Richard Lee Colvin
Richard Lee Colvin is the former editor of The Hechinger Report. He spent many years writing about education for newspapers in California, including the Los Angeles Times, where he reported on state and national education issues. Before that he worked for the Oakland Tribune, the Hayward Daily Review and the Associated Press. Colvin earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan. He has won numerous national awards for his coverage of education. He was twice selected as a media fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and in 2000 won a Knight-Wallace fellowship for mid-career journalists at the University of Michigan.

America’s “cheapest” colleges in HuffPost

Huffington Post’s “College” tab has a photo feature on a dozen “cheap” four-year colleges and graduate schools. (My good friend Louis Swayne always reminds me that “inexpensive” is a less judgmental term.) Some of the colleges, such as Cooper Union and the Curtis Institute, are expensive places that have enough endowment or philanthropic money to […]

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Do Advanced Placement classes make a school stronger?

The story of  Stand and Deliver teacher Jaime Escalante, who died this week, had an enormous effect on the career of Jay Mathews, the longtime Washington Post reporter who writes the Class Struggle blog on the Post’s Web site. Mathews wrote a book about Escalante and, ever since, he has extolled the benefits of rigorous […]

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Texas Tea Party Standards

Don McElroy, the Texas state school board member who has been the most vocal proponent of new school social studies standards that many historians say are skewed to fit conservative views about Christianity and government, assured a Tea Party gathering that Washington would not take over their schools.  But a small town schools superintendent in […]

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Charter schools: Public? Private? Does it matter?

Those who live and breathe education policy assume everyone knows what a “charter school” is. (Here is some history.) But polls show that most people haven’t a clue. Newspapers don’t help much. Sometimes they are said to be  schools that are  “publicly funded but privately operated.”  Sometimes they are said to be “public schools that […]


Jaime Escalante, an appreciation

As this report from  NPR’s Claudio Sanchez makes clear, Jaime Escalante, the real teacher who inspired  the movie Stand and Deliver,  wanted to be remembered simply as a good teacher.  Which, because he helped his students exceed their expectations, he was. — Richard Lee Colvin

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You gotta give to get

The first two winners of grants from the Obama administration’s $4 billion “Race to the Top” fund — Tennessee and Delaware — were  announced yesterday and the decision ignited the education blogosphere. For those who don’t venture into that world much, it’s a surprisingly contentious, Alice-in-Wonderland place. Broken down, the debate went like this: Both […]


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