Friday, April 3, 2009 | Frances O’Neill Zimmerman’s letter of April 1 did not acknowledge reporter Emily Alpert‘s significant achievement in winning one of six prestigious fellowships awarded to journalists this year by the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Alpert was awarded a fellowship for a project she created that will examine how seniority provisions in teacher contracts affect hiring and assignments. She won this fellowship based on the quality of her reporting on education in San Diego and the news-value of her project. The fellowship is funded by the Joyce Foundation to highlight the importance of quality teaching.

Current and past funders of the Hechinger Institute extend well beyond the Broad Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation mentioned by Zimmerman. They include, in addition, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Kauffman Foundation, the Cotsen Family Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Wallace Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The Hechinger Institute is named after longtime New York Times education editor Fred Hechinger and its mission is to inform the public through quality journalism that meets the high standards exemplified in his work. The Institute’s work is made possible by the generosity of its funders. More information about the Institute may be found at

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