Reporters should pay attention not just to the amount of money charter schools receive but how they are spending it, reporter and moderator Sara Carr said as she kicked off a session on charter school finance at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar in Chicago.
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.
May 26, 2015Eric Gorski of the Denver Post for EWA
For teacher Merlinda Maldonado’s sixth graders at Hill Middle School in Denver, it’s not necessarily about getting the answer right. It’s not about memorizing procedures, either. If Maldonado’s classroom is clicking, frustration can be a good thing.
May 22, 2015Lillian Mongeau of The Hechinger Report for EWA
The phrase “Common Core test” turns out to encompass far more than most people realize.
At the Education Writers Association’s spring seminar in Denver on covering assessments in the era of the new standards, it became clear to reporters that there is no such thing as “The Test.” Rather, there are many tests, developed by different organizations all purporting to be aligned with the new Common Core State Standards.
Standardized testing has loomed larger on the education beat this school year than ever before, as most states rolled out new assessments pegged to the Common Core. How did the assessments really go? What’s the state of the testing backlash? And what’s on the horizon?
With an eye toward reducing turnover and improving student learning, districts nationwide are experimenting with “teacher residencies.” These programs, which provide intensive support to new teachers during the early years of their careers, are typically partnerships between schools of education and local districts. The idea is to better align the training with the on-the-job expectations.
More knowledge. More skill. More potential. No matter what reason a student enrolls in college, the ultimate goal is usually the same: a degree that will expand opportunities. But for many students, earning a degree and finding work in their chosen field may pose stark and unanticipated challenges. And for many of their communities, turning colleges and universities into reliable places to find qualified candidates for the jobs that are available may prove easier said than done.
May 20, 2015Brandis Friedman of WTTW Chicago for EWA
That’s how many students the White House believes will be able to attend a community college under the president’s proposed America’s College Promise program. During the session at EWA’s National Seminar held last month in Chicago, U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell said nine million students see college as unaffordable.
A former reporter with the Miami Herald, Isensee also discusses making the transition from print to broadcast, how reporters can take advantage of multimedia opportunities, and the challenge of turning “numbers heavy” pieces into stories that listeners can relate to—and want to hear.
May 18, 2015Madeleine Cummings of The Teacher Project for EWA
When Lori Higgins of the Detroit Free Press began investigating for a series on charter schools, she and her colleagues gathered in a conference room at the Michigan Department of Education and started flipping through blue binders on every charter school in the state. The reporters pored over contracts and leases, filed Freedom of Information Act requests, visited schools, interviewed teachers, and had a data expert analyze student test scores.
Need a state or national statistic? There’s likely a federal data set for that. From fairly intuitive and interactive widgets to dense spreadsheets — and hundreds of data summaries in between — the U.S. Department of Education’s various research programs are a gold mine for reporters on the hunt for facts and figures.
Inside Higher Ed Co-founder and Editor Scott Jaschik offers his insights on the most influential stories journalists should be following in the upcoming academic year, including funding for community colleges, upheaval in the admissions process, free speech, and laws that permit students to carry guns on campuses.
Latinos older than age 5 are speaking English better now than the same demographic group did in 2000, a new Pew Research Center study shows. Among those driving the statistics are the U.S.-born and those who have completed a high-school education.
According to the study — an analysis of 2013 U.S. Census Bureau data — 33.2 million Hispanics in the United States speak English proficiently, a record high.
Most education reporters from time to time will tread into the world of education research, whether to gauge charter school achievement, the impact of teacher quality, or the effects of a reading program, among myriad possibilities. But making sense of the research, with its often-impenetrable prose, dizzying figures, and mathematical formulas, can be daunting. Despite the challenge, gaining some basic skills and knowledge in navigating research makes for stronger journalism.