Blog: The Educated Reporter

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The Educated Reporter

EWA's blog about education issues and topics from a journalist's perspective.

EWA’s blog about education issues and topics from a journalist’s perspective.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Post-Katrina Increase in Hispanic Students at Metro New Orleans Schools

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In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated much of southeastern Louisiana, New Orleans and its surrounding areas have seen an influx of Hispanic immigrants who are establishing permanent roots, with many being among the first to aid in the city’s rebuilding efforts. 

Andy Grimm of The Times-Picayune reported last week: 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Parachutes and Shoe Leather: Reporting on New Orleans’ Schools

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It would be difficult to find an education writer who has put in more time, or produced more nuanced stories, examining the big changes in New Orleans’ public schools sector than Sarah Carr. She spent seven years covering the post-hurricane education landscape, and its transition to nearly all charter schools.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

ACLU Sues to Block Nevada’s School Choice Law

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The ACLU of Nevada has announced that it will challenge the state’s new, high-profile “education savings account” law. The measure would provide up to approximately $5,000 per child in public dollars to pay for school choice –including private or parochial school tuition — as well as other educational expenses.

The Nevada law has drawn national notice, as experts consider it unprecedented in scope, since most families in the state are eligible to participate.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Hispanic ‘Disconnected Youth’ Numbers Improve

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Fewer Hispanic 18- and 19-year-olds are disconnected from school and jobs than before the Great Recession, a new Pew Research Center analysis of federal data shows. 

The percentage of Hispanic youth who are unemployed and not enrolled in school is the lowest it has been in 10 years, with a dramatic drop from 21 percent in 2009 to 16 percent in 2014.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

National Education Polls Tell Two Stories, Impact on Elections Tough to Gauge

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Getting a read on the American public’s views on education is no easy task, made more complicated by just how much local schools vary. In a country with more than 13,000 school districts that enroll nearly 50 million students, a range of experiences and perspectives are to be expected.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

After Katrina: New Orleans Schools Fight to Flourish

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A decade after the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the city continues its struggle to recover. Most of the local public schools were replaced by (public) charter schools in the wake of the storm. This dramatic shift in the city’s public education “system” is firmly in the national spotlight as an ongoing experiment in school choice and reform.

EWA Radio

Washington Monthly’s 2015 College Rankings
EWA Radio: Episode 36

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The Washington Monthly’s new college rankings are out, and this year’s top performers are an eclectic mix of publicly funded institutions, innovative upstarts, and a handful of familiar Ivy League names.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Professor’s Advice to Latino Freshmen: ‘Believe You Belong’

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Latino professors from universities across the country give incoming college freshmen advice in a recent post on NBC News Latino, sharing both practical reminders — like “use the class syllabus” and “get to know your teachers” — and heartfelt sentiments about what it means to be Latino on a college campus. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Flipping Classrooms: Indoors and Out

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The North Carolina Museum of Art is offering students a way to experience and learn about art firsthand, and outside the confines of a traditional classroom model.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Student Debt Forgiveness Program Adding Up

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A government program that allows student loan borrowers to reduce their monthly payments significantly is growing in popularity — and increasingly eating into U.S. federal coffers.

The U.S. Department of Education is sticking to the rosier news in a brief report released this week that shows the number of U.S. student loan holders enrolled in income-based repayment plans has jumped by more than 50 percent since last year. According to the government, 3.9 million borrowers have signed up for income-based repayment plans as of June of this year.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Pew: K-12 Students ‘More Racially Diverse than Ever’

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The 53.5 million K-12 students heading to the classrooms in America’s public, charter and private schools this fall are more racially diverse than ever before, according to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center. 

EWA Radio

Summer Reading List: “The Gift of Failure”
EWA Radio: Episode 35

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In 2013, Jessica Lahey — a middle school English teacher and mother of two boys — asked a question: Why would happen if more parents let their children fail? Her blog post went viral, and inspired the new book “The Gift of Failure.”

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Schools Slow to Wake Up to Research on Sleepy Teens

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For the first time, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging education policymakers to start middle and high school classes later in the morning to improve the odds of adolescents getting sufficient sleep to thrive both physically and academically.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

What Smart Reporting on School Segregation Looks (and Sounds) Like

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Down in Florida, the Tampa Bay Times investigated what happened when a local school board drops integration as a priority, and why Pinellas County has become the worst place in the state to be a black K-12 student (at least in terms of academic outcomes).  

Blog: The Educated Reporter

With Eye Toward Video Journalism, Education Week Acquires ‘Learning Matters’

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In a move intended to broaden the breadth and depth of its multimedia reporting, Education Week announced today that it has acquired Learning Matters, the award-winning television production company founded by veteran reporter John Merrow.

EWA Radio

A Crowded Field: Will Education-Only News Outlets Flourish?
EWA Radio: Episode 34

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The field of education-only news organizations has gotten surprisingly crowded in recent years, with a surge in coverage of policy and practice at the city, state, and national levels. Who are the players behind the surge? Do the organizations advocate a point of view, or hew closer to traditional objective news coverage?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Are Students Too Wired or Not Enough?

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In Milwaukee, an epitaph for the classroom blackboard (courtesy of the Journal Sentinel), laid to rest by the so-called “smart board”:

Sitting idle is not on the next generation’s dance card. Now it’s all about touching, swiping, dragging and dropping.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

California, Mexico Educators Develop Spanish Common Core Algebra Curriculum

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This summer, native Spanish-speaking immigrant students in Los Angeles participated in a five-week pilot program testing a new algebra curriculum aligned with the Common Core. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Miami Schools Look to Improve Spanish Instruction

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Imagine taking an English class with a teacher who struggles with writing and grammar. 

That’s the type of instruction many students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools were getting in Spanish class, where teachers with Hispanic last names who spoke Spanish well enough to get by were being thrust into a role they weren’t trained for, according to recent articles by Christina Veiga of the Miami Herald. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Back-to-School: Story Ideas That Shine

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While it may seem that every back-to-school story has been written, the well is far from dry. Are you following the blogs teachers in your district write? Have you amassed the data sets you’ll need to write that deep dive explaining why so many local high school graduates land in remedial classes when they first enter college?

No? It’s OK. You’re not alone.

EWA Radio

Summer Reading List: ‘The Game Believes in You’
EWA Radio: Episode 33

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What if digital gaming in the classroom didn’t just make school more fun for kids, it actually made them smarter? That’s the premise of veteran education journalist Greg Toppo’s new book, “The Game Believes in You”.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Tennessee University Answers White House ‘Call to Action’ with $12 Million

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A Catholic college in Memphis, Tennessee has announced it will set aside $12 million in scholarships for immigrant students, making it the first higher education institution to answer the call for commitments to action from the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teaching ‘Grit’: How Students, Schools Can Benefit

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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: Latino Ed Beat

Study: Hispanic, Black Students Choosing ‘Safety Schools’ Over Elite Institutions

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In a new study evaluating the college application habits of recent high school graduates in Texas, researchers found that academically talented Hispanic and black students were likely to pass up a chance at an Ivy League education and apply to colleges closer to home. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Grit? Motivation? Report Takes Stab at Defining Terms

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Education writing is famous for its alphabet soup of acronyms and obscure terms, but it could just as well be faulted for trafficking buzzwords in search of clear definitions.

Ideas like grit, motivation, fitting in and learning from one’s mistakes, often summarized as noncognitive factors, are just some of the concepts floated more frequently these days. A new paper released this week seeks to provide clarity to this fast-growing discipline within the world of how students learn.

EWA Radio

Rethinking Classroom Discipline
EWA Radio: Episode 32

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Conversations about classroom discipline typically focus on ways to teach kids there are consequences to their actions as a means of controlling future behavior. But a new approach gaining ground removes the sliding scale of punishment from the equation.

Clinical psychologist Ross Greene — whose books are well known to parents of so-called “problem kids,” is rewriting the rules for how some schools respond to challenging students.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Schools With Tough Tests Send More Low-Income Kids to College

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Schools that that teach low-income students a notoriously demanding curriculum are almost twice as likely to see those students enroll in college, a new report shows.

This news comes on the heels of growing research suggesting that challenging assessments, which are a staple of the International Baccalaureate program featured in the report, help students develop a deeper understanding of key subjects like math and history. That “deeper learning,” in turn, may lead to more college opportunities. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

A Look at Latino Charter School Students in California

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“The spread of charter schools throughout the East Bay and California is often viewed as a blessing or curse, depending on whom you ask,” a recent Contra Costa Times article begins. 

But among Latinos in the area, it would appear to be the former, according to the newspaper’s analysis of charter school demographics in Oakland, California, where charter schools have seen their enrollment nearly triple over the past decade. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Is the U.S. Overlooking Its Most Gifted Students?

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I’m headed to Quebec City this week, and in preparation I’ve been reading “Champlain’s Dream: The European Founding of North America” by David Hackett Fischer. There are also quite a few education titles on my vacation reading list, and we’ll be featuring some of the authors in upcoming episodes of EWA Radio.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Prominent Latino Civil Rights Groups Oppose Test Opt-Out Movement

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Earlier this year, 12 civil and human rights groups signed a petition opposing the test opt-out movement gaining traction across the United States. Two of the 12 were prominent Latino advocacy organizations: National Council of La Raza and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Heroic Teachers Lauded in Lafayette Movie Theater Shooting

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When discussing the movie theater shooting Thursday in Lafayette, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recounted his conversation with one of two teachers who was in the audience when the gunfire broke out:

“Her friend literally jumped over her,” Jindal said from the scene. “If her friend hadn’t done that, she believed the bullet would have hit her in the head.”

EWA Radio

What Grit and Perseverance Could Look Like in the Classroom
EWA Radio: Episode 31

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Nestled within the new-agey sounding concept of “noncognitive factors” are fairly concrete examples of what parents and educators should and shouldn’t do to prepare students for the rigors of college and careers. Gleaned from research into brain development and human behavior, a toolkit is emerging on how to make the best of the scholarship focused on qualities like grit, persistence and learning from mistakes.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Where’s the U.S. Parade for Math Olympiad Champions?

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For the first time in more than two decades, a team of American high school students won the International Mathematical Olympiad, a feat that drew comparisons to the U.S. Hockey team’s “Miracle on Ice” in 1980. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Why the Shortage of Latino Teachers in Chicago Schools?

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Ray Salazar calls himself a “white rhino.” He’s Latino and a high school English teacher, a description and perspective that’s perhaps as rare as the critically endangered northern rhinoceros, he says on his popular blog.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Congress Wants Data on Military-Connected Students

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In the flurry of media coverage of the political fight to replace No Child Left Behind, one issue hasn’t gotten much attention: a proposal to require states and districts to track the academic progress of children from military-connected families.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Beyond NCLB: New Era in Federal Education Policy?

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Fifty years ago, the federal government enacted the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty. The newest version of the ESEA, the No Child Left Behind Act, became law 13 years ago and has stayed in place ever since. On Thursday, a new version of the federal government’s most far-reaching K-12 education law moved closer to adoption. The U.S. Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act, one week after the U.S. House of Representatives passed its own version, the Student Success Act.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Spellers Gather in New Mexico for Annual Spanish Bee

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The list is long, and the words don’t look easy. 

That is, the list of more than 2,300 words participants in the fifth annual National Spanish Spelling Bee were given to study in advance of the competition, which kicked off Thursday in Albuquerque at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

NCLB Rewrite Survives Senate Vote

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It’s been a hugely busy week for education reporters on Capitol Hill, as the Senate plowed its way through the Every Child Achieves Act, one of the leading contenders to replace No Child Left Behind as the nation’s framework for funding public schools.

The Senate approved passage of the bill Thursday with 81-17 vote. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Why Are Teachers Fleeing Kansas?

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Frustrated and stymied by massive budget cuts that have trimmed salaries and classroom funding, Kansas teachers are “fleeing across the border” to neighboring states that offer better benefits and a friendlier climate for public education, NPR’s Sam Zeff reported. 

EWA Radio

The Higher Ed Beat: Covering Hispanic Students
EWA Radio: Episode 30

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With Hispanic students accounting for the largest growth in college enrollment, how are higher education institutions reshaping programs and services to meet their needs? What are the most popular colleges for Hispanic students, and what’s driving their choices?

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

College Board Goes ‘All In’ to Attract Latinos to Advanced Placement

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Latino students might shun Advanced Placement courses if the only students they see in them are mostly affluent whites. 

That’s essentially what Jeremy Goldman, head of counseling at a Baltimore high school told NBC last week in an article about the College Board’s new campaign to boost the number of minority high school students enrolled in AP classes. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Money Magazine’s College Rankings Examine How Much ‘Value’ Students Get

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The folks at Money magazine are largely doing the work the White House sought to do but hasn’t: rate colleges and universities by the extra boost they give students in landing financially rewarding careers.

Released this week, Money’s rating system ranks more than 700 schools according to an in-house rubric for measuring how much value a college offers students given its price of attendance. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

‘How I Did the Story’ – EWA’s Grand Prize Winner on Covering School Segregation

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Nikole Hannah-Jones’ examination of school segregation – a piece she wrote for ProPublica — won this year’s Hechinger Grand Prize in EWA’s annual education reporting contest. Hannah-Jones joined the staff of The New York Times Magazine in May. We asked her to share some of her thoughts and ideas gleaned during her reporting of the project.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Tougher Tests May Be New Norm in Common Core Era

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Image of Tougher Tests May Be New Norm in Common Core Era

In an early glimpse of how much tougher state tests could be in the Common Core era, a new federal report released in July shows that early adopters of the controversial standards are assessing their students with a far higher degree of difficulty.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Is Arizona’s Ban on Mexican-American Studies Legal?

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Does an Arizona law banning Mexican-American studies curriculum in public schools intentionally discriminate against Hispanics? That’s the question a federal appeals court has claimed warrants a trial. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Blending Time and Learning for English Language Learners

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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. 

EWA Radio

Summer Reading List: ‘The Boy Who Played With Fusion’
EWA Radio: Episode 29

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In The Boy Who Played With Fusion, journalist Tom Clynes tells the story of Taylor Wilson, a boy genius with a passion for nuclear fusion who makes his way from his modest home in Arkansas to center stage in world of international science competitions.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Affirmative Action: What Could Policy Changes Mean for Latinos?

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With the Supreme Court set to take another look at a controversial affirmative action case in Texas college admissions, some worry what a second decision from the nation’s highest court will have on college-bound minorities. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Ohio Drops PARCC Tests – Now What?

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Ohio is the latest state to back away from common assessments tied to the Common Core State Standards. In the face of strong political opposition to the tests (and apparently a lot of criticism from educators and parents), Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a budget bill last week that effectively prevents Ohio from using the PARCC exams in the future.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Senate to Debate Replacement for No Child Left Behind

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After countless false starts and protracted negotiations, a bill to reauthorize the main federal law for K-12 education is slated for consideration by the U.S. Senate this week.

This is the closest the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has come to reality since the law was last updated in 2002 under President George W. Bush. The law, also known as the No Child Left Behind Act, was slated for renewal in 2007.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Asking the Right Questions About Student Loan Debt

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

An Innovative Approach to Tracking Extra Learning Time

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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?

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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: Latino Ed Beat

National PTA Turns Focus to Hispanic Parents

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More than 100 adults convened in North Carolina last week for the first-ever Hispanic Family Engagement Symposium as a part of the National PTA’s annual conference. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Is There Room for Games in Education?

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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

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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.

EWA Radio

After Pushback, White House Yields on College Ratings
EWA Radio: Episode 28

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After nearly two years of public debate, and vociferous pushback from the higher education community, the White House announced it is pulling back on plans to rate the nation’s colleges based on a complex matrix of performance measures and student outcomes. Paul Fain, news editor for Inside Higher Ed has been following this story closely since the beginning, and he helped break the news that the Obama administration was scrapping the most controversial parts of its original proposal.

He spoke with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about who’s surprised by the decision (hint: not a lot of people), and the role played by aggressive lobbying against the rating plan by much of the higher education community. Fain and Richmond also discussed college ratings and consumer tools already available, and how to answer parents and students who ask for advice on choosing a school.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

At Catholic High School, Chicago Students Earn While They Learn

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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: Latino Ed Beat

AP Participation, Performance Improving Among Illinois Latinos

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Illinois Latinos’ participation and performance in Advanced Placement courses is improving, state education data show. 

Madhu Krishnamurthy of the Daily Herald, a newspaper which identifies itself as “suburban Chicago’s information source,” recently wrote a story analyzing the numbers. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

When Wrong Answers Lead to the Right Outcomes

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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

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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.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Summer Camp Helps Latino Kids Build Spanish-Language Skills

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Spanish professor Luis Fernando Restrepo wanted his children to be bilingual. But living in Arkansas — where Spanish classes aren’t offered until junior high — there wasn’t much institutional support for this endeavor. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teachers Speak Up on Common Core

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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’

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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

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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

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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.

EWA Radio

The Graduation Rate Myth
EWA Radio: Episode 27

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In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama noted that the nation’s graduation rate had hit a 30-year record high of 81 percent. But how accurate is that number? National Public Radio’s education team decided to find out, assigning 14 regional reporters to cover the story. What they found is that while there is likely some genuine improvement in student achievement, there are also plenty of instances where schools and districts are lowering expectations in order to raise the grad rate.

EWA Radio spoke with the lead journalists on the multimedia project: Anya Kamanetz and Cory Turner. They discussed the origins of the assignment, lessons learned along the way, and some smart tips for local reporters looking at the data in their own communities. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

At Chicago Preschool, Parental Involvement Is Key

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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: Latino Ed Beat

Report: More Latinos Earning STEM Degrees

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More Latinos are earning degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields; yet more are needed, a new report by Excelencia in Education claims.

According to the study, “Finding Your Workforce: Latinos in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” Latinos earning credentials in STEM increased to 9 percent in 2013 from 8 percent in 2010. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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

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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

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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: Latino Ed Beat

National Journal Identifies Cities With Most Educated Latinos

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Four East Coast cities and one in California made the list of the top five metropolitan areas with the most educated Latino population in a recent National Journal analysis.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core and Textbooks: Out of Alignment?

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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

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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

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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?

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Ten Higher Education Stories You Should Be Covering

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Editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed Scott Jaschik’s panel “Top 10 Higher Ed Stories You Should Be Covering This Year” has attracted such a crowd every year that this year he began  his presentation  at EWA’s recent National Seminar in Chicago by noting that he’d been asked in the halls whether he’d be charting new territory. Although some stories remain fixtures on his must-cover list, there are new trends that education reporters should track, he told the roughly 80 attendees.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

An ‘H’ for ‘Hispanic,’at Many HBCUs

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Small class sizes, athletic scholarship opportunities and track records for serving low-income, first-generation college students could be what’s driving the growth of populations of Hispanic students at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Urban Schools Landscape: Lessons From Chicago

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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?

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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?

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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

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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: Latino Ed Beat

Florida Schools Add ‘Latinos in Action’ Course to Schedules

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An elective course designed to motivate Hispanic students to finish high school and go to college will be piloted in six Broward County, Florida high schools this fall. 

Scott Travis of the Sun Sentinel reports the class, Latinos in Action, will focus on four major areas: 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Opening the Door to Student College Success

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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

How Fair Are States’ School Funding Formulas?

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Two new national reports paint a grim picture of unfair and inequitable funding of public education across states, with schools serving the highest proportion of impoverished students most often on the losing end.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Education

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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

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

A Scholar With New Insights on Dads

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Fathers often get a bad rap, especially the dads and guardians who occupy the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Ten Questions to Ask on Nevada’s New School Choice Law

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Nevada this week drew national attention after Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed legislation creating a universal school choice program that appears to be unprecedented in scope.

It’s what’s known as an “education savings account” program, though it’s similar in some respects to voucher initiatives. Or, as one analyst said, it’s akin to “a voucher on steroids.”

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Keeping Track of For-Profit Colleges

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With a top advocate for for-profit colleges at her right, and a man leading the legal campaign against wayward for-profits at her left, Chronicle of Higher Education financial reporter Goldie Blumenstyk jokingly reassured her audience: “Despite what this looks like, it’s not going to be a debate.”

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

N.J. College Recognized for Making Strides in Educating Latinos

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It may be nestled near the middle in a list of the Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics, but Montclair State University in New Jersey received front cover-worthy recognition in the latest edition of the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine

Blog: The Educated Reporter

For Students With Disabilities, Life After High School Can Be Harder

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The shift from high school to college or the workforce is harrowing enough, but for the 6 million students diagnosed with a disability, the stakes are higher and the transition all the more challenging.

EWA Radio

Life After Graduation for Students With Disabilities
EWA Radio: Episode 26

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For students with disabilities, it can be a rocky transition from a supportive school environment to the “real world” of college and career. What programs and services are helping to clear their path? Which districts and states are doing the best job at preparing students with disabilities to advocate for themselves? And where is the policy and practice falling short? Education Week delves deep into these issues.

Education Week staff writer Christina Samuels, the lead reporter on the Diplomas Count 2015 report Next Steps: Life After Graduation, talks with EWA Radio about the national trends, examples of best practices, and story ideas for local reporters writing about special education issues.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

White House School Arts Program Expands to D.C., New York

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A program that pairs celebrities with struggling schools to develop their arts education is expanding to more large cities, The U.S. Department of Education announced today. 

Known as the Turnaround Arts initiative, the $10-million effort pools public and private funds to teach music, dance and other arts disciplines at schools that are considered among the worst in their respective states.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Student and Teacher Voices on Student-Centered Learning

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Wednesday Webinar: A Reporters’ Guide to Common Core Testing

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Almost from the outset, we’ve been warned that the implementation of new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards would be a bumpy road. But now that the first major wave of the testing is wrapping up, it’s a good time to take a step back and assess the situation.

Did districts conquer the expected challenges of the necessary technology upgrades? How many parents really did pull their kids out of testing? Where did things go better than anyone had predicted? And what’s up next on the testing beat? (Test scores, of course.)

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Students, Teachers Thrive at U. of Chicago Charter School

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What’s most notable about the Chicago kindergarten class where assistant teacher Nichelle Bell is temporarily in charge is what is not happening. Teachers are not redirecting pupils, who are not off-task. Hands are not in other people’s spaces. Voices—those of children and adults—are not raised.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Expanded Learning Time: Better For Kids or Teachers?

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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

Funding Restored for NYC Summer Learning Programs

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That was fast. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced Thursday that it would restore funding to 40 middle school summer learning programs, just hours after New York City Council members and advocates protested those abrupt cuts that were made two weeks ago. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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

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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

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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: Latino Ed Beat

Latino Dropout Rate Going Down, College Enrollment Going Up

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Fewer Latinos are dropping out of high school, and more are heading for college.

With graduation season well underway, these are a few educational highlights mentioned in a Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends article Tuesday. The Pew article used data from 2000 and 2013 to examine national trends.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core Tests: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

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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.

EWA Radio

Texas School Funding: An Unfair Formula?
EWA Radio: Episode 25

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Laura Isensee of Houston Public Media talks with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about her five-part series examining school funding inequities in the Lone Star State.

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Report: Intensive Support for New Teachers Pays Off

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Can the Community College ‘Promise’ Be Fulfilled?

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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

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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?

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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.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Rising English Proficiency Among Hispanics Affected by Nativity, Education

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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. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Report: School Reform, Not Improving Economy, Explains Rising Graduation Rates

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The nation’s students are graduating from high school at record rates and the reasons can be attributed to school reform efforts, not improving economic trends, argues a new report released by several organizations, including an advocacy group backed by former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How to Get Dollars to Schools That Need Them

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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

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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

Are Video Games Good for Kids?

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Riding the subway to work the other day, I glanced over at the commuter next to me, tapping away on his smartphone. But he was not texting. Clad in jacket and tie (and earbuds), he was engaged in virtual hand-to-hand combat.

In the digital game, he was Spider-Man, battling some muscle-bound monster or alien — lots of kicking and punching, and finally K.O. flashed on the screen.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Suspended Mexican-Studies Program More Than a Major to Colorado Protesters

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Protesters at the University of Northern Colorado argue it shouldn’t matter whether the temporarily suspended Mexican-American studies program only had two students in it.

The university stopped accepting applications for the program in March due to low enrollment. “Just two students are seeking a Mexican-American studies degree this year, continuing a downward trend since 2010-11, when the programs had 11 students,” The Denver Post reported. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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

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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

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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

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

New Teachers Keep Teaching, Contrary to Conventional Wisdom

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Despite previous reports that new teachers are ditching their professions in record numbers, new federal data suggest that a grand majority of novice classroom instructors are showing up for work year after year.

Eighty-three percent of rookie teachers in 2007 continued to educate public school students half a decade later, according to the 2007–08 Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study. Ten percent of teachers left the field after just one year.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

U.S. 8th Graders’ Scores Stagnate on National Civics, History, Geography Tests

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American eighth graders continue to demonstrate lackluster knowledge and skills when asked basic questions about U.S. history, geography, and civics, with between 18 and 27 percent of students scoring proficient or higher, new data show.

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.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Hispanics More Optimistic Than Most About Higher Ed Access, Affordability

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When asked in a recent poll whether education beyond high school is available and affordable to those who need it, Hispanic respondents were optimistic.

The results of a recent Gallup-Lumina Foundation poll reveal that while overall, Americans feel higher education is not affordable, the majority of Hispanics feel it is. And on the issue of access, Hispanics were also more confident than white and black survey-takers. 

Image of Hispanics More Optimistic Than Most About Higher Ed Access, Affordability 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Educators: Common Core Standards ‘Are the Floor’

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Stories from #EWA15

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Blog: The Educated Reporter

EWA National Seminar: Thank You, Chicago!

Image of EWA National Seminar: Thank You, Chicago!

We had an incredible couple of days in Chicago for EWA’s 68th National Seminar, and all sorts of records were shattered, from attendance (500+) to the tweets (more than 15,000 at last check). 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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

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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. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Gov. Rauner: Put Money in Classrooms, Not Bureaucracy

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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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

National Seminar: EWA in Chicago

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EWA’s 68th National Seminar kicks off today in Chicago, and it’s going to be a fantastic three days of discussions, workshops, and site visits. The theme this year is Costs and Benefits: The Economics of Education. Be sure to keep tabs on all the action via the #EWA15 hashtag on Twitter.

EWA Radio

Ohio and the Common Core
EWA Radio: Episode 24

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This spring marks the debut of online assessments aligned to the Common Core, and so far the rollout has been uneven as many states struggle with technical logistics.

EWA public editor Emily Richmond talks with education reporter Charlie Boss of the Columbus Dispatch about how Ohio’s districts, schools, teachers and students are adjusting to the demands of the new standards and tests.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

‘Real World’ + Academic Learning = A High School Diploma

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A few months ago I spent time with students at Pittsfield Middle High School in rural New Hampshire. They’re participating in a program known as “Extended Learning Opportunities”, which lets them step out of the traditional classroom setting and explore their personal interests. A central goal is to help them find the connective tissue between their academic studies and potential career goals. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Howard University Teams Up With D.C. High Schools
University is one of thousands to offer college courses to high school students

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Another university in Washington, D.C., has partnered with high schools to offer their students college-level courses for free, allowing them to earn high school and college credit at the same time.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Poll: Calif. Latino Voters Value Standardized Tests

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According to the majority of Latino voters in California, mandatory standardized tests in schools are valuable to improving public education across the state.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Holding Charter Schools Accountable

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With charter schools serving about 6 percent of America’s public school students, most everyone — from teachers’ unions to researchers to right-leaning advocates — seems to agree that the publicly funded but independently run schools are here to stay. That much was clear from an Education Writers Association panel on the future of charter schools, held last month in Denver.

But what happens next is up for debate.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Follow-Up Friday: Rolling Stone’s Retraction, Recipe for Common Core Math

Image of Follow-Up Friday: Rolling Stone’s Retraction, Recipe for Common Core Math

Rolling Stone retracted its story that supposedly detailed a University of Virginia student’s brutal rape by several members of a campus fraternity, and a report by the Columbia University Journalism School called the debacle “a journalistic failure.” 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Discussing Race Helps Black, Latino Boys, Study Says

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“I don’t see color” isn’t always a good approach to addressing race — at least according to a report released this week by the Center for Collaborative Education and the Annenberg Institute that evaluates the reasons for low academic performance among black and Latino males in Boston Public Schools

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Congress Moves a (Big) Step Closer to Rewriting No Child Left Behind

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A congressional compromise is at hand to rewrite No Child Left Behind, removing many of the more onerous provisions of the federal education law while giving states greater flexibility in accountability.

While the “Every Student Achieves” bipartisan bill announced Tuesday still has significant hurdles to clear before passage, it’s certainly the closest Congress has come to an agreement on revising the education law in nearly a decade.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Meet the Winners: National Awards for Education Reporting

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We’ve announced the recipients of this year’s National Awards for Education Reporting: here are the links to all of their remarkable work. Quite a few of the winners on the list are ones I highlighted as my personal picks for the year’s best reporting. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Follow-Up Friday: Educators Convicted in Atlanta Cheating Scandal

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Eleven Atlanta Public Schools employees on trial for cheating on standardized tests were convicted this week.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Report: Achievement Gap Between Latinos, Whites Starts by Age 2

Image of Report: Achievement Gap Between Latinos, Whites Starts by Age 2

When comparing 9-month-old babies of various ethnicities, a new study finds there aren’t many differences in infants’ abilities to recognize words and gestures or manipulate objects. By age 2, however, gaps start to emerge. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

More Schools Turning to Online Fundraisers

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A couple of recent stories highlight schools turning to online fundraising to provide students with everything from basic classroom supplies to long-distance field trips. 

Nicole Dobo, who covers blended learning for The Hechinger Report, looked at how more easily accessible (and transparent) online sites such as DonorsChoose.org are giving teachers a way to make direct appeals for help:

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Charter School Quality Conundrum

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Charter schools increasingly are being scrutinized for the exact problem many advocates hoped they would help solve: poor student outcomes. How exactly to deal with those schools that do not meet academic expectations—or fail in other regards, such as employing questionable business practices or not being equitable in welcoming all students—have become key concerns.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Cyber-Attack Derails Common Core Testing in N.J. School District

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A New Jersey school district was all set this week to begin testing students using a brand-new online assessment aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

But unknown hackers who shut down the district’s entire computer network had something else in mind: holding out for a ransom payment in exchange for restoring operations.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Minority Students in Md. School: We’re Perceived as ‘Academically Inferior’

Latino and black students in Montgomery County, Md., told school district officials they are sometimes perceived as “academically inferior” and want change under the district’s next leader. The speech by a group of seven minority students was given at a community gathering hosted by the Montgomery County Education Forum amid the district’s search for a new superintendent. 

EWA Radio

Mindful Learning: Reporting on Classroom Innovations
EWA Radio: Episode 23

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How do teachers and parents determine whether school reform is effective? Hint: it’s not all about test scores.

Reporter Katrina Schwartz focuses on classroom innovations for KQED San Francisco’s Mindshift education blog, which is produced in partnership with NPR.

She spoke to EWA’s Emily Richmond and Mikhail Zinshteyn about sifting through the buzzwords, what attracts her to a potential education story, and why anecdotal evidence is worth considering when evaluating school and student performance.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Richmond, Va. School Works to Repair Relationship with Latino Community

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Huguenot High School in Richmond, Va. recently made local headlines when leaders issued a long-overdue apology for luring Latino students to the cafeteria in 2013, searching their bags and threatening deportation if they didn’t comply.

But that’s in the past — though perhaps not quite forgiven and forgotten – and school leaders are trying to move on. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Motivation May Not Improve Student Scores, While Girls Still March Forward

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At schools around the globe, girls outscore boys, and bored students are better test-takers than their more motivated peers. These topsy-turvy observations are the latest findings in a report from the Washington-based Brookings Institution, research that is part of a long-running series that aims to put a finger on the pulse of academics in the United States and abroad. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Virtual Choices: Opportunities and Challenges for Online Schools

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For students looking for greater flexibility in their learning environment, virtual schools can be a better option than a traditional bricks-and-mortar K-12 campus. But some online programs operating in more than two dozen states have come under scrutiny for reaping profits while yielding poor academic academic outcomes.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

March Madness, Renaming NCLB

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While we can’t do anything about your dismal bracket selections, EWA can help reporters with story ideas for covering “March Madness” and college sports. Catch a replay of our recent webinar, which highlighted some smart ideas, the latest research, and expert sources on the intersection of higher education and athletics. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Georgetown Considers Opening New ‘Casa Latina’

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Hispanic Hoyas may soon have a place on campus to call their own. Georgetown University is considering opening a new “Casa Latina” in time for the 2015 fall semester.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Two Authors, Two Views on Future of Charter Schools

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Where are charter schools headed? Two authors offer different takes on the movement.

A pair of recent books provide notably different takes on the charter schools sector, including its strengths and weaknesses, as well as what the main focus of these public schools of choice should be.

EWA Radio

Germany’s Free Colleges
EWA Radio: Episode 22

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Boston public radio reporter Kirk Carapezza (WGBH News) spent a week in Germany examining the country’s tuition-free higher education system. What lessons are there for the United States, which is grappling with issues of equity and cost at its own colleges and universities? How is Germany successfully training its next generation of vocational workers? Could Americans ever embrace a public school system that rigorously “tracks” students toward specific careers at an early age?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Report: Afterschool Programs Keep Kids Active, Eating Healthy

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Afterschool programs can do more than reinforce academic lessons taught in the classroom or introduce new skills kids don’t have time to learn during school hours.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Reporting Fellowship: Covering Children, Families, and Health

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The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is offering fellowships ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 to “underwrite substantive investigative or explanatory reporting on health issues in underserved communities or vulnerable children,” according to the program’s organizers.  

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Debating the Special Education Challenge in Charter Schools

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As the charter schools sector faces increased scrutiny for educating a smaller share of students with disabilities than traditional public schools, the conversation is increasingly focused on better understanding the reasons and looking for ways to improve the situation.

EWA Radio

Tackling Pearson
EWA Radio: Episode 21

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In her investigative takeout for Politico Pro, reporter Stephanie Simon tackles British publishing giant Pearson, which has raked in billions of dollars in profits as a direct result of the testing requirements mandated to U.S. by No Child Left Behind. Are lax regulations allowing Pearson to make huge profits despite falling short on its contractual obligations? Are states and districts in a position to do a better job of oversight?

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Chicago Schools Launch a Latino Studies Curriculum

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Chicago Public Schools has announced the debut of a new interdisciplinary Latino and Latin American Studies curriculum that will be taught to students in kindergarten through 10th grade.

The new curriculum includes complete units and lessons across a range of disciplines, Melissa Sanchez reports for Catalyst Chicago

Blog: The Educated Reporter

On School Choice, Denver Grapples With Equity

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Denver Public Schools has made strides in creating educational choices for families in the city, but still has work ahead to make those choices accessible to everyone, experts and a district leader agreed during a panel discussion last week in Denver.

The district, with nearly 90,000 students, has a variety of school options and a single, uniform application process for attending any of the city’s public schools.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

EWA National Seminar: Save Your Spot in Chicago!

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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. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Few Latinos Gain Entry to NYC’s Elite Public High Schools

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New figures released this week show that for the second year in a row, Latino students accounted for only 7 percent of those who were accepted to New York City’s elite public high schools.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

10 Years After Katrina, What Are the K-12 Lessons From New Orleans?

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Nearly a decade ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and, in doing so, catalyzed one of the most dramatic expansions of school choice in the country. With so many schools destroyed and students displaced, the state and city started from scratch.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Common Core Opponents Turn Up Heat on Testing Front

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Fiery anti-Common Core campaign rhetoric hasn’t translated into many victories for those seeking to repeal the standards. Legislators in 19 states introduced bills to repeal the Common Core this session. So far none has succeeded. Repeal bills in even the reddest states – states like Mississippi, Arizona, and both Dakotas – have failed to make it to governors’ desks this year.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

School Apologizes for ‘Inappropriate’ Search of Latino Students

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The superintendent of Richmond Public Schools in Virginia issued a public apology Monday for a two-year-old incident in which Latino students were searched and threatened with deportation.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Webinar for Reporters: PISA Gender Disparities

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If you’re writing about gender equity issues related to student opportunity and achievement, you won’t want to miss Wednesday’s journalists-only webinar. Attendees will receive exclusive embargoed access to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, based on the most recent PISA assessment. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Charters & Choice: EWA in Denver

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We spent two days in Denver last week talking about charter schools and choice with a wide range of academic experts, policymakers, and educators. 

Also presenting were journalists who recently undertook large-scale investigative reporting projects of the charter school world: David Jesse (representing the reporting team at the Detroit Free Press) and Dan Mihalopoulos of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Debate Over Private Schools and Public Funding

Top journo tweets from #EWAChoice’s fourth Saturday session.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Charter School Lessons in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Top tweets from #EWAChoice’s third Saturday session. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Do Parents in Cities with Many Charter Schools Get the Information They Need?

Top tweets from reporters about the second Saturday session of #EWAChoice. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

What Goes Into Charter School Quality and Accountability?

Top journo tweets about the first session of the second day of #EWAChoice. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Two Writers Give Tips on Covering Charter Schools

Top tweets from #EWAChoice’s fourth panel.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Virtual Charter Schools

Top tweets about the panel on virtual charters at #EWAChoice

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Eye on Denver’s Charter and Choice Landscape

Top tweets from “Eye on Denver” — the second session at #EWAChoice

Blog: The Educated Reporter

School Choice Policy and Politics: What’s Ahead?

Top Tweets from #EWAChoice’s first session

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Denver Dispatches: Top Tweets From #EWACore

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Blog: The Educated Reporter

Denver Dispatches: Follow Along With #EWACore

Image of Denver Dispatches: Follow Along With #EWACore

EWA is at the University of Colorado Denver today for the final seminar of our regional series on covering standards and assessments in the era of the Common Core. 

You can follow along on Twitter (hashtag: #EWACore) with top tweets expected from my EWA colleagues: Caroline Hendrie, Erik Robelen, Lori Crouch, and Mikhail Zinshteyn. (And me too, of course!)

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Petition: Metal Detectors Treat Black, Latino Students Like Criminals

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A petition addressed to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is asking the administration to end the use of metal detectors in schools, claiming the added security measures unnecessarily treat black and Latino students like criminals. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

After-School Programs: What Reporters Need to Know

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Education reporters spend plenty of time writing about what happens during the regular academic day – but what about the enrichment activities that can benefit students after hours? And how do those extra-curricular opportunities factor into an individual child’s long-term chances of success in school and beyond? 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Deadline Today: ‘New to the Beat’ Mentoring Program

There’s still time to submit your application for New to the Beat, EWA’s orientation and mentoring program, which debuts this spring. Here are answers to some of the questions we’ve received: 

Q. What’s the deadline to apply?

A. Monday, Feb. 23 at 11:59 p.m. PST. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Nevada DREAMers May Soon Be Able to Get Licenses to Teach

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A bill that would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to obtain teaching licenses in Nevada will soon make its way to the state’s Assembly floor, various news outlets reported this week.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Oklahoma Lawmakers Push Back on Advanced Placement Classes

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Things are getting messy in Oklahoma, where a prolonged battle over the Common Core State Standards has widened to include an effort by lawmakers to block students from participating in Advanced Placement classes. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Report: Young Latinos Less Likely to Use Technology for Education

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Latino children and their white peers have similar access to technology, a new study finds, but a digital divide persists: how parents use digital tools to advance children’s early learning. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

New to the Beat: Apply For EWA’s Mentoring Program

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Applications are now being accepted for New to the Beat, EWA’s orientation and mentoring program for reporters with less than two years experience covering education. Both K-12 and higher education reporters are encouraged to apply. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

UC Center a ‘Sanctuary’ for Undocumented Students

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The University of California, Davis opened a new center recently with a mission to aid undocumented immigrant students — a move unprecedented in the University of California and the country, a Diverse article claims. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Europe, Asia Clobber the U.S. on Test of How Much Young Workers Know

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Younger American workers are more educated than ever before, but the nation’s largest generation is losing its edge against the least and most educated of other countries, according to a provocative new report.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Presidents Day: Should Schools Be Closed?

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 “Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.” – Abraham Lincoln
 
In honor of Presidents Day today, here’s an updated version of my 2014 post. 
Blog: The Educated Reporter

David Carr: ‘Keep Typing Until It Turns Into Writing’

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New York Times media critic David Carr died suddenly last night. His death is a tremendous loss to his family and friends, but it’s also a loss to journalism. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

U.S. High School Graduation Rate Inches Higher

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For interactive map, scroll down. 

More students in the United States are graduating from high school, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Education.

“America’s students have achieved another record-setting milestone,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a prepared statement. “This is a vital step toward readiness for success in college and careers for every student in this country, and these improvements are thanks to the hard work of teachers, principals, students and families.”

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

HSIs Celebrate Growth, 20 Years of Federal Funds

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It’s been a little over 20 years since the federal government first recognized the “Hispanic-serving institution” distinction, prompting Excelencia in Education and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to release an analysis of the latest academic year and highlights from the past two decades Wednesday.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

School Choice: Keeping Parents Informed

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When I was a beat reporter in Las Vegas, families were constantly on the move. And my phone was constantly ringing with parents all asking for the same information: What’s the best school in town, and how do I get my child enrolled? 

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