The New York Times is reporting on the hires of three new reporters and one of them is former Seattle Times education reporter, Brian Rosenthal.
I have been thru so many people who were ed reporters for the Times (and still keep in touch with some of them). I was always trying to help them get up to speed on the ever-changing landscape at JSCEE. But I knew Brian was extra-special. He just had that tenacity.
He left the Times to go to the Houston Chronicle where he wrote a multi-part expose on how the state of Texas underserves its Special Education students called Denied. From the Times' press release:
A seven-part series he did in 2016 about how thousands of special-needs children received no special care because Texas officials had created an arbitrary cap on slots has so far won The Selden Ring Award, a Polk Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Public Service. The cap — which was not based on any research and was not publicly discussed or announced — denied services like tutoring, counseling and therapy to tens of thousands of children with autism, ADHD, epilepsy, dyslexia, physical impairments, speech impediments, mental illnesses, brain injuries and even blindness and deafness.And now the Times has hired him and it was smart of them to recognize his talent.
Awards are nice, but that’s not why we’re in this business. Brian’s series prompted the state to end the cap; the U.S. Department of Education is investigating; and lawmakers have introduced 14 different pieces of legislation. Because of him, and well into the future, untold thousands of Texas children will get the help they need.
We need great reporters like Brian more than ever today.