2015 National Seminar

Image of 2015 National Seminar
Overview

2015 National Seminar
Costs and Benefits: Covering the Economics of Education

EWA’s National Seminar will gather some 500 journalists, experts, and supporting community members for dozens of sessions, including standalone speakers, panel discussions, how-to workshops, and visits to sites of interest. With its focus on financial issues, the National Seminar will arm attendees with new ideas for compelling stories on everything from salary schedules and bond issues to the burdens on families struggling to pay for preschool or college. At the same time, it will sharpen participants’ skills at making the most of their resources for producing high-quality coverage.

Multimedia

Beyond the Rising Costs of Pensions
2015 EWA National Seminar

Beyond the Rising Costs of Pensions

Pensions are causing serious budget issues across the country, including Illinois. But issues around pensions go beyond the rising costs, and the session will explore those questions, too. How can reporters generate lively stories on this important (but potentially dull) subject?

  • Diane Rado, Chicago Tribune (Speaker/Moderator)
  • Chad Aldeman, Bellwether Education Partners
  • Ralph Martire, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability
Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teaching ‘Grit’: How Students, Schools Can Benefit

Image of Teaching ‘Grit’: How Students, Schools Can Benefit

Over at EWA Radio, we explored the debate over how so-called noncognitive factors like “grit” influence student achievement, and how schools are rethinking approaches to classroom instruction as a result. (You can find the full episode here.I thought this was a good opportunity to revisit a recent guest post by Daveen Rae Kurutz of the Beaver County Times, looking at our “deep dive” session into these issues at EWA’s recent National Seminar:

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Blending Time and Learning for English Language Learners

Image of Blending Time and Learning for English Language Learners

Laptops chimed as students played a game designed to teach them the basics of geometry inside a fourth grade classroom at the Cesar E. Chavez Multicultural Academic Center on the south side of Chicago. Large paper mobiles of various geometric shapes hung from the ceiling and a list of classroom jobs for each student was posted on the wall. 

Multimedia

Trends in Charter School Finance
2015 EWA National Seminar

Trends in Charter School Finance

Funding for charter schools is a complex and divisive issue. Do charters get an equitable share of public dollars? How do school facilities fit into the equation, as well as private sources of support for the charter sector? What are recent evolutions in policy concerning charter finance and facilities, and what’s on the horizon?

Multimedia

Ways to Examine School Discipline
2015 EWA National Seminar

Ways to Examine School Discipline

Schools often say they suspend misbehaving students to restore order and keep others safe. But a recent study questions the link between suspensions and school safety. This session flips the script, as a researcher moderates a panel of reporters who have explored alternatives to the usual diet of suspensions and expulsions.

Multimedia

Rethinking Career & Technical Education in a Global Context
2015 EWA National Seminar

Rethinking Career & Technical Education in a Global Context

Amid worries of a “skills gap” for U.S. youths and young adults, some experts call for rethinking and ramping up career and technical education. Panelists explore the skills and achievement of American young people in an international context, and highlight ways to improve CTE with an eye toward promising practices in other countries.

Multimedia

Opening Doors: Helping Students Make Their Way to College
2015 EWA National Seminar

Opening Doors: Helping Students Make Their Way to College

Research suggests that many students who could succeed in college never get the chance to enroll. But studies also show this circumstance can be overcome by getting students more information about options in colleges, scholarships and financial aid. Gain insights from experts on what approaches help these students succeed.

Multimedia

New Insights on State Funding for Higher Education
2015 EWA National Seminar

New Insights on State Funding for Higher Education

The Great Recession saw most states drastically cut their spending on public colleges, leading most of those colleges to increase their tuition. As the national economy continues to recover, how has state funding for postsecondary education fared and what does it mean for students and their families?

  • Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post (Moderator)
  • Daniel Hurley, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
  • Laura Perna, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ray Scheppach, University of Virginia
Multimedia

The Impact of International Students in Higher Education
2015 EWA National Seminar

The Impact of International Students in Higher Education

At one flagship public university, the number of undergraduate students from China jumped from 37 in 2000 to 2,898 this year. As public universities recruited more international students, what impact has the increased diversity had on students’ academic and social lives?

  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed (Speaker)
  • Peggy Blumenthal, Institute of International Education
  • Gil Latz, Association of International Education Administrators
  • Nicole Tami, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Multimedia

Can FAFSA Be Fixed?
2015 EWA National Seminar

Can FAFSA Be Fixed?

How many questions does the crucial federal financial aid form really need? Proposals to simplify have ranged from trimming the form’s dozens of questions to replacing the form with just few queries on a postcard. This session illuminates how key questions can affect how much aid a student receives.

Multimedia

Can Innovation Improve Higher Education?
2015 EWA National Seminar

Can Innovation Improve Higher Education?

Higher education faces a major challenge: How to educate more students better as resources and funding at most colleges mostly stay flat. This discussion will examine whether new technology and new approaches such as competency-based education or MOOCs can make college more affordable and effective.

  • Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed (Moderator)
  • Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Kevin Carey, New America
  • Ryan Craig, University Ventures
Blog: The Educated Reporter

Asking the Right Questions About Student Loan Debt

Image of Asking the Right Questions About Student Loan Debt

There’s no doubt about it: Student loans can be a big financial burden to recent college graduates.

But if borrowers are provided with more information on repayment plans and other tools to help manage debt, chances are they’ll be less likely to default on their loans, according to a panel conversation on student loans at the Education Writers Association’s 2015 national conference in Chicago.

Multimedia

Speaking Up: Student and Teacher Voices on Student-Centered Learning
2015 EWA National Seminar

Speaking Up: Student and Teacher Voices on Student-Centered Learning

How does student-centered learning change the pupil-teacher working relationship? And what do we know about the longterm benefits of the educational approach? We’ll hear from a student who has graduated from a school that was an early adopter of student-centered learning, as well as a student and teachers currently using it in their classrooms.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

An Innovative Approach to Tracking Extra Learning Time

Image of An Innovative Approach to Tracking Extra Learning Time

Unlike in the movie “Field of Dreams,” just building after-school and summer programs offers no mystical guarantee that students “will come.”  

Access is a huge issue – not just transportation to the programs, although that is a challenge. The types of programs offered, if students perceive them as having value, and whether students and their parents even know what’s available in their communities are things to consider.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Do States Undervalue Higher Education?

Image of Do States Undervalue Higher Education?

Tuition caps, budget cuts and wayward priorities when it comes to funding higher education — oh, my.

It’s time for states to decide the value of higher education. Or rather, it’s time for state leaders to decide if they value higher education enough to fund it properly.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Is There Room for Games in Education?

Image of Is There Room for Games in Education?

Allen Turner recently recalled the day his grade school teacher said it was time to learn about the U.S. Constitution, beginning with its famous preamble. But Turner, now a video game designer and professor at Chicago’s DePaul University, already knew it. So did all his classmates.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

New Flavor of School Choice Policy Gains Ground in States

Image of New Flavor of School Choice Policy Gains Ground in States

The sweeping new school choice law in Nevada — or more precisely, educational choice law — has attracted significant national media coverage and analysis. Nevada public school families can apply to spend more than $5,000 in state aid per child on private school tuition or other educational expenses each year, including tutoring, online courses, textbooks, and even home-schooling.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

At Catholic High School, Chicago Students Earn While They Learn

Image of At Catholic High School, Chicago Students Earn While They Learn

When Carolyn Alessio assigned her students to prepare to act out a trial to probe the themes of “Frankenstein,” she was surprised at what she found at the top of a few of their supporting documents — perfectly formatted docket numbers.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Does Applying for Financial Aid Have to Be This Hard?

Image of Does Applying for Financial Aid Have to Be This Hard?

A lot has changed about applying to college, but one thing that has endured for generations is the dreaded FAFSA.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Can Innovation Improve Higher Education?

Image of Can Innovation Improve Higher Education?

The challenges facing higher education today are widely known, but no one really knows the future as technology reshapes how college courses are delivered, how effectively they teach, and who takes them at what cost.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

A Chicago High School’s Turnaround

Image of A Chicago High School’s Turnaround

Five years ago, Nicholas Senn High School on the Near North Side of Chicago was one some educators felt lucky to avoid. While student discipline might have been an issue elsewhere, “you would say, at least it’s not Senn,” Principal Susan Lofton said.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How They Did the Story: Tips From Award-Winning Reporters

Image of How They Did the Story: Tips From Award-Winning Reporters

It was quietly proud grandfather and Vietnam War Veteran James Dent who grabbed reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones’ attention in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

For St. Louis reporter Tim Lloyd, it was an African-American middle-school teacher unnerved when a white driver pulled up beside him at a stoplight and pointed his fingers at him in a shooting gun motion.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

When Wrong Answers Lead to the Right Outcomes

Image of When Wrong Answers Lead to the Right Outcomes

In a second-grade classroom outside of Palo Alto, Calif., students were sharing their answers to a math quiz. A young boy named Michael held up his answer, and, as was customary, his classmates showed their verdict on the answer – thumbs up or thumbs down.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core Testing, Up Close and Personal

Image of Common Core Testing, Up Close and Personal

Usually, the best way to learn about a test is to just take it yourself.

Or at least that was the thinking at the recent Education Writers Association National Seminar session, “Testing, Testing: Trying Out New Assessments.” Journalists were greeted by a thick packet of test questions created for the two national assessment consortia that put together exams aligned to the Common Core State Standards — the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Key Coverage

Poverty’s Enduring Hold On School Success

A new analysis of a decade of state test score data by WBEZ and the Daily Herald underlines the immense role poverty plays in how well a school performs.

Our analysis shows a vast expansion of poverty—2,244 schools have seen their proportion of low-income students increase by at least 10 percentage points over the last decade. And the number of schools struggling with concentrated poverty— where nearly every child in the school is low-income — has ballooned.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teachers Speak Up on Common Core

Image of Teachers Speak Up on Common Core

Negative reactions to the Common Core State Standards capture the headlines, but many teachers in the trenches of education reform say the standards are here so they have to implement them one way or another.

It’s the way that school administrators and politicians interpret the Common Core standards that some teachers feel is creating a sense of apprehension for their colleagues, students and parents.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Beyond the Buzzwords: Understanding ‘Deeper Learning’

Image of Beyond the Buzzwords: Understanding ‘Deeper Learning’

Focusing on student learning, and structuring the school to fit students’ varied learning paces, is proving to be a game changer, said panelists at EWA’s recent National Seminar in Chicago, moderated by journalist Katrina Schwartz of Mindshift at KQED Public Radio.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Chicago Students Soar at Noble Charter High School

Image of Chicago Students Soar at Noble Charter High School

The Noble Network of Charter Schools is arguably Chicago’s most famous charter chain. Despite having schools only in one city and operating exclusively at the high school level, charter advocates now consider Noble to be in the same tier as KIPP and Achievement First — national brands in the no-excuses charter arena.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Solutions, Not Punishment, Focus of School Discipline Policies

Image of Solutions, Not Punishment, Focus of School Discipline Policies

As school districts across the country work to address racial inequities in discipline, some campuses are trying alternative approaches to keeping students out of trouble and in the classroom.

Among the approaches gaining in popularity: positive behavior support programs, which reward students for good behavior, and restorative justice programs, in which students are brought into the process of identifying solutions, rather than simply punished.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

At Chicago Preschool, Parental Involvement Is Key

Image of At Chicago Preschool, Parental Involvement Is Key

With engaged parents, bright futures are possible. That’s the philosophy of a child care center on Chicago’s South Side that is pairing research-based child development techniques with a strong family partnership.

The Educare Center grew from a program that had been based at the notorious Robert Taylor Homes. Educare opened their own facility in 2000 as the public housing high-rises across the street were being dismantled.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Secret to Great School Budget Stories? Dig, Dig, Dig

Image of The Secret to Great School Budget Stories? Dig, Dig, Dig

News stories on school district budgets often stick to whether spending is up or down, whether employees received raises or not. So Dallas Morning News reporter Tawnell Hobbs helped attendees at the Education Writers Association National Seminar delve deeper into school spending and unlock the juiciest stories during a session in Chicago on April 20.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Beyond the Rising Costs of Teacher Pensions

Image of Beyond the Rising Costs of Teacher Pensions

Reporters are sometimes afraid of numbers. But when it comes to pensions, this can be a problem. It means that they often write an incomplete story,  giving voices to politicians who decry the size of teacher pensions. Or they’ll ignore pension stories entirely.

So it’s no surprise that the public often comes to erroneous conclusions—that teacher greed is the problem.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core and Textbooks: Out of Alignment?

Image of Common Core and Textbooks: Out of Alignment?

Five years after the Common Core standards were completed, how have educational publishers responded? Where are schools turning for instructional materials? And what’s the best way to gauge whether a textbook is truly aligned with the new math and English/language arts standards. These were among the questions tackled by a panel of experts at the recent Education Writers Association seminar in Chicago.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Influx of International Students Spurs U.S. Colleges to Change

Image of Influx of International Students Spurs U.S. Colleges to Change

If you’re a student at an American college or university, chances are you’ll be living and learning in the midst of a more diverse student body than students who attended school a decade ago.

Recent years have seen an influx of international students to American colleges and universities. While the trend certainly isn’t new, it’s becoming more prevalent, according to a panel of experts at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Covering the Business Side of Education

Image of Covering the Business Side of Education

Come budget time, school superintendents are first to say that teacher salaries take the biggest chunk of a district’s spending.

But even a glance at the pie charts and line items shows that public education is a big business, too — curriculum and technology, PowerSchool and iPads, and charter management fees, real estate transactions and school renovations can cost taxpayers millions for a single district.

Where exactly is that money going?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Too Many Tests?

Image of Too Many Tests?

An opt-out movement gained momentum this spring, with tens of thousands of students sitting out of new standardized tests in states including New York, Maine and New Mexico.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, a panel of testing experts gathered at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar in Chicago to discuss the very predicament.

Multimedia

Falloff in Aspiring Teachers: Where and Why?
2015 EWA National Seminar

Falloff in Aspiring Teachers: Where and Why?

A data analysis by Education Week showed a decline in applicants to education schools in key states and Ed Week’s Stephen Sawchuk walks participants through it. ACT’s Steve Kappler unveils a disturbing new report on a dropoff in high school graduates aspiring to teach. Other speakers review the implications of their findings and sources.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Urban Schools Landscape: Lessons From Chicago

Image of The Urban Schools Landscape: Lessons From Chicago

Urban education leaders crammed a marathon of Chicago’s public education woes and wonders into a 45-minute session (more akin to a 5K race) at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar in Chicago.

Sara Ray Stoelinga, the director of the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute, joined colleague Timothy Knowles for a breakfast panel titled “10 Lessons to Take Home From Chicago” at the EWA event.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core Testing in Action: How Did It Go?

Image of Common Core Testing in Action: How Did It Go?

This academic year marks a critical juncture for the Common Core, as most states started testing students on the standards for the first time. The beginning has had some rough moments, with thousands of students opting out of the tests, especially in New York and New Jersey, and technology glitches in some states disrupting the assessments.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

What Happens When Young People Don’t Want to Be Teachers?

Image of What Happens When Young People Don’t Want to Be Teachers?

Why would young people today want to become teachers? Or perhaps more importantly, why wouldn’t they?

We all recognize teaching as an opportunity to change lives and remember the teachers who made a difference for us. But weigh that intrinsic satisfaction against low wages, little public respect and an ever-growing workload, and the minuses often win out. And now that a rebounding economy offers more professional options, our country faces a serious challenge to educating the next generation.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Education Philanthropy and How to Cover It

Image of Education Philanthropy and How to Cover It

News of foundations and philanthropists partnering with school districts seems more and more common as states have struggled to provide adequate funding for K-12 education, while district leadership seek new avenues to give students an edge.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Opening the Door to Student College Success

Image of Opening the Door to Student College Success

In the conversations surrounding low-income students’ access to college, there’s one statistic that Harold Levy finds most worrisome: Among those students who are in the top quartile academically and also among the lowest quartile financially, 22 percent never take the ACT or SAT.

That means many very smart, very poor kids aren’t even getting close to college.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Education

Image of The Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Education

Preschool advocates have had a tough time convincing lawmakers that spending money in the earliest years of a child’s education has a long-term payoff.

Just ask Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner.

At this year’s Education Writers Association conference in Chicago, Rauner said her husband, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, understands the value of early childhood education.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Impact of Principal Turnover

Image of The Impact of Principal Turnover

Joe Nelson wasn’t the only principal along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August 2005 to face rebuilding a school in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But he did it with exceptional leadership, focusing on setting up reward systems for students and teachers and creating an environment where they could flourish despite the devastation around them.

Multimedia

Common Core in the Classroom: Teacher Voices
2015 EWA National Seminar

Common Core in the Classroom: Teacher Voices

Teachers from Chicago, New York, and Arizona offer their views on how Common Core State Standards and assessments are playing out in the classroom and how their schools and districts have – and haven’t – changed practice.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Student and Teacher Voices on Student-Centered Learning

Image of Student and Teacher Voices on Student-Centered Learning

If teachers and principals want students on center stage in their classrooms, they’ll first have to do a lot of work backstage. However, as a panel of teachers and students told attendees at EWA’s recent National Seminar in Chicago, the return on investment can be substantial.

When Revere High School, outside Boston, began moving to a more student-centered approach, the educators didn’t expect an overnight miracle.

Multimedia

Guardians of the Gigabytes: Who Is Protecting Students’ Data?
2015 EWA National Seminar

Guardians of the Gigabytes: Who Is Protecting Students’ Data?

Children are the future, but they’re also the source of billions of data points, and the battle over that information has just begun. Startups are angling for a piece of the multibillion-dollar education market those kids represent, while government agencies are touting data collection to improve instruction. But who’s keeping student data safe?

Moderator:

  • Benjamin Herold, Education Week

Speakers:

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Expanded Learning Time: Better For Kids or Teachers?

Image of Expanded Learning Time: Better For Kids or Teachers?

When Superintendent Bolgen Vargas wanted to extend the school day in the Rochester City School District, a low-income, low-performing district in New York, he waded through research and reached out for guidance. “We wanted to do this, but we wanted to make sure it wasn’t another flavor of the month,” Vargas said at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

‘How I Did the Story’: Award-Winning Higher Ed Reporters Share Their Skills

Image of ‘How I Did the Story’: Award-Winning Higher Ed Reporters Share Their Skills

Four recipients of EWA’s National Awards for Education Writing reminded attendees of the 68th National Seminar that perseverance pays off and the best investigations often begin by chance.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Global Context: Rethinking Career and Technical Education

The Global Context: Rethinking Career and Technical Education

The United States should look to countries like Switzerland and Singapore – both seen as having strong, successful vocational education systems – if it wants to address the widening skills gap among young people.

That was the consensus of two of the three panelists during a discussion on rethinking career and technical education during the Education Writers Association’s 68th national seminar in Chicago.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Charter Schools: Following the Money

Image of Charter Schools: Following the Money

Reporters should pay attention not just to the amount of money charter schools receive but how they are spending it, reporter and moderator Sarah Carr said as she kicked off a session on charter school finance at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar in Chicago.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Can the Community College ‘Promise’ Be Fulfilled?

Image of Can the Community College ‘Promise’ Be Fulfilled?

Nine million.

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Covering School Choice, On a Deadline

Image of Covering School Choice, On a Deadline

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

R.I.P. NCLB?

Image of R.I.P. NCLB?

The body is cold, the obituary written. All that’s left for the federal No Child Left Behind Law is to pull the plug — and, crucially, for the U.S. Congress to agree on what comes next.

That was the consensus among four experts who spoke on a panel, “RIP NCLB?: A New Role for Uncle Sam,” at the Education Writers Association’s annual conference in Chicago on April 21.

Multimedia

Top 10 Higher Ed Stories You Should Be Covering This Year
2015 EWA National Seminar

Image of Top 10 Higher Ed Stories You Should Be Covering This Year

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How to Get Dollars to Schools That Need Them

Image of How to Get Dollars to Schools That Need Them

At a speech in December, Janet Yellen, the chair of the Federal Reserve, took the United States to task for the way it funds schools.

“Public education spending is often lower for students in lower-income households than for students in higher-income households,” she told the audience at the Conference on Economic Opportunity and Inequality, in Boston.

Story Lab

Story Lab: Making Federal Data a Gold Mine for Your Reporting

Image of Story Lab: Making Federal Data a Gold Mine for Your Reporting

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Students, Teachers Don’t Study The Way Science Says They Should

Image of Students, Teachers Don’t Study The Way Science Says They Should

Most students don’t study using methods backed by scientific research, panelists at the Education Writers Association’s deep dive on the science of learning told reporters in Chicago at the association’s 68th National Seminar.

“Why do people find learning so hard?” asked Henry Roediger, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, who participated in the April event.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Paying for Pre-K: Communities See Success With Innovative Approaches

Image of Paying for Pre-K: Communities See Success With Innovative Approaches

Two used buses retrofitted into state-of-the-art preschool classrooms drive around several of Colorado’s most rural and isolated communities to bring high-quality preschool right to families’ doorsteps.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Littlest Learners See Boost with Less Stress, Active Dads

Image of Littlest Learners See Boost with Less Stress, Active Dads

Saturday nights in the newsroom we keep an ear tuned to the scanner. After dark it becomes this portal to all nightmares, a listening post to a relationship war zone.

At first, calls of beatings, knifings and guns drawn ramp up the adrenalin. But eventually, the drone of the dispatchers and pure repetition dull the impact. About 40 percent of all cases at the District Attorney’s office in my county relate to domestic violence.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Reporting on Schools: Why Campus Access Matters

Image of Reporting on Schools: Why Campus Access Matters

Back in December, reporter Lauren Foreman of the Bakersfield Californian sent an email titled “Banned from classrooms” to a group of education journalists.

“One of my district’s assistant supes told me today reporters aren’t allowed to observe classroom instruction, and parents aren’t even allowed to freely do that,” she wrote. Foreman wanted to know what policies were in other districts and how she ought to respond.

Multimedia

Keynote by Gov. Bruce Rauner
2015 EWA National Seminar

Image of Keynote by Gov. Bruce Rauner

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks with attendees at the kickoff of EWA’s 68th National Seminar in Chicago on April 20, 2015.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Protecting Student Data: Even Experts Are Just ‘Figuring It Out’

Protecting Student Data: Even Experts Are Just ‘Figuring It Out’

The last decade’s increasing reliance on data-driven education tools has policy leaders scrambling to safeguard personal information as Americans increasingly become concerned about their children’s digital footprints.

Chief among the challenges lawmakers face is juggling the extraordinary growth of an industry and the personal safety of students.

Multimedia

A Conversation With Sec. Arne Duncan
2015 EWA National Seminar

Image of A Conversation With Sec. Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan fields reporters’ questions culled by Motoko Rich of the New York Times at EWA’s National Seminar in Chicago, April 21, 2015.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Stories from #EWA15

Image of Stories from #EWA15
Multimedia

Keynote by Vassar College President Catharine Bond Hill
2015 EWA National Seminar

Image of Keynote by Vassar College President Catharine Bond Hill

At EWA’s 2015 National Seminar, Vassar College President Catharine Bond Hill discussed the costs of higher education and Vassar’s efforts to make college more affordable and equitable.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Arne Duncan: Education Is ‘Great Equalizer’ But Not Yet National Priority

Image of Arne Duncan: Education Is ‘Great Equalizer’ But Not Yet National Priority

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan subjected himself to what might have been the ultimate edu-press conference in Chicago Tuesday, allowing hundreds of reporters to grill him on testing, No Child Left Behind, college ratings (and yes, White Suburban moms) at the Education Writers Association’s 68th National Seminar. 

Multimedia

Too Many Tests?
2015 EWA National Seminar

Too Many Tests?

An ongoing “opt-out” campaign has stirred debate over whether students are over-tested., and what kind of tests are to blame. How much time – and money – do schools spend  on testing? A panel of experts explored the issue during “Too Many Tests?”

Here are the highlights of the discussion moderated by Emily Hanford of American RadioWorks. The panel included Matt Chingos of the Brookings Institution, Scott Marion of the National Center on Assessment, and Bob Schaeffer of FairTest.

Multimedia

RIP NCLB?: A New Role for Uncle Sam
2015 EWA National Seminar

 RIP NCLB?: A New Role for Uncle Sam

Speakers, including U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-IN, offer reporters the lay of the land and discuss how rewriting the No Child Left Behind Act may affect their school districts and states. Some speakers say NCLB is already dead, but they’re still not certain what will take its place, other than policies handed down through the U.S. Department of Education’s waivers from NCLB provisions.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Gov. Rauner: Put Money in Classrooms, Not Bureaucracy

Image of Gov. Rauner: Put Money in Classrooms, Not Bureaucracy

In a wide-ranging speech on educational opportunity, teacher quality, school funding and accountability delivered at the kickoff of the Education Writers Association’s 68th National Seminar, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner shared with reporters his vision for the future of education in the Prairie State.

Awards

Hannah-Jones of ProPublica Receives the 2014 Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting
Highest Honor in Education Journalism

Image of Hannah-Jones of ProPublica Receives the 2014 Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting

APRIL 20, 2015 (CHICAGO)—A ProPublica package of stories about the lingering effects of segregation in American schools by Nikole Hannah-Jones has been awarded the top prize in the Education Writers Association’s 2014 National Awards for Education Reporting.

Seminar

Special Session Registration
2015 National Seminar

Pre-Conference Session

Before the National Seminar officially kicks off, EWA has organized special sessions and workshops for journalist attendees. More information and a link to register are below.

Space is limited and advance registration is required.

Agenda

2015 National Seminar
Agenda

Presentations and handouts are linked to the presenter’s name. Unless noted, all links are PDFs.

Monday, April 20

The Core Story of Education with the FrameWorks Institute (For Community Members)
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Announcement

2014 Award Winners Announced
National Awards for Education Reporting

March 26, 2015 (WASHINGTON, DC)—The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 National Awards for Education Reporting, honoring exceptional journalism from print, radio and online media outlets across the country.

The 33 honored entries hail from a diverse array of media outlets that range from three-person newsrooms to outlets with hundreds of reporters. More than 240 entrants submitted roughly 360 entries in 18 categories.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

EWA National Seminar: Save Your Spot in Chicago!

Image of EWA National Seminar: Save Your Spot in Chicago!

Space is filling up quickly for EWA’s 68th National Seminar, which will take place in Chicago April 20-22. We also have a limited number of travel scholarships available to qualified reporters. 

Seminar

Journalist Scholarship Application
2015 National Seminar

The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce that its 2015 National Seminar, the organization’s flagship annual conference, will take place April 20-22, 2015, at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Chicago, IL. This year, we will focus on “Costs and Benefits: Covering the Economics of Education.”

Seminar

New to the Beat Orientation and Mentoring
A Special EWA Workshop for Journalists Members

Image of New to the Beat Orientation and Mentoring

Applicants should be full-time education reporters with less than two years experience on the beat.

The New to the Beat orientation will take place Monday, April 20 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the opening session of National Seminar. 

Additionally, participants will be assigned to veteran journalist mentors who will provide coaching and support over a six-month period. Reporters will be expected to produce at least one story reflecting knowledge and skills acquired as a result of participating in the program.

Seminar

Data at your Desk Seminar in Chicago
An AERA-EWA Data Fellowship Program for Journalists

Image of Data at your Desk Seminar in Chicago

The Education Writers Association and American Educational Research Association are joining forces to offer a fellowship program for journalists interested in broadening their understanding of education data. Reporters and editors chosen for the fellowships will attend an intensive joint data workshop, as well as data-oriented sessions at EWA’s 68th National Seminar hosted by The University of Chicago and AERA’s 2015 Annual Meeting in the Windy City.

Chicago, Ill.
Seminar

EWA Announces Theme and Date of 2015 Conference
Chicago Event to Explore Costs and Benefits of Education

Image of EWA Announces Theme and Date of 2015 Conference

The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce that its 68th National Seminar will be held April 20-22, 2015, in the heart of Chicago. Hosted by the Urban Education Institute of the University of Chicago, EWA’s flagship annual conference will focus on “Costs and Benefits: Covering the Economics of Education.”

Commands