Reporter covering education, foreign affairs Education: Bachelor's degree: University of Miami. Master's degree: Northwestern University
Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Washington Post's long-running Answer Sheet blog. She sees the education beat broadly and writes about the practice, politics, sociology and psychology and it. She writes her own pieces and publishes on her blog the work of students, teachers, parents, researchers and others to offer readers views other than hers. She has over the years covered and investigated education issues on the local, state and federal levels, as well as preK-12 and higher education and public and private schools. She has attempted to hold policymakers accountable during both Republican and Democratic administrations.
She came to the Post as an assistant foreign editor for Asia in 1987 and worked as weekend foreign desk editor during some of the most riveting moments in modern times, including the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China and the collapse of the Soviet empire. She led award-winning projects on the Cultural Revolution and the plight of women in third-world countries. She came to the Post from Reuters, where she worked as national security editor and a military/foreign affairs reporter on Capitol Hill. Before that she was assistant foreign editor of United Press International, and worked in the Miami bureau of UPI, covering national stories such as relations with Cuba (where she traveled when the country was still closed to Americans), riots and immigration issues. At The Los Angeles Times she was an editor.
'Teaching stories tend to follow one dedicated hero battling the odds to save her students – usually in spite of all the less heroic adults around her. Or, for humor purposes, they used the inverse of this: an irresponsible train wreck who says inappropriate things to students and has a bottle of tequila in her desk drawer. These portrayals never felt real to me. The teachers I know – myself included – are not so easily typecast.'