The California Community Colleges Board of Governors voted unanimously this week to appoint Eloy Ortiz Oakley as the system’s next chancellor. This decision marks the first time a Latino has been at the helm of the 113-college system, where Hispanic students make up 42 percent of the student population and represented nearly half of all new students last fall.
Hayleigh Colombo of the Indianapolis Business Journal for EWA
Inside Higher Ed Editor Scott Jaschik started his annual listing of higher education stories ripe for coverage this upcoming year by asking journalists to do better when choosing which news developments to cover.
In May, just before Jaschik’s presentation at the Education Writers Association’s conference in Boston, President Obama’s daughter Malia had recently committed to attending Harvard University and taking a “gap year.”
Education is a perennial issue in political campaigns, and the 2016 election cycle is proving no exception. In the crowded field of White House candidates, education may not be the dominant issue, but it’s gained a solid foothold. And it’s sure to be a significant factor in other 2016 contests, including those for governor, with a dozen seats up for grabs.
Most education reporters at one time or another cover test results on NAEP, known as “the nation’s report card.” But if that’s all you do, you’re missing out on a powerful tool that can complement your daily reporting.
That’s what Republicans promise in the higher education platform they’ll finalize at their national convention in Cleveland: an approach that follows the direction they’ve already taken in Congress.
Fewer regulations for colleges and universities. Less red tape for students.
“Obviously what we do legislatively is a statement of our philosophy and our principles,” said Virginia Foxx, Republican chair of the House subcommittee that oversees higher education and co-chair of the GOP platform committee.
Now that the White House race has narrowed to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, how is education playing out as an issue in the campaign? Will it prove an important fault line between the Democratic and Republican candidates? Will Trump offer any details to contrast with Clinton’s extensive set of proposals from early childhood to higher education? What are the potential implications for schools and colleges depending on who wins the White House? Also, what other races this fall should be on the radar of journalists, whether elections for Congress, state legislatures, or governor?
Erin Richards of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for EWA
In early May at Match Public Charter School in Boston, 18 freshmen are preparing to discuss themes from “Lord of the Flies.” Their English teacher is Ashley Davis, a 26-year-old native of Cincinnati who’s in her second year of teaching, but acts like a veteran.
Davis will soon have her students explaining the biblical allusions in the 1954 novel and debating whether mankind is naturally good or evil.
Annie Waldman of ProPublica digs deep into New Jersey’s college financial aid program, which critics have called “state-sanctioned loan sharking”. In a particularly egregious case in which the state demanded a mother continue to pay off her son’s college loan even after he was murdered.
Waldman talks with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about why New Jersey wields more power than other state-based financial aid programs, how difficult it would be to make the policies and practices more forgiving, and ideas for local reporters writing about college affordability and student debt.
The fourth grade students sit on a carpet, wriggling, shaking their hands, looking in all directions as a teacher uses the most basic of tools — a red sharpie and a big white pad — to deliver her lesson.
The day’s agenda: teaching the Common Core standard of finding “whole number quotients.” She writes an equation on the board, and the answer works out to be 100. But she’s not done.
The complexity around covering issues of segregation was in high gear in June when investigative writer Nikole Hannah-Jones documented in the New York Times magazine her family’s tough decision on where to enroll daughter Najya.
The article came a month after she discussed the deliberate and structural segregation she sees in communities around the country during the Education Writers Association’s National Seminar. Hannah-Jones urged journalists to hold accountable public officials and communities that allow this to happen.
Recognition of the importance of summer to the traditional school year is growing nationally, as more districts realize just how detrimental months away from school can be to students – especially those who are already struggling academically.
But how best to use the summertime to foster student learning and development remains undetermined, although more research has emerged on what works best.
Daniel Connolly of the Memphis Commercial Appeal for EWA
I spent an academic year as an embedded reporter inside a Memphis high school that enrolled hundreds of children of Mexican immigrants. Many of the young people I met that year had lived most of their lives in the United States, and in some cases were born here. Most spoke fluent English.
As I followed these English-speaking students around the school, I paid much less attention to another group of young people: kids who had recently arrived from other countries and spoke little English.
There’s another small country getting attention for its strong student performance on international assessments, and for the equity of its instructional programs.
Sarah Butrymowicz of The Hechinger Report joins EWA public editor Emily Richmond to discuss how more eyes are looking beyond Finland to nearby Estonia, a relatively young country with an already impressive academic track record. What lessons might there be for U.S. schools when it comes to teacher workforce, and putting more educational choices in the hands of the students themselves? And what challenges are Estonian schools facing as more students opt for the college-prep high school track over vocational or career training?
Sarah Brown of Chronicle of Higher Education for EWA
Most education journalists probably remember last year’s viral video depicting members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity singing a racist chant.
“I thought it was a really isolated, terrible incident,” recalled Kimberly Hefling, then an education reporter for The Associated Press. But her colleague, Jesse Holland, didn’t see it as a major news event at all.
OBERLIN, OHIO, July 19, 2016 – According to the Student Watch: Attitudes & Behaviors toward Course Materials 2015-2016 Report, students, on average, spent $602 on textbooks and other course materials last year. That’s 14% or almost $100 less than they spent in 2007 when spending averaged $701. Why? Students are comparing prices and taking advantage of a number of cost-saving options such as used books, rentals and electronic materials.
Editorial Projects in Education seeks a Web-savvy intern to support the editors of the opinion section of Education Week, the respected, independent newspaper of record for K-12 education. This internship offers an excellent opportunity for a current student or recent graduate to gain online (and print) experience in a busy news organization. The internship entails working closely with the editors of the Commentary section of our award-winning website, edweek.org, which edits and publishes opinion essays on education policy.