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Students’ Education Stories Shared with Reporters at Columbia University

Sidney Carey and Whitney Brakefield, 2006 graduates of the Jackson, MS, Lanier High School AP Cohorts program presented to nearly 50 reporters from national news organizations at “Good Schools/Bad Schools: A Workshop on Urban Education” held at Columbia Journalism School on Sept. 30, 2010. AP President Bob Moses used his luncheon keynote slot to invite Carey and Brakefield—now both undergraduates at Mississippi State Univ. studying finance and industrial engineering, respectively—to speak with him, Lauren Veasey of QECR, Omo Moses of YPP, Gary Benenson of City College-CUNY, Dr. Janet Moses, and Ben Moynihan of the AP.  The workshop asked participants to ponder, “how can journalists report on the often contentious debate over the best way to improve education for poor kids?”  Researchers and practitioners commented on federal education policy, the future of teaching, the racial achievement gap, the importance of preschool, the influence of charter schools, ways to help drop-outs and how to analyze educational research.  The workshop, known as The New York Times Institute on Education Reporting, was funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Spencer Foundation.  Carey and Brakefield may have been the only students presenting at the workshop, and stirred great interest among the journalists.

Sidney Carey and Whitney Brakefield

Sidney Carey and Whitney Brakefield discuss their journeys through high school and into college, while Lauren Veasey of QECR looks on.

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