2014 National Seminar

Overview

The 67th National Seminar

Thanks to everyone who made the National Seminar a success!

In the coming weeks and months, we'll be adding great resources to this page, including blog posts, video, podcasts and links to coverage drawn from National Seminar sessions. 

Thanks to everyone who made the National Seminar a success!

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be adding great resources to this page, including blog posts, video, podcasts and links to coverage drawn from National Seminar sessions. 

Latest News

A School Without Principals? Yes, Really

More often, teachers across the nation are looking to restructure their schools’ governance models and run them on their own. At a time when teacher evaluations and accountability have become linchpins in widespread and federally backed school improvement plans, the movement is born partly out of a frustration with the structure of America’s public school system and top-down reform. Currently, there are nearly 60 so-called teacher-powered schools nationwide in cities such as Denver, San Francisco, Boston and Cincinnati.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Accessing Student Data: What Reporters Need to Know

While there has been a substantial uptick in the quality and quantity of data being collected on students and educators in schools around the country, accessing it and understanding it is still a challenge.

Latest News

Library Learning Labs Use Connected Learning Principles To Draw Teens

The Nashville Public Library Foundation is one of 24 sites that received $1.2 million in grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to build innovative learning labs for teens that promote “creativity, critical thinking and hands-on learning.” After years of planning and collaborating, some sites are opening this year in Nashville, Minnesota, Ohio and elsewhere.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

School Reform: Building a Movement From the Ground Up

The big blue bus making its way around New York City attracted the attention of parents and policymakers. The vehicle, which pulled into neighborhoods to gather community feedback, was a part of the A+NYC initiative’s grassroots efforts to shape public school policy during the 2013 mayoral election.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Nashville Charter School Focuses on Neighborhood’s Needs

When LEAD Public Schools came into Nashville in 2010, they took over a campus that had seen a history of low performance and substantial overhauls. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools intended to close the site – most recently occupied by Cameron Middle School – outright.

“This was a persistently struggling school for quite some time,” said Shaka Mitchell, who oversees public affairs for the Nashville charter network.

Latest News

For Waiver States, More Time for Teacher Evaluations

States receiving waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act are getting more time to grapple with how to conduct teacher evaluations using student test scores, particularly the new Common Core State Standards-based assessments.

According to Education Week, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the postponement at an event on Thursday in Washington, D.C., which earlier this summer announced its plan to delay its new teacher evaluations.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Nashville Magnet School Students Sing Different Tune

Image of Nashville Magnet School Students Sing Different Tune

More than a few reporters at EWA’s National Seminar who signed up for the visit to Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School in Nashville suggested that the campus would certainly be infused with country music elements. Perhaps cowboy hats and boots on each student, with future Taylor Swifts and Scotty McCreerys singing their way through the halls – right?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Early Childhood Education 101: Reporting on the Littlest Learners

From President Barack Obama’s 2013 call to expand preschool in his State of the Union Address to a series of statewide pushes for better-funded early childhood education programs, all eyes are turning toward our nation’s youngest learners.

Journalists hoping to tap into the world of early childhood education reporting will have no shortage of angles and story ideas to tackle.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

A Chance to Earn College Credit for What You Already Know

Image of A Chance to Earn College Credit for What You Already Know

A car salesman, a secretary and a military vet filed into a conference room for a new kind of high-stakes test – one that could earn them up to 30 college credits in a single day.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Chicago’s Dropout Prevention Initiative Targets Ninth Graders

Image of Chicago’s Dropout Prevention Initiative Targets Ninth Graders

Efforts to address the dropout problem often focus on a host of factors over which educators have little, if any, control – poverty, violence, crime and health, among others.

But educators in Chicago have used a simpler, more precise indicator to keep more students in school: ninth grade course performance.

“That one indicator was more predictive of who would graduate than anything else,” said Elaine Allensworth, Director of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Open Records, Open Campuses: The Reporter Guide to Access

Image of Open Records, Open Campuses: The Reporter Guide to Access

Education reporters are constantly negotiating access — to schools, students and data. In their session at EWA’s National Seminar, Betsy Hammond of the (Portland, Ore.) Oregonian and Daniel Connolly of the (Memphis, Tenn.) Commercial Appeal discussed two approaches for getting past gatekeepers and to stories worth telling.

Hammond, who described herself as a “data nerd” to the EWA audience at Vanderbilt University in May, focused on data available through public records law.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Where Does Tennessee Stand on Race to the Top?

Tennessee’s Race to the Top application was pretty honest, the state’s Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman told an EWA audience at Vanderbilt University in May.

“It basically started out by saying things aren’t going very well, they could be going better, here are the things we’re going to do to get better,” he said during an EWA National Seminar session on where Tennessee stands with the competitive federal education reform initiative.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Authorizer Effect: Creating High-Quality Charter Schools

The Authorizer Effect: Creating High-Quality Charter Schools

Can the quality of a charter school be determined by the entity providing the authorization?

While the research on this question has been mixed, education and policy analysts agree that charter school authorizers wield significant power – particularly when it comes to deciding to launch a school, or to shutter one that fails to meet expectations.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Are 4th Graders Ready For Online Writing Tests?

Image of Are 4th Graders Ready For Online Writing Tests?

Are fourth graders computer-savvy enough to have their writing skills measured in an online assessment? A new federal study suggests that they are, although it’s not clear whether old-fashioned paper and pencil exams might still yield useful results.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teacher Evaluations: Education Reporting That Measures Up

Image of Teacher Evaluations: Education Reporting That Measures Up

How teachers are evaluated is one of the most rapid changes in education policy, said Mackenzie Ryan, a Florida Today education reporter who moderated a panel on the topic at EWA’s National Seminar in Nashville.

With that as the backdrop, Lisa Gartner, a Tampa Bay Times reporter, and Patrick O’Donnell from the Cleveland Plain Dealer shared how they covered the topic in their home states.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

What Happens When States Take Over School Districts?

Image of What Happens When States Take Over School Districts?

State takeover districts have been lauded as the savior of children left behind by inept local school boards — and derided as anti-democratic fireworks shows that don’t address the root causes of poor education. Three panelists took an hour during EWA’s National Seminar in Nashville to get beyond the flash and noise and discuss the real challenges of state school takeovers, a process all acknowledged is disruptive.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Will ‘Portfolio District Model’ Yield Returns on Investment?

Image of Will ‘Portfolio District Model’ Yield Returns on Investment?

The idea has a simple, seductive appeal. Expand the things that work, cut short the things that don’t.

The notion, drawn from the investment world, has manifested itself in public education as the “Portfolio District Model.” Instead of managing stocks and bonds, school districts manage schools, creating or expanding successful ones, closing unsuccessful ones, focusing with zeal on academic results.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Reporting on Rural Schools: Another Country?

Image of Reporting on Rural Schools: Another Country?

The Rural School and Community Trust, a national nonprofit that focuses on rural education issues, recently released its biennial report, ranking states like Mississippi, Alabama and the Carolinas as the most in need of school reform.

Latest News

The High Cost of Teacher Turnover

Image of The High Cost of Teacher Turnover

With the Vergara v. California lawsuit shining a spotlight on teacher tenure, it’s easy to forget that for many places, tenure isn’t the issue. The bigger problem is too many new teachers just don’t stay.

Blog: Ed Beat

Report: In Era of Common Core, States Must Reconsider High School Exit Exams

As states transition to assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards, they should also be rethinking policies tying those exams to high school diplomas, argues New America’s Anne Hyslop in a new report.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How Are Competency-Based Education and Student-Centered Learning Changing Schools?

Image of How Are Competency-Based Education and Student-Centered Learning Changing Schools?

More students are earning high school diplomas – but the diplomas don’t mean those students are ready to succeed in college.

Nicholas Donohue, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, made that observation as he began to argue for a dramatic rethinking of the way schools measure learning, promote students and award diplomas. He made the argument during a “Deep Dive on Competency-Based Education and Student-Centered Learning” at EWA’s National Seminar in Nashville in May.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

‘Minority’ Reporting: Covering Students of Color

D’Leisha Dent graduated this spring from a 99-percent black high school – a story that might not be what you would have expected from an Alabama public school system that was federally ordered to desegregate in 1979.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Reporter’s Guide to Research: Getting Smart About Education Studies

Academic research can serve up some of the most original and meaningful stories journalists could hope to cover, if only we know where to look. But Holly Yettick, a reporter-turned-researcher at the University of Colorado-Denver, says hardly anyone in the news business today is writing about the latest research on schools.  In one of the conference’s first sessions, Yettick shared her tips for finding good studies to write about and writing about them without overselling the results.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Cultivating Talent: Gifted Children and STEM

Image of Cultivating Talent: Gifted Children and STEM

You don’t walk into a shoe store and say: Here’s my eighth-grade son, give him an eighth-grade shoe.

“You measure his foot,” said David Lubinski, professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt University.

Lubinski used this metaphor to illustrate why education should be tailored toward a child’s academic abilities. Specifically, he was referring to those children who are gifted, which was the discussion topic during a panel discussion moderated by The Wall Street Journal’s education reporter Leslie Brody at EWA’s National Seminar in May in Nashville.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

NCLB Waivers: What Reporters Need to Know

Education reporters can access a treasure trove of public documents that track significant changes to state exemptions to the most sweeping federal education law of the 21st century, experts said in May at EWA’s 67th National Seminar. 

And reporters will need those documents to piece together the patchwork of state policies that have been created out of the NCLB waiver process established by the U.S. Department of Education,  said the panelists speaking at the EWA event at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.  

Latest News

Turning Attention to Teacher Turnover

Image of Turning Attention to Teacher Turnover

Many teachers — especially those in high-poverty urban and rural schools — say goodbye to the classroom by their fifth year on the job. While views vary on how serious a toll teacher turnover takes on U.S. schools, mitigating its downsides is a widely shared goal. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Experts: Education Key to Breaking Cycle of Poverty in South, Nation

Image of Experts: Education Key to Breaking Cycle of Poverty in South, Nation

In more than a dozen states across the South and West, students from low-income families make up the majority of public school enrollment. Those students are more likely to be black, Hispanic or Native American.

Other trends emerge from there. Those minority students, particularly males, are more likely to be suspended or expelled. They are more likely to drop out. They fall into cycles that inhibit their chances to break the cycle of poverty.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

‘Tuition Tracker’ Shows Real Price Tags For College

In the wake of the 2008 recession, college cost and affordability have become increasingly hot topics. As tuition prices have continued to rise well above the pace of inflation — with no accompanying growth in family incomes — the issue of access for low- and middle-income students has received more attention, to the extent that, in January, President Obama held a White House summit to press college leaders to do more for the poorest students.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Student Data Privacy: Politics and Practicalities

One of the most contentious topics in education news today may also one of the least understood: student data policy.

People who want to tighten laws and procedures around sharing student data with online learning providers say they students are being targeted by advertisers and others with nefarious intent. Those who want to use student information to customize their learning online say the worries are exaggerated and proposed laws will get in the way of personalized student learning.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Special Education: Rethinking Expectations for Inclusive Learning

How does a school educate its special education students alongside kids who don’t have a disability? At Susan Gray School in Nashville, teachers and scholars are collaborating on what many say is a model example of inclusive learning.

Video

Common Core: Angles on Assessment
Six-video playlist

Image of Common Core: Angles on Assessment

The third of three sets of videos from our special session on Common Core at the 67th national Seminar.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

New Coach on Campus: Student Success and Support in Higher Ed

The main purpose of college is to transfer knowledge to students, but that requires getting them to the classroom… and actually keeping them there until graduation. Nationwide, less than 60 percent of college students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Schools Increasing Focus on Student Mental Health

More students are walking into classrooms with high stress levels than in previous generations, but a few innovative schools are helping kids cope with these challenges and succeed academically.

For students who have experienced trauma at home, nothing replaces a caring adult at school, said Bill Bond, the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ specialist for school safety. And teachers the most likely to provide counseling at school, said Bond during an EWA National Seminar panel discussion on student mental health.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Kids Got the Beat: Arts and Music Enrich Student Learning

When Sandra Ruppert was growing up in Los Angeles every classroom at her school, Hancock Park Elementary, had a piano. And every teacher could play it.

“I made my first trip to the opera in third grade, learned ballroom dancing in the fourth grade and took violin in fifth grade,” Ruppert told those in attendance at “Kids Got the Beat,” one of the final panels of EWA’s 2014 National Seminar, held last month in Nashville. At her school, “there was artwork in the halls and seamlessly integrated into all kinds of classes.”

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Performance-Based Funding: Do the Numbers Add Up?

State governments increasingly are tying money for higher-education institutions to performance-based outcomes such as graduation rates, rather than just student enrollment. Twenty-five states now have some sort of performance-based model and four others are planning to follow. But there are still major questions about how schools respond to these models and what outcomes they have. Those issues were the focus of a panel discussion at EWA’s 67th National Seminar, held last month at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Rethinking Rookies: Why Are More New Teachers Quitting Early?

Image of Rethinking Rookies: Why Are More New Teachers Quitting Early?

For decades teaching was considered a stable profession, with many individuals spending their entire careers at the front of the classroom. But the reality of a young teachers entering the teaching profession right out of school and only leaving when they retire is no more.

The subject of new teachers, and how long they’re staying in the profession, was the focus of a panel discussion at EWA’s 67th National Seminar in Nashville last month.

Latest News

Standing Out On Social Media

Today’s post features guest blogger Michelle Gininger, media relations and outreach manager at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, who attended EWA’s National Seminar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville last month.

Are you ready to take your social-media initiatives to a new level? Do you want to get beyond the “press release” tweet and the “come to our event” Facebook post?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Can Changing Mindsets Boost Student Learning?

Image of Can Changing Mindsets Boost Student Learning?

At EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University last month, we took a “deep dive” into the impact of noncognitive factors on student learning. This is the second of three guest posts from that session. Part I is here and Part III will follow.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Researchers: Don’t Over-Hype ‘Grit’ As Student Success Factor

At EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University last month, we took a “deep dive” into the impact of noncognitive factors on student learning. This is the third of three guest posts from that session: Part 1; Part II. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Researchers: Students’ Self-Perceptions Factor Into Their Achievement

At EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University last month, we took a “deep dive” into the impact of noncognitive factors on student learning. This is the first of three guest posts from that session. Parts II and III will follow.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Does Affirmative Action Hurt Asian-American Students?

Image of Does Affirmative Action Hurt Asian-American Students?

A panel discussion at EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University proved that fervor has not dimmed in the debates over affirmative action and the related issue of whether quotas limit Asian-American enrollment in the Ivy League.

Latest News

How to Communicate Complex Education Issues

Today’s post features guest blogger Nancy Mitchell, communications director of the Education Commission of the States, who attended EWA’s National Seminar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville earlier this month. 

Stephen Abbott reacted with horror to one television reporter’s attempt to squeeze the Common Core State Standards into a sound bite: “It was a complete hot mess.”

Blog: The Educated Reporter

It Takes a Village: Engaging the Community on the Education Beat

Bringing the audience into news gathering felt like a tectonic shift, shivering down the hallowed halls of the Fourth Estate. Who knew the quake would yield so much sunlight, or how musty those comfortable old spaces had grown?

At EWA’s 67th National Seminar, held at Vanderbilt University in Nashville last month, a raft of fresh ideas were explored on using social media to break down few more newsroom walls. In essence, it takes the conversation outdoors.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Higher Ed: How Satisfied Are College Graduates?

Image of Higher Ed: How Satisfied Are College Graduates?

It’s well known that obtaining a college degree can give graduates a leg up financially over their lifetime, but it turns out that a person’s overall well-being after commencement has little to do with the type of institution attended.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core: Angles on Assessments

Image of Common Core: Angles on Assessments

The current generation of assessments being taken by students across the country is something like a bad boyfriend. 

That’s according to Jacqueline King of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, who made the point at EWA’s National Seminar held last month at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. When a better guy (or test) comes along, she continued, it’s hard to take it seriously.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core: Impact on the Classroom

Image of Common Core: Impact on the Classroom

At EWA’s 67th National Seminar, we brought together 18 speakers — each with a unique viewpoint — to discuss the rollout of the new Common Core State Standards. This post is Part 2. Click here for Part 1. Part 3 will follow.

Georgia Teacher of the Year Jemelleh Coes said her eighth-grade student Tyler, diagnosed with behavioral issues, went from refusing to participate in class to opening up, analyzing, self-reflecting and basing his arguments on fact.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core: Politics, Power and Public Debate

Image of Common Core: Politics, Power and Public Debate

At EWA’s 67th National Seminar, we brought together 18 speakers — each with a unique viewpoint — to discuss the rollout of the new Common Core State Standards. This post is Part 1. Parts 2 and 3 will follow. 

Is Common Core an evil monster to be slayed? Or, a beautiful butterfly to be cherished?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Race and Social Media on Campus: Do Hashtags Help?

Sit-ins were the preferred avenue of protest on college campuses during the 1960s and 1970s. Students protested in support of civil rights and opposition to war, and their actions sparked social, legal and cultural changes nationwide. As recently as last year, the Dream Defenders spent 31 days camped in the Florida capitol to protest criminal justice issues.

Sit-ins take time, though – time to organize, time for the sit-in to transpire and time to have an impact.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Judging Principals: Inside the Evaluation Debate

How should we judge the performance of Baton Rouge education reporter Charles Lussier?

That was the question posed by Vanderbilt University education professor Joseph Murphy, who suspected that by the second afternoon of EWA’s National Seminar his audience was ready for a fun exercise. Murphy talked about the difference between Lussier’s inputs (such as his education and technical skills), the work he does and his results (readership and response to his articles).

“What if we measure him on whether the paper increases circulation? Do you buy that?” Murphy asked.

Latest News

Turning Research Into Headlines

Today’s post features guest blogger Jennifer Donovan of Michigan Technological University, who attended EWA’s National Seminar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville earlier this month. 

As more people get their news from the Internet and social media — more and more of them accessing these information outlets by mobile devices — universities can’t rely solely on people coming to their home pages to get news about these institutions.

Latest News

Asian Americans and Affirmative Action

Below are tweets I picked that may help reporters tackle this important question of fairness on a demographic group tagged with many myths. Population projections show that by 2050 one in 10 Americans will have an Asian background. Thirteen percent of the U.S. will be African American.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

In Minnesota School, Teachers Take Charge

Avalon School in St. Paul, Minn. doesn’t have a defined leader, but it’s easy to see who is in charge.

Instead of having a traditional principal, the charter school is governed by a cooperative of the teaching staff that oversees decisions such as curriculum, budgets and training.

Teachers share administrative roles and work as a group to make decisions.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Fisk and Vanderbilt Build ‘Bridge’ to Science Degrees

Trey Mack, a doctoral candidate in astronomy, didn’t believe he could land a spot in a great master’s program, let alone a doctoral program, until a friend of a friend introduced him to the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge program.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Top 10 Higher Education Stories You Should Be Covering

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For higher education reporters, Inside Higher Ed editor Scott Jaschik’s annual top-10 list of story ideas is a highlight of EWA’s National Seminar. This year at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Jaschik kicked off his roundup with  an issue that has affected many institutions around the country: sexual assault. The key to covering this story, he said, is not to imply that this is a new problem. Increased attention from the White House has challenged the ways that many colleges have addressed these incidents.

Latest News

EWA National Seminar: How to Tell a Compelling Story

Today’s post features guest blogger Mandy Zatynski of The Education Trust, who attended EWA’s National Seminar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville earlier this month. 

Thanks to the prevalence of blogs and other communication platforms, education writing now reaches beyond daily journalism and includes advocates, researchers, and almost anyone who has an interest in education and the desire to opine.

But that doesn’t mean all of it is good.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Live From Nashville: EWA’s 67th National Seminar

I’ve often made the case that there’s no reporting beat where the reporters are more collegial – or more committed to their work – than education. EWA’s 67th National Seminar, hosted by Vanderbilt University, helped to prove that point.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

As Education Debate Heats Up, Nicholas Lemann Holds the Line

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“I Walk the Line.” Nashville’s late, great Johnny Cash first sang that classic country anthem in 1956. This week in Tennessee’s Music City, journalists were urged to hold the line—as “the referee and truth teller in this fight we are having in education.”

The exhortation came from Nicholas Lemann, professor and dean emeritus at Columbia Journalism School, speaking at a May 18 banquet to honor winners of the 2013 National Awards for Education Reporting.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Weingarten Talks Teachers, Politics and Common Core

Image of Weingarten Talks Teachers, Politics and Common Core

When Randi Weingarten gets depressed about the state of public education, she told attendees of EWA’s 67th National Seminar, she calls up memories of her students at the “We the People” competition in upstate New York a couple of decades ago.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Tennessee’s Haslam Aims for Mantle of Education Governor

Image of Tennessee’s Haslam Aims for Mantle of Education Governor

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam laughingly admitted during a speech at the Education Writers Association’s National Seminar this week that his state hasn’t always been known as a “hotbed of education reform”—or frankly, a place known for its academic achievement.

Moreover, he wasn’t the state CEO who ushered in a series of dramatic education policy changes that has put the state on the national school reform map. Still, he said at the May 19 appearance in Nashville, he’s been the guy “standing in the doorway making sure we don’t retreat.”

Key Coverage

Math Books Claim To Cover Common Core But Don’t, Says Prof

Speakers at a variety of sessions have passionately dissected the pros and cons of the new set of learning standards, which Washington and 43 other states have agreed to use.

On one end of the spectrum, Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, predicted the Common Core’s demise, while at the other, Jemelleh Coes, Georgia’s teacher of the year, said it would absolutely improve student achievement.

Photo gallery

Scenes from Nashville
Photos from the 67th National Seminar

Image of Scenes from Nashville

Photos from the 67th National Seminar

Video

The Authorizer Effect

The Authorizer Effect

Whether it’s a curriculum that makes religion the fourth “R,” a principal who steers lucrative contracts to family members, or test scores that remain stuck in the cellar, charter schools often make the news for all the wrong reasons. Analysts have long seen a connection between problem charters and the process for deciding who gets a charter to operate in the first place. But how much difference does the quality of charter authorizing actually make? Have efforts to strengthen charter authorizing been effective, and if so, where?

Announcement

EWA Honors Contest Winners

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EWA honored the winners of the 2013 National Awards for Education Reporting at this year’s National Seminar.

Announcement

‘Harper High’ Wins Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize

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The team from Chicago’s WBEZ received education reporting’s highest honor Sunday night. 

Video

Asking the Core Questions

Asking the Core Questions

Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute talks about some of the important questions to ask about Common Core assessments.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Common Core: Test for Learning

Common Core: Test for Learning

Jacqueline King of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium talks about how the assessment experience will change under Common Core.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Alabama’s ‘Uncommon’ Core

Alabama’s ‘Uncommon’ Core

Tommy Bice, Alabama’s state schools superintendent, talks about developing assessments outside of the PARCC and Smarter Balanced consortia.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

The End of Test Prep

The End of Test Prep

Laura Slover of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers talks about the development of PARCC’s Common Core-aligned math and reading tests.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

The Future of Assessment in the Digital Ocean

The Future of Assessment in the Digital Ocean

Kristen DiCerbo of GlassLab/Pearson, talks about using digital tools to build better assessments.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Common Core: The Plane Being Built in the Air

Common Core: The Plane Being Built in the Air

Carol Burris, the principal of New York’s South Side High School, talks about how Common Core-aligned assessments in New York frustrated students and inflated achievement gaps.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Haslam Discusses Push to Foster College-Going Culture in Tenn.

Haslam Discusses Push to Foster College-Going Culture in Tenn.

Gov. Bill Haslam talks with education reporters about the hoped-for payoffs—and political trade-offs—of his initiative to boost the number of Tennesseans with education past high school, including through “last-dollar scholarships” that make two years of community college tuition-free. His remarks came during a keynote address on May 19, 2014, at the Education Writers Association’s 2014 National Seminar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Video

Tenn. Gov. Haslam on What’s at Stake With Common Core

Tenn. Gov. Haslam on What’s at Stake With Common Core

Gov. Bill Haslam discusses why his home state should stay the course as supporters of common standards and tests work to fend off attacks from both the right and left on the political spectrum. His remarks came in a keynote address on May 19, 2014, at the Education Writers Association’s 2014 National Seminar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Video

Common Core: Politics & Public Debate
Five-video playlist

Political backlash against the Common Core State Standards and assessments appears to be mounting. These five speakers examine the history of the standards; explore why people should be skeptical; profile two state experiences, and offer an examination of left and right political perspectives about the Common Core.

Video

Achieving a New State: A Look at State Turnaround Districts

Achieving a New State: A Look at State Turnaround Districts

More places are experimenting with state-run initiatives to address chronically low-performing public schools. Converting such schools to charters is among the strategies these state-led districts employ. We showcase leading examples of the trend, including the Achievement School District in Tennessee. Observers also comment on the Louisiana Recovery School District and the Michigan Education Achievement Authority. How well are their strategies working?

Video

Randi Weingarten on Testing and Common Core

Randi Weingarten on Testing and Common Core

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, talks about teacher frustrations with Common Core implementation.

Recorded May 19, 2014 at EWA’s 67th National Seminar.

Video

Common Core, Uncommon Politics

Common Core, Uncommon Politics

Patrick McGuinn of Drew University talks about the sometimes-unexpected world of Common Core polling.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Common Core: The Power of Purpose

Common Core: The Power of Purpose

Georgia Teacher of the Year Jemelleh Coes talks about answering the age-old question, “When will I use this?” in the context of Common Core.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

The Scenario: How Educators Can Do So Much Better

The Scenario: How Educators Can Do So Much Better

NYC math teacher Jose Vilson talks — and raps — about his experiences implementing Common Core in his classroom.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Common Core: Teachers Need Support, Not Sympathy

Common Core: Teachers Need Support, Not Sympathy

Sandra Albert of Student Achievement Partners offers ideas for teacher-focused stories on Common Core implementation.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Randi Weingarten on Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

Randi Weingarten on Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

AFT President Randi Weingarten discusses value-added teacher evaluation models with the Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton.

Recorded May 19, 2014 at EWA’s 67th National Seminar.

Video

Common Core: Why Implementation Requires Change

Common Core: Why Implementation Requires Change

William Schmidt of Michigan State University discusses four key areas he believes need to change as the Common Core math standards are implemented.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Randi Weingarten: Assessing Teacher Prep Programs

Randi Weingarten: Assessing Teacher Prep Programs

AFT President Randi Weingarten calls the Obama administration out for perceived hypocrisy in how it judges teacher preparation programs.

Recorded May 19, 2014 at EWA’s 67th National Seminar.

Video

Randi Weingarten on Hillary Clinton and Partisanship in the Ed Debate

Randi Weingarten on Hillary Clinton and Partisanship in the Ed Debate

AFT President Randi Weingarten talks support for Hillary Clinton, the possibility of a union-backed Republican candidate, and next year’s mayoral race in Chicago.

Recorded May 19, 2014 at EWA’s 67th National Seminar.

Video

Randi Weingarten on the Career Ladder Model in New York

Randi Weingarten on the Career Ladder Model in New York

Geoff Decker of Chalkbeat New York asks Weingarten about the United Federation of Teachers contract and the how the proposed career-ladder model compares to other school districts. Recorded in May 2014 at EWA’s 67th National Seminar.

Video

Randi Weingarten to Reporters: Move Beyond Talking Point of the Day

Randi Weingarten to Reporters: Move Beyond Talking Point of the Day

AFT President Randi Weingarten takes a question on the possibility of a strike in Philadelphia at EWA’s 67th National Seminar.

Recorded May 19, 2014 at EWA’s 67th National Seminar.

Video

Spring Training: Working on the Fundamentals

Spring Training: Working on the Fundamentals

Amber Northern of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute talks about her research into Common Core implementation.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Engaging the Core

Engaging the Core

Jonathan Supovitz, co-director of CPRE, talks about writing policy that leads to greater engagement with Common Core.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University. 

Video

Keep the Core, Change the Course

Keep the Core, Change the Course

Dennis Van Roekel of the National Education Association advocates for testing and teacher evaluation reform to accompany the implementation of Common Core.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Common Core: From F to Fastest in Tennessee

Common Core: From F to Fastest in Tennessee

Jamie Woodson, President and CEO of SCORE, talks about Tennessee’s experience with Common Core implementation and the state’s gains in NAEP scores.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Kentucky’s Common Core Lore

Kentucky’s Common Core Lore

Terry Holliday, Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education, talks about the state’s experience implementing the Common Core State Standards.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

 

Video

Why We Should Be Skeptical of the Common Core

Why We Should Be Skeptical of the Common Core

Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution outlines some of his research related to the Common Core State Standards. Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

The Real Story Behind the Common Core

The Real Story Behind the Common Core

Michael Cohen of Achieve talks about some of the big misconceptions behind the Common Core State Standards.

Recorded Monday, May 19 at Common Core: Realities of the Rollout, a special session held during EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.

Video

Common Core: Impact on the Classroom
Seven-video playlist

Image of Common Core: Impact on the Classroom

The second of three sets of videos from our special Common Core session at the 67th National Seminar.

Announcement

Hotels, Registration and Other Logistics

Welcome to the 67th National Seminar!

This page contains logistics information you might find useful during your stay in Nashville.

The full agenda is online. Check it out, or download the National Seminar app from iTunes or Google Play and build your own schedule.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

U.S. Students and PISA: How Much Do International Rankings Matter?

EWA’s 67th National Seminar starts Sunday at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, which makes this a great time to catch up on your background reading for some of the sessions. Some of the issues we’ll be talking about is how education reporters can better use student data in their stories, and the finer points of comparing achievement by U.S. students and their international counterparts. For background reading, here’s my post from December on the international PISA assessment.

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