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Education Documentaries Among Peabody Award Winners

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Three education documentaries about urban high schools, one on public radio and two on public television, have won prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards for electronic journalism.

One winner was "Harper High," which aired last year as part of the public-radio series "This American Life," by station WBEZ in Chicago. Reporters spent five months at that city's Harper High School, which had seen 29 of its current or recent students shot in its violent neighborhood.

One of the TV documentaries was "180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School," which appeared on PBS last year. The film's two two-hour episodes chronicled life at Washington Metropolitan High School, better known as DC Met. 

The other TV winner was "Best Kept Secret," about a program for special needs students at John F. Kennedy High School in Newark, N.J. It also aired on PBS, as part of the series "P.O.V." Education Week's Christina Samuels wrote about the film in her On Special Education blog last September.

The Peabody Awards recognize excellence in storytelling in electronic media, though they are not divided up into any particular categories. They are awarded by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. 

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