Blog: The Educated Reporter

Overview

The Educated Reporter

EWA's blog about education issues and topics from a journalist's perspective. The Educated Reporter is anchored by Emily Richmond with contributions from EWA staff and guests.

EWA’s blog about education issues and topics from a journalist’s perspective. The Educated Reporter is anchored by Emily Richmond with contributions from EWA staff and guests.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teach For America Turns 25

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In the past quarter-century, Wendy Kopp’s idea for putting new college graduates to work in high-need public schools has grown from her undergraduate thesis project at Princeton into a $300 million organization responsible for recruiting, training, and supporting thousands of new teachers every year. Along the way, Teach For America has generated criticism even as it’s become a mainstay in many of the nation’s larger school districts. 

EWA Radio

Teach For America at 25: New Era, New Challenges
EWA Radio: Episode 58

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What started as Princeton University senior Wendy Kopp’s undergraduate thesis is now has a $300 million operating budget and 40,000 alumni.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

‘Global Cities’ Share Strategies to Enhance Educational Equity

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International comparisons in education usually focus on the national level—what countries can learn from one another. But a number of cities in North America and East Asia have teamed up to compare notes and share ideas, including on the tough issue of improving educational equity, a challenge faced by urban systems across the globe.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Record Youth Turnout For Iowa Caucuses

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More than 22,000 young voters participated in the Republican caucuses Monday, a record turnout, according to an advocacy group for civic education.

The youth vote helped Texas Sen. Ted Cruz finish ahead of businessman Donald Trump, according to the Center on Information for Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University in Boston.

EWA Radio

Iowa Is First: The Presidential Candidates – and Their Education Plans
EWA Radio: Episode 57

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Iowa prides itself on holding the first caucuses of the presidential election year. EWA public editor Emily Richmond talks with statewide education reporter Mackenzie Ryan of the Des Moines Register about what it’s like to be at the epicenter of the presidential race insanity, her coverage of Republican hopeful Marco Rubio, and the big concerns for Iowa voters when it comes to public schools. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Can Youth Vote Change Election Outcomes?

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With the first caucuses of the presidential election year imminent, it’s worth asking: Who will turn out among young voters in Iowa and subsequent states? And could their choices help swing the final result to the underdogs instead of the presumed front-runners?

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Most Latino College Students Attend Small Concentration of Schools

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More Latinos are going to college, but they’re doing it at a small number of schools, according to a new analysis from Excelencia in Education released this week.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Charters And School Choice Challenged In Washington State, Nevada

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In the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that its new charter school law was unconstitutional, Washington lawmakers have approved a creative fiscal workaround that could allow the public but largely independent schools to remain open. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Duke Latino Student Group Not ‘Comfortable’ Recruiting for School

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A Latino student group at Duke University has declared the school is “not a safe space“ for Latinos, and announced this week it will no longer participate in an annual recruitment event for prospective Latino students. 

EWA Radio

Does the College Admissions Game Need New Rules?
EWA Radio: Episode 56

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A new report from a coalition of educators suggests it’s time to rein in ambitious students (and their families) when it comes applying to the nation’s top colleges and universities.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Is Your College on Feds’ List of Title IX Investigations? Here’s How to Find Out

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For reporters covering colleges and universities, The Chronicle of Higher Education has put together a valuable new resource: an online tool for searching, and tracking, federal investigations into potential Title IX violations involving sexual assault allegations. 

There are currently close to 250 in the Chronicle’s database, with just under 20 percent of them listed as “resolved.” The average duration for an investigation is one year, two months. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Study: Some White College Students Buy in to Stereotypes of Minority Peers

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Asian-American students are “cold but competent.” Latinos and blacks ”need to work harder to move up.” 

EWA Radio

Diversity & School Choice in New York City
EWA Radio: Episode 55

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New York City is one of the world’s great melting pots — so why aren’t efforts to diversify its schools taking hold?

As one of several Chalkbeat New York writers contributing to a new series, Patrick Wall is taking a close look at how school choice is playing out in the nation’s largest school district.

He spoke with EWA Public Editor Emily Richmond about some of the complexities of New York CIty’s multilayered approach for sorting students, and shared ideas for local reporters looking to dive into the data on school diversity in their own communities.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

STUDY: Despite Same Test Scores, Whites More Likely Than Blacks to Enter Gifted Student Programs

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A new study finds that black students with the same test scores as white students are still less likely to be selected for gifted and talented academic programs in elementary schools.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Md. School Officials: Deportation Scare Keeping Latino Students Home

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Latino students in Maryland are skipping school for fear of being deported, Prince George’s County officials announced last week, calling this a “scary time.” The dip in attendance comes after a series of widespread raids on undocumented immigrant families by U.S.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Making Sense of Global Comparisons in Education

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Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. first got a snapshot of how its students compare with their peers in other countries based on a standardized test. The news was sobering.

“Look towards the bottom of this list, and see the U.S. coming in 11th out of 12 [industrialized] countries” in math, said Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution, pointing to a chart he presented last month at an Education Writers Association seminar in Washington, D.C. “Only Sweden scored below the U.S.”

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Netflix Mogul Invests in Latino Education

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Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings announced this week a new philanthropic endeavor to invest $100 million in education. A portion of his first $1.5 million gift will support Latino youth through the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley

Blog: The Educated Reporter

England’s Charter-Style Schools on Rise

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Without a doubt, the biggest change to the educational landscape in England over the next few years will be the growth of so-called academies and free schools, both modeled at least in part on U.S. charter schools. 

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he would like every government-funded school in England to be a free school or academy by 2020. At present, they represent 60 percent of the country’s roughly 2,000 state-supported secondary schools.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

State of the Union: Here’s Your Education Buzzword Bingo Card

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By popular demand, we’ll be playing EWA Buzzword Bingo tonight on Twitter during President Obama’s State of the Union address. You can join in with the online versionof the game (click the box when you hear the buzzword). The hashtag is #EWABingo.

EWA Radio

The Higher Ed Beat: Are You Ready for 2016?
EWA Radio: Episode 54

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Scott Jaschik, editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed, shares his thoughts on the coming year with EWA Radio. Among the topics he and public editor Emily Richmond tackle in this episode: Will 2015’s widespread campus protests over racial issues carry over into the New Year? How will community college factor into state funding formulas for higher education? Why are younger U.S. military veterans an ever-growing market for universities? And what should reporters watch out for when reporting on the intersection of politics and education policy? 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Exam Gives Glimpse of How Schools Stack Up Globally

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The many complaints about the large quantity of standardized assessments American students take may make giving another test a hard sell. But some U.S. high schools have recently added a voluntary exam that puts their student achievement in reading, math and science into an international context.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

As ESSA Era Begins, Assessing NCLB’s Legacy

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America brought home a middling report card with 74.4 out of 100 points – a “C” grade — in Education Week’s 20th annual “Quality Counts” report this week, which ranks the nation and individual states on a variety of student factors, from test scores to graduation rates to “chance of success” later in life. (That’s about the same grade earned last year, as well.)

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Influential Latino Educator Will Be Featured on Stamp

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When an entire class of calculus students at a largely Hispanic, low-income East Los Angeles high school passed the Advanced Placement calculus exam in 1982, the Educational Testing Service suspected many of them had cheated.

When activists accused the testing service of ethnic bias, teacher Jaime Escalante encouraged his students to retake the test. Most of the students did; all passed (which means they scored high enough to earn credit at most colleges) and five of them earned high scores.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Holding States Accountable for Teacher Quality

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Demands for accountability have finally arrived at the doorsteps of teacher colleges. Helping to spur the change are a controversial Government Accountability Office report on teacher-preparation programs released over the summer, and forthcoming federal regulations intended to hold them accountable for how graduates perform in the classroom.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Students at Embattled Mizzou Want Latina Sorority

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Latina students at the University of Missouri want a sorority to call their own.

EWA Radio

Happy New Year: What Education Reporters Need To Know
EWA Radio: Episode 53

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With school back in session and a new federal education law on the books, K-12 reporter Motoko Rich of the New York Times shares her predictions for the hot topics on the education beat in 2016, as well as some of her favorite stories of the past year produced by other journalists. She also offers some smart tips for reporters looking to localize national issues for their own audiences.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

This Is What’s New in 2016 from EWA

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Here’s something to add to your list of New Year’s resolutions, and it might even make it easier to keep that pledge to exercise more often: Subscribe to EWA Radio! Each week, we feature education journalists sharing the backstory to their best work. You’ll hear tips for managing the daily beat, as well as ideas for localizing national issues for your own audience. 

Here are a few more opportunities from EWA to help ramp up your reporting in 2016: 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

EWA Radio: Here Are Your Favorites of 2015

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It’s been a terrific year for our scrappy little podcast, and we’re thrilled to report an equally stellar lineup coming to EWA Radio in 2016.  

I’d like to take a moment to thank the many journalists and education experts who made time to join us for lively conversations, and to all of you who have offered suggestions for stories and guests to feature. Please keep the feedback coming! 

Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 most popular episodes of the year:

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Best of the Beat: Reporters’ Favorite Stories of 2015

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As the Washington Post rightly pointed out, working during the holiday weeks can feel like being stranded in a dead zone. I did manage to conduct a (highly unscientific!) survey of EWA’s journalist members and ask them to name a few of their favorite stories by their peers in the past year.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Grit, Common Core, and School Choice: 2015’s Most Popular Posts

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It’s been a busy year for The Educated Reporter, and there’s no sign of things slowing down. Before we flip the page on the calendar to 2016, I wanted to take a moment to thank two important groups: You, the readers, and the many Education Writers Association members who have contributed guest posts to this site. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Shopping for Holiday Stories? Hit the Mall

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With most schools closed until after the New Year, the holidays can be a dry spell on the education beat. But there’s no shortage of ideas for creative reporters who are willing to venture into less-familiar territory.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

A View from Abroad: Exchange Students Highlight Differences in Schooling

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Chung-Te Wang had never seen a calculator in school before traveling to the U.S. this year as an exchange student.

“We always calculate with our brain. No offense,” said the 16-year-old from Taiwan, spurring laughter in a room full of reporters at the Education Writers Association’s recent seminar on covering U.S. education in a global context.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Expanded Learning Time for English-Language Learners

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Can a longer school day help students who are learning English grasp the language faster and better? A new report from the National Center on Time and Learning suggests it’s a strategy worth considering. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Music Programs in Nashville Reaching More Hispanic Students

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More Hispanic students in Music City are enrolled in music classes than ever before. 

According to a report from Nashville-based Music Makes Us, the majority of Hispanic students attending Metro Nashville Public Schools are enrolled in some type of music program at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Black, Latino Boys in Boston Want Better Schools

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Sixty black and Latino boys spoke to Boston school officials last week about issues they feel might be holding them back at school. Segregation, high suspension rates and teacher diversity were at the top of their list. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Nation’s High School Graduation Inches Upward

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The U.S. Department of Education is celebrating a new milestone for the nation’s high school graduation rate, with just over 82 percent of seniors earning diplomas in 2014. But these statistics, like so many others in the education realm, should come with a warning label: The numbers don’t tell the full story.

EWA Radio

No Substitute for A Teacher
EWA Radio: Episode 52

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For already struggling students in high-poverty schools, frequent turnover among their teachers – and an over-reliance on substitutes – can hurt achievement.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

#EWAGlobal: Trying Out TIMSS & PISA

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Blog: The Educated Reporter

#EWAGlobal: A Global Lens on Teacher Quality

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Blog: The Educated Reporter

#EWAGlobal: OECD Test for Schools and What’s Ahead

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Blog: The Educated Reporter

#EWAGlobal: A City-Level View of Educational Equity

Blog: The Educated Reporter

#EWAGlobal: International Tests, Global Comparisons

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Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Cafécolleges Offer Unique Approach to Higher Ed Help

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A cup of coffee in a comfortable lounge may be just what students need to keep them relaxed about the college application process. At least, that’s what a new education-focused center in Houston is going for. 

Cafécollege Houston opened last week, modeled after San Antonio’s successful center with the same name – a “one stop shop” for teens and adults looking for guidance on college applications, financial aid, the college transfer process and more.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Rethinking the Adolescent Brain

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For years, common experience and studies have prescribed that humans learn best in their earliest years of life – when the brain is developing at its fastest. Recently, though, research has suggested that the period of optimal learning extends well into adolescence.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Can Kicking Down Conventions Close the Achievement Gap?

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At High Tech High School in San Diego, there are no bells that signal the start of class periods. There are no seven-period days, no mock standardized assessments and no lectures.

EWA Radio

TGI Thursday! Idaho’s Four-Day Schools
EWA Radio: Episode 51

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Faced with massive budget cuts in the wake of the recession, many Idaho school districts switched to a four-day weekly calendar. But more than seven years into the experiment, an investigation by Idaho Education News – lead by reporter Kevin Richert — found little evidence that the schedule change improved either student achievement or the fiscal outlook of cash-strapped districts.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Deeper Learning, Smarter Testing

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Since 2003, more information is produced every two days than the total sum of information produced between that year and the dawn of time, the CEO of Google said in 2010.  Easily web-accessible facts, names and articles have grown exponentially, so much so that some say students can’t be taught like they were in the past, when rote memorization was the gold standard for learning and information wasn’t at almost everyone’s fingertips.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Many Hispanic Community College Students Go Hungry, Report Shows

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Twenty-three percent of Hispanic or Latino community college students have very little security when it comes to their next meal, according to a study released this week by the Association of Community College Trustees measuring hunger and homelessness at 10 community colleges across the nation. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Brazil Explores U.S.-Style Education Policies

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Tying teacher pay to student test scores. Creating public schools of choice with private operators. Setting common standards for all students. Those issues probably are familiar to any American reporter who covers education. They are also becoming more and more common in Brazil, where many policymakers are deeply inspired by the American experience.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

N.Y. School District to Stop Sharing Disciplinary Records with Colleges

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Students in Syracuse, New York who fear a trip to the principal’s office might haunt them later in life no longer need to worry about it affecting their chances of getting into college. The Syracuse City School District has decided it intends to stop sharing student disciplinary records with colleges. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Breaking the Cycle: Small Steps That Help Students in Poverty

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It’s the story told over and over: A child from a poor neighborhood attends a failing school but somehow beats the odds and rises to success.

The assumptions surrounding that story are that success is the exception for a child in poverty, and that failure is the norm. We are surprised that a child from a low-income community achieves strong academic outcomes, but unfazed at the fact that most of his or her classmates don’t.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Report: Latino College Graduation Rates Are Up, Yet Gaps Persist

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A new report analyzing a decade’s worth of college graduation rates at more than 1,300 four-year colleges and universities reveals both positive and negative findings for Latino students. 

The good news: Of the underrepresented minority groups on college campuses, Latinos saw the largest gains in graduation rates between 2003 and 2013. The bad news is that significant college completion gaps persist.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Growing Minds, Changing Math Classes

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As the tune of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” plays out over the music video, the lyrics are a bit different:

“We will make mistakes…our method’s gonna break…not a piece of cake…we’re gonna shake it off, shake it off…”

It was in this video Stanford University Professor and author Jo Boaler says she was compelled to do something she didn’t want to do. “They made me rap,” she said. When her undergraduate students challenged whether she had a growth mindset about her rhyme skills, Boaler said to herself, “Oh my gosh. I’m gonna have to rap.”

EWA Radio

John Merrow’s 40 Years on the Education Beat
EWA Radio: Episode 50

John Merrow began his journalism career in 1974 with National Public Radio, and retired this summer as special correspondent with PBS Newshour. Along the way he racked up a slew of awards, broke big stories, and created a documentary production company.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Should Affirmative Action Help Wealthier Students?

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Should race-based college admission policies prioritize minority students from affluent families over those from low-income households? 

That’s the question at the heart of a heated debate as the Supreme Court prepares to hear another round of arguments in the high-profile Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case next week.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

When Grit Isn’t Enough

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The first time I heard a preschooler explaining a classmate’s disruptive behavior, I was surprised at how adult her four-year-old voice sounded.

Her classmate “doesn’t know how to sit still and listen,” she said to me, while I sat at the snack table with them. He couldn’t learn because he couldn’t follow directions, she explained, as if she had recently completed a behavioral assessment on him.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Researching Poverty’s Effects on Learning

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One question that often comes up during state legislative sessions is whether it’s a waste of money to increase educational spending in large urban areas with high poverty and low student achievement.

“There’s a very pervasive view out there that money doesn’t have an effect on outcomes at all,” said Kirabo Jackson, an economist at Northwestern University, during a panel at the Education Writers Association’s October seminar on poverty and education.

EWA Radio

No Digital Revolution for Rural Schools
EWA Radio: Episode 49

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Thousands of the nation’s smaller school districts struggle to get even the most basic Internet services, making it difficult to take advantage of the wealth of classroom technology that’s giving students more options for how, what, and when they learn.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Carol Dweck Explains ‘Growth Mindsets’

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One of the most popular ideas in education today is also one that is often misunderstood. While Carol Dweck’s “growth mindset” has a emerged as a meme for motivation less than a decade after the publication of her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” the Stanford psychology professor is worried about its misapplication.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

To Improve Learning, More Researchers Say Students Should Feel Like They Belong in the Classroom

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About a third of the students who started college in 2009 have since dropped out, joining the millions of young adults who never entered college in the first place.

Several years into a massive push by both the federal government and states to increase postsecondary graduation rates, education policymakers across the country are asking what else they can do to get more students to and through college.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Ranking High Schools — in Finland?

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In Finland you’re not supposed to wonder — let alone ask out loud — if one school is better than another. That’s because all Finnish schools are designed to be equal.

We Finns are very proud of our equal education system. In fact, education is the one positive thing Finland is known for all around the world. Our results in global assessments of 15-year-olds have won us international attention a small nation rarely receives.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Today’s Latino Immigrants Are Better Educated, Studies Show

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Latin Americans who migrate to the United States today are more likely to have achieved higher levels of education than their counterparts before them, according to recent studies examining the migration patterns of foreign-born Latinos.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

#EWAElection Tweets: Journalist Roundtable

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Blog: The Educated Reporter

#EWAElection Tweets: Pre-K-12 Education in the 2016 Race

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Blog: Latino Ed Beat

More Latin Americans Studying Abroad in United States

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Nearly 1 million students studied abroad in the United States last school year — among them more Latin American students than ever before, according to a new study by the Institute of International Education.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Why High-Poverty Schools Need Not Be ‘A Fact of Life’

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As reporters, we often take it for granted when we visit a high-poverty school that it will be surrounded by a similarly struggling neighborhood. And we’re not alone, according to Paul Jargowsky, the director of the Center for Urban Research and Urban Education at Rutgers University. Even as the events in places like Ferguson, Missouri, have prompted important discussions about urban poverty, he says these talks are ignoring a more fundamental question: Why do we have these concentrations of low-income communities to start with?

EWA Radio

Why Did the Feds’ School Improvement Grant Program Fall Short?
EWA Radio: Episode 48

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Education reporter Caitlin Emma (Politico Pro) spoke with EWA Radio about her deep dive into the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, which invested more than $4 billion into efforts to turn around some of the nation’s lowest achieving schools.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

‘Mexican’ Costume Photos Spark Changes on College Campuses

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University of Louisville President James Ramsey made national headlines after he was photographed wearing a sombrero and multi-colored poncho at a Mexican-themed Halloween party last month. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Have Warnings of Teacher ‘Shortages’ Been Exaggerated?

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Predicting teacher “shortages,” evidently, is much like forecasting the apocalypse. It’s best to go into the enterprise with a flexible time frame.

“There was always a ‘shortage’ of 2 million teachers, and it loomed a year or two ahead. It seemed to keep getting pushed further and further back,” said Steve Drummond, the senior education editor at NPR News, who has heard diagnoses of a shortage since the 1990s.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Philosophers vs. Welders: Can’t We Have Both?

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There was plenty of levity on Twitter in the wake of Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s declaration that “we need more welders, less philosophers.”(This English major would have preferred he said “fewer” philosophers, by the way.)

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Recent Stories Highlight Latino Student Segregation Problem

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Mexican American children used to be separated from white students in schools because of their Hispanic surnames and the assumption that their English-language skills weren’t good.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Forging New Paths to Teaching

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Alternative routes to teacher certification have grown rapidly over the last three decades, with more programs popping up all over the country. At EWA’s recent seminar in Chicago, three leaders in the field of teacher preparation discussed the implications this widening path will have on traditional teachers’ colleges and what lessons they might glean from their newer counterparts.

EWA Radio

Patterson High School: Baltimore’s New Melting Pot
EWA Radio: Episode 47

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Reporting the “Unsettled Journeys” project for the Baltimore Sun, veteran education reporter Liz Bowie spent eight months talking to students and staff at Patterson High School.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Univision’s Parent Engagement Tool Breaks Down Barriers

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Want to know what your child should be learning in kindergarten? Hunting for a list of age-appropriate books? Afraid your daughter is being bullied but don’t know how to ask? 

Head over to Univision’s new bilingual Web-based parent engagement platform, Clave al Éxito (Key to Success) — “a complete guide to your child’s education.”

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Students Want More Than Apology from President Who Wore ‘Mexican’ Costume

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After hosting a controversial Mexican-themed Halloween luncheon where staff members were photographed wearing sombreros and holding maracas, the president of the University of Louisville met with Latino student groups to apologize.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

State, Local Election Results Signal Shifts for Ed. Policy

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Kentucky was the first state to adopt the Common Core, but with a new Republican governor elected Tuesday who opposes the standards for English language arts and math, that pioneering legacy could be upended.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Telling the Story of Children and Poverty

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In researching his book There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America, journalist Alex Kotlowitz met with his two young subjects each week for pizza. He wanted to know about Lafeyette and Pharoah’s world in one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. In the beginning, he would ask about gangs, violence, shooting and drugs. All Lafeyette and Pharoah wanted to talk about was the spelling bee at school.

EWA Radio

Beyond Test Scores: “Mission High” Redefines Student Success
EWA Radio: Episode 46

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What does it really take to help students succeed at school and life, and how much of those gains can really be measured by test scores?

Those are some of the questions journalist Kristina Rizga set out to answer in her reporting on a San Francisco high school, first published by Mother Jones magazine. Her investigation turned into a four-year project and the new book “Mission High: One School, How Experts Tried to Fail It, and the Students and Teachers Who Made It Triumph.”

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Saving on College by Doing Some of It in High School

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Last week the White House announced a new higher education experiment that will direct federal grants to some high school students who want to enroll in college classes.

The plan is to start small, with the administration offering $20 million to help defray the college costs of up to 10,000 low-income high school students for the 2016-2017 academic year. The money will come from the overall Pell Grant pot, which is currently funded at more than $30 billion annually and used by 8 million students.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

How Día de los Muertos Fits in the Classroom

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Painted skulls don’t often have a place in a classroom, but the Mexican holiday associated with these props just might be a good opportunity to teach bigger lessons about cultural traditions and even death. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Iowa Hispanic Students: Trump Speech Sparked School Bullying

Image of Iowa Hispanic Students: Trump Speech Sparked School Bullying

Hispanic students in Sioux City, Iowa, say they’ve been bullied since Donald Trump made controversial comments about illegal Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign announcement speech, prompting hundreds of students, parents and other residents to protest the Republican candidate’s appearance at

Blog: The Educated Reporter

What New NAEP Scores Can – And Can’t – Tell Us

Image of What New NAEP Scores Can – And Can’t – Tell Us

For the first time since 1990, math scores dropped for fourth and eighth graders in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the country’s most respected tool for measuring how well students understand key academic concepts. Reading scores also inched downward at the eighth-grade level, staying flat for the fourth grade compared with 2013.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

How Ethnic Studies Programs Might Help Latino Students

Image of How Ethnic Studies Programs Might Help Latino Students

Ethnic studies programs have had their fair share of controversy in this nation, but researchers maintain they can be a way to improve engagement and student outcomes.

EWA Radio

Breaking the Story: The Chicago Schools Superintendent Scandal
EWA Radio: Episode 45

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In 2013, Chicago education reporter Sarah Karp asked a question: Why was a no-bid contract for $20 million awarded to a relatively unknown company chosen to provide professional development services in the nation’s third-largest school district?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Too Much Testing? White House, New Report Call for Changes

Image of Too Much Testing? White House, New Report Call for Changes

A new report offers an unprecedented look at the testing load in large urban districts across the nation, finding considerable redundancy and a lack of coordination among the exams.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Principal Uses School Elections to Teach Controversial Lesson in Diversity

Image of Principal Uses School Elections to Teach Controversial Lesson in Diversity

When a California middle school’s election results didn’t reflect the diverse demographics of the student body, Principal Lena Van Haren saw it as a teaching opportunity.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

School Survey Experiment Helps Narrow Achievement Gap

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When a group of Harvard educators surveyed ninth-grade teachers and their students during a recent experiment, they found students who had common interests with their teachers started to perform better academically. The improvements were especially remarkable among black and Latino students. 

EWA Radio

Keeping Great Principals
EWA Radio: Episode 44

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In a year-long series for the Christian Science Monitor and The Hechinger Report, veteran education reporter and best-selling author Peg Tyre follows Krystal Hardy, a brand-new principal at a New Orleans charter school.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

More Schools Serving Locally Grown Food, USDA Says

Image of More Schools Serving Locally Grown Food, USDA Says

Students in public schools are eating healthier cafeteria meals made from an increasing array of locally sourced food, according to new federal data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Their Roles in Higher Ed

Image of Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Their Roles in Higher Ed

In recent years, the United States has seen overall enrollment declines in the numbers of students seeking postsecondary degrees, but in a panel about Latinos in higher education at the Education Writers Association’s second annual Spanish-Language Media Convening, the executive director of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities reminded journalists of one area of growth: The number of Hispanic-serving institutions is on the rise and accelerating.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

How Community Colleges Are Helping Transfer Students

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Students who transfer between colleges and universities on their path to achieve a college degree often encounter obstacles — barriers, like lost credits, that could keep them from finishing their degree altogether. At EWA’s recent seminar in Orlando focused on higher education, reporters got a lesson in the data on transfer students and heard from experts who are making the process of transferring and going on to earn degrees easier for students at their community colleges.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

How Journalists Can Change What TV Says About Latinos

Image of How Journalists Can Change What TV Says About Latinos

A study in the 1990s found less than 1 percent of the leading English-language TV news broadcast stories were either about or related to Latinos. A similar study, conducted from 2008 to 2014 by retired Kent State University journalism professor Federico Subervi, found there was no change in that number.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

White House Celebrates Hispanic Education During Heritage Month

Image of White House Celebrates Hispanic Education During Heritage Month

In a speech honoring Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Thursday, President Obama praised Hispanic students for helping drive the U.S. high school graduation rate to an all-time high and also announced the commitments of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to boost student academic success. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

International Business Is Top College Major for Hispanics

Image of International Business Is Top College Major for Hispanics

International business is a popular college major among Hispanic college students in the United States, and it’s also a semi-lucrative one, a new set of reports from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Bill My Boss: Why Employer-Paid Tuition Is on the Rise

Image of Bill My Boss: Why Employer-Paid Tuition Is on the Rise

With a tepid economic recovery and wage growth that fails to meet expectations, some workers may be wondering whether there’s an antidote to the fiscal malaise.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Higher Ed. Gets Brief Spotlight During Democratic Debate

Image of Higher Ed. Gets Brief Spotlight During Democratic Debate

It took nearly two hours, but education — more specifically college affordability and some differences in how to address it — came to the fore in the first Democratic presidential debate after CNN co-moderator Dana Bush asked both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about their plans.

EWA Radio

Spotlighting “Solutions” on the Education Beat
EWA Radio: Episode 43

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“Solutions Journalism” aims to draw attention to credible responses to social problems. A brand-new resource can help education reporters take that approach with their own work on the beat.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Debt-Free College: Why It’s News Now

As Democratic presidential hopefuls assemble in Las Vegas today for their first formal debate, one topic that has received little airtime during the Republican face-offs is likely to garner far more attention: the high cost of attaining a college degree.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Georgia Supreme Court Considers Whether DACA Students Pay In-State Tuition

Image of Georgia Supreme Court Considers Whether DACA Students Pay In-State Tuition

In-state tuition for undocumented immigrant college students is again in the spotlight this week in a case that’s made its way to the Georgia Supreme Court. Central to the arguments the justices will hear is whether students living in Georgia who have been granted federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals should be considered lawful state residents. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Education Post Poll: Parents Want Testing to Help Students

Image of Education Post Poll: Parents Want Testing to Help Students

Public school parents generally support standardized testing but think there’s too much of it, according to a new from Education Post, a nonprofit communications firm led by former Obama administration education official Peter Cunningham. 

When asked how the test results should  be used, 65 percent of the responding parents said helping students should be the top priority. Only 21 percent wanted test results to be a tool for identifying ineffective teachers. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Valuing Both Spanish and English in the Classroom

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Children don’t have to lose one language to learn another language. That’s the theory behind dual-language programs, which are replacing traditional English as a second language (ESL) courses in schools across the country.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Lessons From Roseburg: Covering Community Colleges and Campus Violence

Image of Lessons From Roseburg: Covering Community Colleges and Campus Violence

With a single tweet, Motoko Rich of The New Times managed to encapsulate one of the most striking aspects of last week’s campus shooting: 

EWA Radio

Boosting Higher Ed Success for Low-Income Students
EWA Radio: Episode 42

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Why do so few students from low-income families earn college degrees, even when they were academic standouts as high schoolers? And what can be done to help these students make a smoother transition to higher education?

Kavitha Cardoza tackles these questions in “Lower Income, Higher Ed”, a new documentary for WAMU Radio in Washington, D.C.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Cultural Values and the Path to Early Academic Success

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Latino children enter kindergarten with socioemotional skills that are on par and sometimes even better than their non-Latino peers’ abilities. This means they’re on track in their capability to make friends and behave in school. But Latinos also have a greater probability of arriving to their first day of classes behind their peers academically.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Latino Student Progress Means U.S. Educational Progress

Image of Latino Student Progress Means U.S. Educational Progress

President Barack Obama has made it a goal to produce more college graduates than any other nation in the world. In the opening session of the Education Writers Association’s second annual Spanish-Language Media Convening, Modesto Abety-Gutierrez presented a picture of the Latino student population in the United States. Abety-Gutierrez is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Arne Duncan’s Departure: Education Reporters Dig In

Image of Arne Duncan’s Departure: Education Reporters Dig In

A good test of reporters’ skills is how they handle breaking news – and last week’s surprise announcement that Arne Duncan would step down as U.S. Secretary of Education was a prime example. 

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Ten Higher Ed Story Ideas for 2015-2016 (Plus One Bonus)

Image of Ten Higher Ed Story Ideas for 2015-2016 (Plus One Bonus)

In a word, perspective.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Getting Beyond Ratings and Rankings to Find What Works for Minority-Serving Institutions

Image of Getting Beyond Ratings and Rankings to Find What Works for Minority-Serving Institutions

Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell knows his campus won’t be rated highly by the U.S. Department of Education’s new College Scorecard. In fact, Paul Quinn has “the worst numbers you can possibly imagine at the federal level,” Sorrell told reporters at EWA’s recent higher education conference Sept. 18-19 in Orlando.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

White House Launches #LatinosTeach Campaign

Image of White House Launches #LatinosTeach Campaign

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics has launched a digital campaign to highlight the impact of Latino teachers and hopefully to attract more Latinos to the teaching profession. 

EWA Radio

Can a Charter School Grow Its Own Teachers?
EWA Radio: Episode 41

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The Noble Street Network of Charter Schools in Chicago is taking a radical in-house approach to teacher preparation, recruiting and training its own recent graduates for spots at the front of the classroom.

Reporter Becky Vevea of WBEZ Chicago followed new teacher Jose Garcia through his first year at Noble’s Rauner College Prep, while he was also completing coursework through the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Mixed Reviews for Stricter School Lunch Menus

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Long mocked for its inedibility, campus cafeteria food is undergoing a federally mandated transformation, and schools are realizing it’s going to take more than sprinkling kale on pizza to really change the way students eat. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Seattle Schools Ban Elementary Suspensions

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Discipline practices thought to disproportionately affect students of color have been at the center of debates across the country. And with a growing body of research showing the negative long-term effects of zero-discipline policies, especially on minority youth, many school districts have moved to abandon them. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Education, Justice Departments Release ‘English Learner Tool Kit’

Image of Education, Justice Departments Release ‘English Learner Tool Kit’

Educators now have a new resource designed to improve the quality of programs for English-language learners — a “tool kit” rolled out by the U.S. departments of justice and education this week in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Does the United States Need a Department of Talent?

Image of Does the United States Need a Department of Talent?

The United States government needs a Department of Talent to coordinate its education, labor and immigration agencies, the head of one of the nation’s largest education foundations said last week.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

The New Effort to Link College to Careers

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As tuitions swell and student loan debt climbs further, one aspect of higher education that has been overlooked is the recipe required to transform a college education into a set of skills that prepares students for the workspace.

As it turns out, neither colleges nor employers have a firm grasp on what flavor that special sauce should have, reporters learned at “The Way to Work: Covering the Path from College to Careers” – the Education Writers Association’s seminar on higher education held in Orlando Sep. 18-19.

EWA Radio

EWA Reading List: “Faith Ed”
EWA Radio: Episode 40

Image of EWA Reading List: “Faith Ed”

Who should be responsible for teaching public school students to not only tolerate, but also appreciate, different views on religion? Where’s the line between instruction and indoctrination? And how effectively are teachers and schools handling the potentially problematic subject matter? 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

CNN Debate Aside, Ed. Finds Way Into Presidential Race

Image of CNN Debate Aside, Ed. Finds Way Into Presidential Race

Education didn’t exactly make a splash in this week’s Republican presidential debate — barely a ripple, actually — but the issue has gained considerable attention in the 2016 contest for the White House, from debates over the Common Core to proposals on higher education access and affordability.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Fewer Black Teachers Spotlights ‘Diversity Gap’

Image of Fewer Black Teachers Spotlights ‘Diversity Gap’

Nationally, the number of minority teachers is increasing, but it’s not keeping pace with student demographics, concludes a new report issued by a union-affiliated think tank. The gap in parity between minority teachers and minority students remains wide. And that’s particularly true for African-American kids in nine large urban districts, according to the researchers’ findings.

EWA Radio

On the Bus: Arne Duncan’s Back-to-School Tour
EWA Radio: Episode 39

Image of On the Bus: Arne Duncan’s Back-to-School Tour

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is on the road this week for his sixth annual back-to-school bus tour.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

California Latino, Black Student Scores Slide with New Tests

Image of California Latino, Black Student Scores Slide with New Tests

California supporters of the Common Core had hoped the new standards emphasizing college readiness would help narrow the achievement gap for black and Latino students in the state, but the latest test results show that gap might be even bigger than it was previously thought to be.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Secretary Duncan’s Bus Tour: Preschool, Higher Ed. Top List

Image of Secretary Duncan’s Bus Tour: Preschool, Higher Ed. Top List

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan launches his sixth annual back-to-school bus tour this week, and the chosen locations offer some insights into the department’s priorities in the waning days of the Obama administration. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

PARCC Test Results Coming Soon, But State Comparisons Limited

Image of PARCC Test Results Coming Soon, But State Comparisons Limited

New details on Common Core-aligned assessments came to light yesterday, as officials with one of the state testing consortia shared information on cut scores for the roughly five million students who took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests this spring. In addition, the officials revealed the timeline for when those results will be made public.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Study: Children of Immigrants Experience Discrimination in Schools Early On

Image of Study: Children of Immigrants Experience Discrimination in Schools Early On

Fewer options for preschool, inexperienced teachers and low-performing schools are just some of the disadvantages children of immigrants face early in their education, a new Migration Policy Institute report points out. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Will Washington State’s Charter Schools Survive Supreme Court Ruling?

Image of Will Washington State’s Charter Schools Survive Supreme Court Ruling?

Washington’s new charter school law was ruled unconstitutional Friday by the state’s Supreme Court, “creating chaos for the hundreds of families whose children have already started classes,” the Seattle Times reported.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Long-Term Focus on Latinos Pays off at Utah University

Image of Long-Term Focus on Latinos Pays off at Utah University

Six years after Utah Valley University announced it would boost its efforts to reach Latinos, school officials are reporting positive, dramatic results.

EWA Radio

Summer Reading List: “The Prize”
EWA Radio: Episode 38

Image of Summer Reading List: “The Prize”

In 2010, billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced an unprecedented gift: he would donate $100 million to the public school district of Newark, New Jersey (dollars that would eventually be matched by private partners).

Dale Russakoff, a longtime reporter for The Washington Post, spent more than three years reporting on what turned into a massive experiment in top-down educational interventions—with decidedly mixed results. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Latino, Black Advanced Placement Scores Highest in California

Image of Latino, Black Advanced Placement Scores Highest in California

Latino and black students who took and passed Advanced Placement exams in California outscored their peers in other parts of the country. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teacher, Student Voices in Back-to-School Spotlight

Image of Teacher, Student Voices in Back-to-School Spotlight

It’s easy to get cynical about back-to-school stories – especially when you’ve been an education reporter for many years. But it’s important to remember that for many children and their families – one of the prime audiences for such reporting – this might be the first time they’ve gone through the experience.

EWA Radio

When Artists Visit a Low-Income School to Teach Theater and Music
EWA Radio: Episode 37

Image of When Artists Visit a Low-Income School to Teach Theater and Music

Over the summer The Staten Island Advance published a three-part series about an arts residency program that tasked professional artists to teach elementary school students to teach them theater and music – arts instruction that otherwise didn’t exist at PS 57, a largely low-income school in the New York borough. Reporter Lauren Steussy followed the kids, teachers and parents of the school as they took in the sights and sounds of a campus suddenly abuzz with the stomps and squeaks of performing arts.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Report: Skipping School Hurting Younger Learners

Image of Report: Skipping School Hurting Younger Learners

While too many students at all grade levels are regularly skipping school, many preschoolers and kindergarteners are missing nearly as much seat time as teenagers, according to a new report.

The lost learning time, particularly in the younger grades, translates into weaker math and reading skills that become long-term deficits for students even years down the road, according to the new report from Attendance Works, a national advocacy organization, and the nonprofit Healthy Schools Campaign.

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

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

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

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

Image of Parachutes and Shoe Leather: Reporting on New Orleans’ Schools

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

Image of ACLU Sues to Block Nevada’s School Choice Law

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

Image of Hispanic ‘Disconnected Youth’ Numbers Improve

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

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

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

Image of After Katrina: New Orleans Schools Fight to Flourish

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’

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

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

Image of Flipping Classrooms: Indoors and Out

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’

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

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

Image of Summer Reading List: “The Gift of Failure”

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

Image of Schools Slow to Wake Up to Research on Sleepy Teens

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

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

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’

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

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

Image of  A Crowded Field: Will Education-Only News Outlets Flourish?

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

Story Ideas for Using Federal Data Sets

You’ve just read a heavy dose of federal data tips to bolster your reporting. The data sets themselves, however, can yield pretty interesting story ideas. Here are a few examples for three data sets explored in the Story Lab. 

The High School Longitudinal Study

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Are Students Too Wired or Not Enough?

Image of Are Students Too Wired or Not Enough?

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

Image of California, Mexico Educators Develop Spanish Common Core Algebra Curriculum

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

Image of Miami Schools Look to Improve Spanish Instruction

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

Image of Back-to-School: Story Ideas That Shine

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

Image of Summer Reading List: ‘The Game Believes in You’

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

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

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

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: Latino Ed Beat

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

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

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

Image of Grit? Motivation? Report Takes Stab at Defining Terms

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

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

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

Image of A Look at Latino Charter School Students in California

“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?

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

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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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.

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