refreshing.  Maybe there are others?

Cross-posted from This Week In Education

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