New Director of Hechinger Institute on Education & Media at
Lee Colvin, an award-winning education writer with the Los
Angeles Times, is the new director of the Hechinger Institute
on Education and the Media at Teachers College. Colvin joined
the Institute last summer as deputy director. He succeeds Gene
I. Maeroff, the institute’s founding director, who will remain
with the Institute as a senior fellow.
Institute organizes seminars for journalists that feature top
policy makers and researchers on timely issues in education. The
seminars are tailored to the interests of different groups of
journalists, including editorial writers who write about education,
education editors, reporters who specialize in higher education
issues, and reporters new to the beat. The institute also commissions
books and reports that background journalists in key education
topics. Colvin, 49, said he is honored and grateful for the opportunity
to lead Hechinger. Over the past eight years under Maeroff, Hechinger
has become highly valued by writers and their editors and supervisors.
Many journalists make a trip to a Hechinger seminar an annual
tradition. “Gene has created a precious asset and I intend to
do everything I can to make sure it continues to serve my colleagues
well,” Colvin said.
Colvin said his priorities include
expanding the Institute’s involvement with broadcast journalists,
helping journalists handle the often conflicting and confusing
claims of education research and to continuing to assist journalists
in their coverage of the federal No Child Left Behind act. Colvin
also said the Institute has received a $485,000 grant from The
Wallace Foundation to help journalists explore the role of principals
and superintendents in boosting academic achievement. That work
will be carried out over the next three years. Colvin said that
since joining the Institute he has continued working as a journalist,
writing commentaries, magazine articles and a chapter for an upcoming
book, and will continue to do so. Maeroff, the author, editor
or co-editor of 11 books, will continue to work on Hechinger projects
as a senior fellow. But stepping down from day-to-day responsibility
for the Institute will allow him to spend more time on outside
Before joining the Times in 1989 Colvin covered education for
the Oakland Tribune and the Hayward Daily Review,
in Hayward, California. He wrote about housing, gangs and development
issues until 1994 when he joined the education team to cover statewide
issues. He has been writing about national education issues since
Colvin was a Michigan Journalism Fellow during the 1999-2000 academic
year. He also has been a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institute,
Stanford University and has won numerous state and national education
writing awards, including two in 1995 from the Education Writers
Association. An article by Colvin published in the Los Angeles
Times last summer about the struggles of a large, troubled
California high school was honored in April with a first prize
for feature writing by the Education Writers Association in its
annual award program.
He is a graduate of Oberlin College and has an M.A. in journalism
from the University of Michigan.
The Hechinger Institute is named in memory of Fred M. Hechinger,
who was a reporter and editor at the New York Times, specializing
in the coverage of education. It is supported by grants from many
foundations including the Broad Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation,
the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
and the Wallace Foundation.#
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