Every week, Syracuse University professor Aileen Gallagher helps Longreads highlight the best of college journalism. Here’s this week’s pick:

Stories about people outside the margins of convention can have a “Check out these weirdos!” leitmotif. We write about these people because they are different. But a clumsy writer accentuates the differences instead of finding the common humanity. In her examination of the “unschooling” practice, Allison Pohle of the University of Missouri found families who seem pretty average, except in the educational choices they make for their children. There’s no eye rolling in this story, and it’s the mark of a writer who isn’t jaded. Try to stay that way.

School’s Out Forever

Allison Pohle | Inside Columbia magazine | April 2013 | 17 minutes (4,233 words)

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