Last August I left my full-time job as an associate editor at The Daily Beast to accept a Spencer Fellowship in education journalism at Columbia University. Through the Spencer program, I was able to pursue a series of long-form on-the-ground reporting projects, culminating in my book proposal on the political history of teaching in America, which I'm currently finishing up. I was also able to enroll in Sam Freedman's absolutely transformational book-writing seminar.
As this academic year draws to a close, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sam, the Spencer Foundation, and all the great folks who mentored me at Columbia, especially LynNell Hancock and Nick Lemann. Each one helped me grow as a reporter, writer, and analyst of education issues. I also learned so much from my Spencer Fellow colleagues, veteran journalists Greg Toppo and Sarah Carr, both of whom are working on fascinating book projects of their own.
My big news is that for the coming year, I have two new institutional relationships I'm really excited about. The Nation Institute has awarded me a Puffin Foundation writing fellowship and even lured me out of my tiny studio apartment/office in Prospect Heights with an actual desk in their Union Square headquarters. I'm sitting there right now! I'll be doing a weekly web piece for The Nation magazine; my first effort was published this morning, an appreciation of incoming Times executive editor Jill Abramson's long commitment to feminist issues.
Beginning in September, I'll also be a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. I've been a huge admirer of New America since 2006, when I first moved to D.C. and immediately noticed that all the most fascinating events, policy papers, and writers were affiliated with this relatively new little think tank. I'm really thrilled that New America will now be helping to support my book research and writing. I'll be spending a few days per month working out of their Washington office.
In addition, I'll continue to freelance for The Daily Beast/Newsweek and, on occassion, other publications. Big thanks to Ezra, by the way, for hosting me at his Washington Post blog this past week. I'm always blown away by how smart and engaged his readers and commenters are.
That's all for now! Much love to all my amazing readers, Twitter followers, and correspondents. I love hearing from you, and love how you keep me honest.