Substitute Wonk and First Time Blogger

Thank you Andrew. It is an honor to serve as a substitute blogger this week on Eduwonk. This is my first foray into the world of blogging. I joined the Virginia Department of Education five years ago after 23 years in broadcasting, including 17 years as a television reporter here in Richmond. I began reporting on education in the early 1990s when the commonwealth was in the midst of a passionate debate over the collection of policies and instructional practices known as “outcome-based” education. My news director was impressed by the response of viewers to some of the stories we aired during this time and education became one of my regular beats. My son was just entering school and I found the debates over the direction of public education in Virginia interesting as a parent as well as a reporter. We continued our coverage with on-going reports and special projects on the development and implementation of Virginia’s Standards of Learning reform. We tried to go beyond the typical soundbite vs. soundbite approach and take viewers inside classrooms where teachers were actually trying to make it work. My work here at the department draws on this experience. The ingredients of a good news release are really the same as those of a good news story: a good lead, crisp writing, and the facts presented in a logical and coherent narrative. I also keep my hand in television, producing features for our occasional public television broadcasts. We offer some of these features as streaming video on our Web site. There is an example on our Web page devoted to Governor Mark Warner’s Early College Scholars initiative. That’s all for now. I will be back after a quick scan of the education press.

–Guest Blogger Charles Pyle

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