Thanks for the Front-Row Seat!

Published January 1, 2005

The current issue of School Reform News–the 87th since Heartland first started monthly publication in January 1997–is my last as managing editor. As I approached the ninth year in this position, I concluded I needed to pay more attention to priorities I have been neglecting for several years. My future role will be that of a contributing editor.

Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast and I had known each other from the pre-Heartland meetings of the Loop Libertarian League, but in the Fall of 1996 I happened to be looking for another career change and he happened to be looking for someone to write a monthly newspaper on school choice.

I’d first like to thank Joe for taking a chance on giving the job, since I had no experience as a journalist. Second, I’d like to thank him for giving me what I later realized was a front-row seat to the fight to complete the unfinished civil rights from the mid-twentieth century. The battle is still going on but it has shifted so much closer to victory than it was in late 1996 when Issue No. 1 of School Reform News was put together.

Thanks also to the School Reform News contributing editors, without whom it would not be possible to cover the huge variety of stories spun off by the workings of a half-trillion-dollar-a-year industry. Thanks to my editor Diane Bast for improving my writing style and for ensuring the final copy was clear, accurate, and unambiguous. And thanks to Heartland’s outstanding art department–Kevin Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Ow–for making the final product look superb. I just think we have the best-looking newspaper in the business.

When we started School Reform News, Joe’s aim was to make it the newspaper of record of the school choice movement, delivering timely, accurate, concise, and relevant information about choice-based school reform. I believe we succeeded in doing that and I look forward to the newspaper continuing to earn the support of its readers under new leadership.

George A. Clowes ([email protected]) has served as managing editor of School Reform News since its launch in 1997. A successor will be named for the February 2005 issue.