Freelance journalist Rachel Cohen provides new reporting on labor, education, cities, politics and more.

Friday, September 21, 20181 like

Jeff Bezos wades into preschool?

+ Kavanaugh, and DC education news

It’s been a little while since I sent out a newsletter, but I’ve been reporting some longer stories that should be coming out in the next few weeks. In the meantime I have three shorter pieces to share:

1. The first is at In These Times, where I wrote my thoughts up on Jeff Bezos announcing he’ll be creating a new philanthropic network of preschools. I’m pretty skeptical of what this all means, and cognizant of how hard it can be to criticize something that seems more-or-less generous on its face. I gave it my best shot :)

2. The second is at the Intercept, looking at how Maryland law enforcement agencies are responding to Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. There’s no statute of limitations on attempted rape in Maryland, which raises the question of whether they’d look into the situation if the FBI doesn’t. A spokesperson for MD’s attorney general said rape and sexual assault aren’t really under their jurisdiction, and would be up to the Montgomery County state’s attorney, where the incident allegedly took place. A spokesperson for the Montgomery County state’s attorney wouldn’t confirm or deny if it was investigating the incident, but the Montgomery County police department said it couldn’t investigate anything unless a police report was filed, and no report has been filed. A lawyer for Ford didn’t respond for comment.

(Note: this piece was reported because the state’s response to the crime is itself newsworthy, not because I think the state should be in the business of investigating and prosecuting its political enemies.)

3. And lastly, I have an update to the Washington City Paper feature I published in July about the battle to create a DC education research collaborative. The city council wants to establish an independent research collaborative, in order to help restore public trust amongst those those who feel the mayoral-controlled school system has been corrupted and spins too much of its data. But now the mayoral-controlled school system is moving forward with its own research collaborative, that would effectively compete with the council-backed one. Dueling education research entities, because this is why we can’t have nice things?


I started full-time freelancing last September, and it’s pretty wild to think it’s already been a year. It’s certainly a lot of work and hustling, but I’m thrilled and humbled to do it, and I thank you for reading, and for your support.

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Freelance journalist Rachel Cohen provides new reporting on labor, education, cities, politics and more.