Why Report on K–12 Education in Wisconsin? Listen to Alan Borsuk.

Alan BorsukAlan J. Borsuk has been the Law School’s senior fellow in law and public policy since fall 2009—call it 14 years. So, for a not wholly impertinent point, he has some time to go before replicating his 37 preceding years as a reporter and editor at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In any event, during his time with us, he has kept his hand in the newspaper with the occasional—nay, frequent—column on K–12 education policy and practice in this region. Why?

Borsuk’s recent piece in The Grade, a nationwide online platform focused on journalism about education, will tell you. Here’s a flavor (the introduction):

I crossed paths with a former member of the Milwaukee school board a while ago.

He had moved on from the school scene, but I was still writing about K-12 education, as I had across more than 50 years.

“Do you feel like you’re living ‘Groundhog Day’?” he asked me, referring to the movie in which the protagonist repeats the same day over and over.

“Yes. All the time,” I told him.

At that time, I often felt like I was writing pieces I’d written so many times before.

But I was still doing it.

Why? Because damn it, it’s important.

That’s why I’m still at it all these years later — and why I decided to make what might be my last big project as a journalist a multipart series on longstanding problems in how most schools teach kids to read.

Education coverage should be energetic and powerful. I hope that showed in the recent pieces I wrote about literacy. But I also know there is more I could and should do.

There is more all of us in education journalism could and should do.

As with Borsuk’s work more generally, the whole thing is well worth a read. Find it here.

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Does News Media Coverage of the Supreme Court Emphasize Politics Too Much?

What started as an informal lunch conversation has developed into a scholarly law journal article raising an important question: Is the coverage of the United State Supreme Court by the news media contributing to the public perception of the Court as an institution doing politicized work in an atmosphere emphasizing factions? Or, as the title of the article puts it, “Supreme Court Journalism: From Law to Spectacle?”

In an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program posted on Marquette Law School’s web site on Feb. 3, 2021, Christina Tilley, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, said the paper in the Washington & Lee Law Review does not answer the broad question. But it examines aspects of the matter.

Tilley told Gousha, the Law School’s distinguished fellow in law and public policy,  that she and her co-author, Barry Sullivan, a professor at Loyola University Chicago Law School, were talking one day several years ago, when Tilley was a faculty member at Loyola, about how headlines on Supreme Court stories seemed to be getting more “click-baity,” a term for language that attracts attention. Stories about the Court seemed to be emphasizing which president appointed justices and which faction of the court justices belonged to rather than issues and legal reasoning, they thought.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Runs Maniak’s Blog Post

August student blogger of the month and former Marine Robert Maniak (3L) recently wrote a powerful, moving post called Rules of Engagement that appeared on this blog. This morning, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and ran that post as an opinion piece. Congratulations to Robert. Be sure to check out Robert’s other blog posts here, here, and here.

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