Joyce Terhaar

From the Executive Editor: New blog takes deep dive into education

Published: Sunday, Sep. 16, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1E

Every reporter I know has always found snippets of news or anecdotes they could share with friends but never find a way to publish.

Some things aren't relevant to the story at hand, though they're fun to know.

Take this paragraph, posted at Sacbee.com by education reporter Diana Lambert: "Kindergarten teachers, asking their students to make a sound like a mouse, are startled when the kids raise their hands to their sides, press their index finger down twice and say 'click, click,' according to an administrator at San Juan Unified."

That generational gem is one of the more lighthearted posts in The Bee's recently launched Report Card blog.

Our goal with the Report Card blog is similar to that of many other blogs at Sacbee.com – to publish specialty reporting, including additional news and information, of intense interest for a niche audience.

The Bee does that with its Capitol Alert and The State Worker blogs, for instance, providing data and under-the-dome reports that matter to politicos and state workers but maybe not to the rest of you. While some of this reporting makes its way to a mainstream audience in the printed pages of The Bee, much can be read only on the blogs.

Lambert and Melody Gutierrez, who also covers K-12, are breaking news, sharing research and calling attention to achievement throughout the region at blogs.sacbee.com/report-card/. They'll offer a weekly Golden Apple Award to teachers, students or administrators. The blog allows them to publish the wealth of news and information they report on their beats, whether a complete story or just an interesting fact. They'll also ask readers to participate in stories.

"We expect a lot of back and forth on the blog," Lambert told me. "A teacher has already sent us a 450-word story about her school garden that I will post."

Gutierrez said she is hoping the blog becomes "a community space."

The lighter fare will balance breaking news stories such as The Bee's recent coverage of a new Twin Rivers interim superintendent. Gutierrez's interview with Foothill High School Principal Joseph Williams came too late to make her print newspaper deadline, so we published it on the blog.

Also featured on the blog is Lambert's recent report, with The Bee's Phillip Reese, on the latest Standardized Testing and Reporting results in the region.

If you follow the blog, you read about U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan coming to Sacramento, and that Rose Rock, comedian Chris Rock's mother, is helping to launch a "Remodeling the Village" program with Folsom Cordova Unified and the city of Rancho Cordova to promote literacy later this month.

Let me take a moment here to explain something about The Bee's blogs. Anyone can create a blog online these days and post musings, photos, recipes or a wide variety of things. While our blogs may range from news to snippets, they are written by journalists who don't just muse – they report. Our goals of accuracy and fairness apply online as they do in print.

The blog is the centerpiece of a page that compiles news tweets by Lambert and Gutierrez, other education coverage at Sacbee.com, the greatschools.org content that helps you find schools or help your children with their homework, and links to a wide variety of education-related sites.

Much of this is coverage you won't find in the printed pages of The Bee. It's intended as a community resource that keeps you informed even as you find useful information to help you navigate the new school year.

Linda Gonzales, who runs our digital desk, said the blog will provide "the kind of coverage you aren't going to see on any other local website. No one – no one – covers education with their experience and with this breadth."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Joyce Terhaar



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