I bumped into Steve Barnett, the co-director of the National Institute on Early Education Research, at the Education Writers Association conference in Chicago over the weekend. As we were being jostled by a scrum of p.r. folks, I asked him what he’d thought of the coverage of NIEER’s 2007 State of Preschool yearbook. He said the report didn’t get much attention from national outlets but that it was the hook for a lot of local stories. Catching up on the coverage I’d missed while on the road this morning I found a perfect example of what Barnett meant. The television station WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky used the report as the news hook for a visit to a preschool in Perry County, Kentucky. Reporter Heather Hale didn’t quote any statistics or academic types. Nor did she talk about how much Kentucky actually spends. But the visuals and a couple brief interviews nicely illustrated high quality pre-k.