EWA Webinars, Conference Calls and Podcasts
EWA regularly hosts free Web-based trainings and conference calls on a range of topics designed to help journalists improve their understanding of key education issues. We also capture audio from many of our conferences and release them as podcasts.
All of these recordings are available below, with the most recent displayed at the top. Upcoming webinars will be listed on our Events page. If you need technical assistance opening any of the files below, contact Glen Baity.
Stream all of our most recent podcasts here.
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The New GED: What Reporters Need to Know
Dec. 4, 2013
For millions of adults who never completed high school, the GED has been
the gateway to careers and college degrees. In January, the process
adults undergo to earn a GED will change radically. Paper-and-pencil
tests are being swapped for computerized exams, the questions will
become more challenging, and the price to take the exams will rise. What
will these changes mean for adults seeking a second chance at a high
- Nicole Chestang, Executive Vice President, GED Testing Services
- Amy Riker, National Executive Director, High School Equivalency Testing (HiSET) Program
- Mike Johnson, National Adult Education Manager, Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC)
- Tim Kautz, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Chicago Department of Economics
- Kavitha Cardoza, Special Correspondent, WAMU (moderator)
Global View: Questions to Ask About PISA 2012
Nov. 13, 2013
How will the
U.S. fare against other countries when the results from the Program for
International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 are released on Dec. 3? Our presenters review the 2009 PISA results and discuss what data and questions reporters
should think about when the newest results come in.
- Marc Tucker, President, National Center for Education and the Economy
- Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Skills, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Common Core Coverage: Lessons from a Deep Dive
October 24, 2013
The new Common Core State Standards, fully adopted by 45 states and the
District of Columbia, are poised to remake K-12 schooling from
Massachusetts to California.
The Hechinger Report, in partnership with EWA, sent education writers
around the country to find out how the new standards will shape what
students learn and how teachers teach. Two of those writers join us to share what they
learned and questions you should be asking about the Common Core in
your own districts and states, as well as story ideas to steal.
- Barbara Kantrowitz, The Hechinger Report
- Sarah Carr, The Hechinger Report
- Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association (moderator)
Keeping Up With Common Core: Will Learning Soar or Stall?
September 25, 2013
News coverage of the process and politics surrounding the Common Core
State Standards has become relatively plentiful. But less attention has
been paid to the longer-lasting instructional changes that are already
affecting students and teachers. To address that gap, EWA hosted this event with top experts on the shifts in math and literacy
instruction that the standards are designed to bring about. Consider
this your intro class to the new Common Core content.
- Professor William Schmidt, Michigan State University
- Professor Susan B. Neuman, New York University and former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education
- Robert Rothman,
Senior Fellow at Alliance for Excellent Education and author of
Something in Common: The Common Core Standards and the Next Chapter in
- Lisa Fleisher, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal (moderator)
Principal Ideas: Stories on School Leaders
September 12, 2013
Even the most talented teacher will be less successful under a bad
principal. But how do you cover what really matters about principal
leadership? This webinar
offers five "story ideas to steal" and spark your own ideas for
compelling coverage. As a launch pad for the discussion, the webinar
will feature clips from the recent documentary "The Principal Story."
- Emma Brown, The Washington Post (moderator)
- Tod Lending, producer, The Principal Story
- Andy Cole, consultant, Center for Creative Leadership
Q&A with Arne Duncan
Sept. 4, 2013
Across the country, tens of millions of students are back in class for a new school year. But while the ritual of hitting the books is the same, changes are occurring in everything from K-12 curricula to how college students earn their degrees. If you're writing about these shifts in our nation’s schools and universities, this free, journalists-only event will give you better context for your coverage.
- Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
- Emily Richmond, EWA Public Editor (Moderator)
Adding Value: Giving Teachers a Voice in School Reporting
August 6, 2013
This webinar focused on how education reporters can better connect
with classroom teachers, and techniques for making the most of those
interviews. Topics include creative ways to use social media and
other non-traditional methods to reach out to school site personnel, and
how to manage central-office hurdles that often limit access.
- Melissa Bailey, New Haven Independent
- Molly Bloom, State Impact Ohio
- Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Chris Willems, New Haven public school teacher
Mine the Gap: Working with Data on Access to Opportunities
July 25, 2013
How equitable is education in your school districts? Do low-income and
minority students have the same access to advanced math and science
classes, or Advance Placement courses? Are teachers in low-income
schools veterans or new teachers?
ProPublica took data from the
U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and massaged it
into a usable database. In this webinar, Jennifer LaFleur of ProPublica walks
reporters through how to use the site’s Opportunity Gap database as a
springboard for stories. Holly Hacker of the Dallas Morning News also gives tips on additional databases reporters can use to examine opportunity gaps in their districts.
Crawling to a Consensus: Can States and the White House Agree on Early Ed?
July 17, 2013
Research has shown that early education programs can significantly
improve learning outcomes for the nation’s poorest students. With
President Obama announcing a proposal to expand early education in the
United States dramatically, interest in child care and pre-K has surged.
But not all programs work effectively and states have had varying
success implementing large-scale early-ed models. Can a national plan to
enroll millions of children from low-income households in quality pre-K
classes complement what’s working at the state level?
Speakers: Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education; Bobby Cagle, commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning; Laura Bornfreund, senior analyst for the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative; Lillian Mongeau (moderator), early education reporter at EdSource Today.
Education at a Glance 2013: EWA/OECD Webinar
June 25, 2013
How much of the U.S. gross domestic product is spent on education? How
does that education spending break down for early childhood education,
K-12 education and higher education? How much private spending is
dedicated to education, compared to public spending? What is the link
between higher education degrees and unemployment rates in the U.S. and
The answers to these questions and more are in
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2013
Education At a Glance report, released on Tuesday, June
25, 2013. In an exclusive press event, Andreas Schleicher, OECD's deputy
director for education and skills, discusses the latest findings with
U.S. journalists in this joint EWA-OECD webinar.
School's (Still) In: Making the Most of Summer Learning
June 13, 2013
While students are celebrating the start of the long summer break,
there's a significant tradeoff for the three months of leisure - on
average, students will return to school in the fall a month behind where
they performed in the spring. And the learning loss is even greater for
low-income students who were already behind their more affluent peers.
In this EWA Webinar, we examine how districts are successfully
combating summer learning loss with high-quality programs and leveraging
community partnerships to help pay for them. We're joined by Catherine Augustine of the RAND Corporation and Gary Huggins of the National Summer Learning Association. Additionally, Florida
districts are using the summer months to prepare both students and
teachers for the new Common Core State Standards, and Jacqueline Bowen, executive director of secondary programs for Duval County, tells us what the district has planned. Reporters will come away with a deeper
understanding of the issues, and story ideas to localize for their own
STEM Stepping-Stones: Covering College Prep in the Summer
May 31, 2013
What steps are under way to help incoming college freshmen prepare for
their first semester of classes, particularly those in the STEM
disciplines? Students planning to major in science, technology,
engineering and math often make early exits from those fields, but
switching a college major can be costly for the student and may even
lead to dropping out altogether. From summer bridge programs that
refresh rising freshmen on key concepts to learning communities that
pair students and mentors, programs are emerging to help high school
graduates enter college STEM courses prepared.
Speakers: Lee Zia and Connie K. Della-Pianna of the
National Science Foundation's Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics Talent Expansion Program; Bob Kolvoord of James Madison University's Center for STEM Education and Outreach; Moderator: Michael Morella, associate editor at U.S. News & World Report.
Beyond Victims and Villains: Covering Bullying and Suicide
April 9, 2013
In the wake of several high-profile cases involving students who took their own lives, states are focusing heavily on making bullying prevention programs mandatory in public schools. But how much of the responsibility really rests with educators, and what steps should the broader community be taking to help students make smarter choices about their own behavior on campus, after school, and online?
We discussed these questions with Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon, focusing on lessons from her new book "Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy."
What's the Price? 'Pay As You Earn' and Income-Based Repayment
April 3, 2013
Who will benefit more from the federal government’s new “Pay As You
Earn” income-based repayment program for student loans: Recent graduates
struggling to find jobs in a tough economy? Or high-paid professionals
such as lawyers and business executives, who might be able to wipe away
tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt? Why are the
income-based repayment options so underused when as many as one out of
five borrowers has fallen behind on payments? We investigated these
questions and more with Lauren Asher, president of The Institute for College Access and Success, and Jason DeLisle, director of the Federal Education Budget Project at the New America Foundation.
Visiting School Campuses: An EWA Guide for Reporters
March 6, 2013
This webinar, a companion piece to EWA's Reporter Guide: Visiting School Campuses, covers the ins and outs getting access to schools, how to observe students and teachers, and contains tips for taking your stories to the next level. You'll also be the first to get access to the latest guide.
Panelists include veteran education journalist Sarah Carr -- author of the latest guide in the series -- as well as Kristen Graham, part of the Philadelphia Inquirer team that won the 2012 Pultizer Prize an examination of campus safety and violence in the city's schools.
Interviewing Children: An EWA Guide for Reporters
December 18, 2012
children is a critical component of the daily work of education
reporting. Yet practices for gaining access and making the most of
one-on-one opportunities vary widely among news organizations and
EWA introduces its new primer, Interviewing Children:
An Education Reporter’s Guide, in this webinar. The guide’s author – veteran
journalist Sarah Carr – shares insights from her own experiences on
the beat. Also participating in the discussion are Columbia
Journalism School Professor LynNell Hancock, who discusses ethical
guidelines for talking with children in sensitive situations such as
cases of trauma or abuse. Additionally, Bruce Shapiro, executive
director of the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at Columbia
University, will discusses how reporters handled coverage of the Sandy
Hook Elementary School shootings, as well as best practices for
interviewing children in the wake of such tragedies.
Giving Guidance: Counselors'
Role in College and Career Readiness
November 27, 2012
When it comes to making sure students are college and career
ready, middle and high school guidance counselors play a critical -- and often underreported
-- role. In this EWA webinar, attendees received an advance look at the College Board
Advocacy & Policy Center's second-annual survey of guidance counselors, in
which respondents outlined some of the challenges of helping students meet
ever-increasing expectations, as well as identified shortfalls in their own
training and professional development. In this recording, you'll also hear from experts in the
field as to the implications of the survey's findings, as well as what's being
done at the local, state and national level to improve guidance counseling.
You'll come away with a deeper understanding of the issues, as well as ideas
for localizing this important story for your own readers.
Moderator: Emily Richmond, EWA Public Editor
Pat Martin, assistant vice president, College Board National Office for School
Peggy Hines, director of the Education Trust's National Center for Transforming
Kathleen Smallwood, middle school guidance counselor, Mobile (Ala.) County
National Office for School Counselor Advocacy
North: 201 National Survey of School Counselors (PDF)
EWA/OECD Education at a Glance 2012 Web Briefing
September 10, 2012
Andreas Schleicher, OECD Deputy Director for Education, walks reporters through this year's Education at a Glance, The leading international compendium of comparable national statistics
measuring the state of education worldwide. This year’s report includes
new indicators on early childhood education and care, on inequality in
education and how a parent’s education influences their child’s academic
attainment, and on the factors affecting the performance of immigrant
and disadvantaged children at school.
Diving into Data: Requesting (and Analyzing) Public School Numbers
August 23, 2012
filed your back-to-school stories, get ready make waves with some
hard-hitting, data-based reporting this academic year. If you’ve never
parsed test scores, attendance numbers or graduation rates, this webinar
is a great place to start.
Jack Gillum, an investigative
reporter with the Associated Press, offers tips on how to use data to enhance
your reporting; find the information to get you started; and identify
newsworthy trends in the numbers. Gillum contributed to an award-winning
2011 USA Today series on suspicious student test score gains in
To School: Finding Fresh Angles on Familiar Ground
August 16, 2012
For education reporters, coming up
with fresh ideas for back-to-school stories is an annual challenge. As part of
EWA's Summer School Webinar series, we invite you to get some smart tips from
three veteran journalists who know how to mine the beat, and avoid the
ordinary. We discuss new ways of approaching the first day of school, ideas
for unique profiles, and how to make the most of your publication's multimedia
- Dave Breitenstein is an education
reporter at The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla. with 15 years' experience
covering both K-12 and higher ed beats. He has received 31 state and national
writing awards, and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the
University of Kansas and a master’s in educational leadership from Florida Gulf
- Ann Doss Helms has covered K-12
education for The Charlotte Observer for the past 10 years, a stretch that has
seen the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district go from being accused of
"academic genocide" by a judge to winning the 2011 Broad Prize for
Urban Education. She has a bachelor's in journalism from the Medill School of
Journalism at Northwestern and a master of liberal arts degree from Winthrop
- Phyllis Fletcher is an editor at
KUOW Public Radio in Seattle. Before that she was KUOW's education reporter. In
that role she took EWA's first prize in beat reporting for broadcast in 2011.
Fletcher holds certificates in Java programming and forensic accounting.
from Ann Helms’ presentation:
Follow the Money: What's Hiding In Your School District's Spending?
July 18, 2012
So you’ve managed to get your hands on all the records your school
district keeps about its budget and spending. Now what? How can you turn
a giant data dump into a compelling story for your readers?
In this EWA webinar, you’ll hear how
reporters at the Dallas Morning News used public records to create
databases of district spending and budget information, and how they used
those databases to uncover everything from fraud and mismanagement to
cozy vendor-employee relationships to the misuse of federal grants.
Fischer, a former DMN reporter who now works with the communications
firm GMMB, gives tips and advice on how reporters can collect and
organize spending records in ways that truly allow them to "follow the
Summer Idyll -- or Idle? Story Ideas for Journalists
June 26, 2012
All over the country, the year’s last school bell is ringing. But now
that it’s time for pool parties and summer camp, what happens to the
knowledge students gained during the school year?
Gary Huggins of
National Summer Learning Association; Kathleen Manzo of Education Week;
and Katy Murphy of the Oakland Tribune talk about how reporters can
examine summer learning loss and how to tell when schools and
communities offer effective summer school.
Community College Outcomes: Advance Look at New Digital Resource for Tracking Student Progress
April 25, 2012
Community colleges are widely considered a critical link in the nation’s
continued economic recovery. As a result, the open-access entry point
to higher education is facing both renewed scrutiny and higher
expectations, with policymakers demanding actual evidence of
On April 30, the College Board Advocacy
& Policy Center announced its “Completion Arch,” a new digital
tool for measuring community college student success. This webinar offered EWA members the opportunity for an advance look and demonstration of
this comprehensive resource, as well as the opportunity to ask questions
of College Board officials.
Completion Arch categorizes all publicly available metrics relating
to student progress in five key areas: enrollment; developmental
education placement; progress; transfer and completion; and job
placement/workforce outcomes. The Completion Arch allows users to
track similarities and differences in the ways that regions and states
measure data related to the progress of community college students.
Deciding Diversity: The Supreme Court Reconsiders Affirmative Action
March 22, 2012
This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will take on the issue of affirmative
action in college admissions for the first time since 2003. The
plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin argues that her
race was the deciding factor when she was denied admission to the
school. Regardless of the outcome, this case will have major
consequences for schools around the country for years to come.
examine the impact the ruling might have, EWA's webinar features
two veteran education reporters who discuss Fisher, the history of
affirmative action in higher ed, and the key points of this story
education reporters need to understand. Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside
Higher Ed, talks about the case's effect on post-secondary
admissions, while Mark Walsh, Ed Week's veteran Supreme Court reporter,
focuses on the stories K-12 reporters should think about.
Mining the Data: What States Have and Where to Find It
Feb. 7, 2012
Laird, Director of Communications and External Affairs for the Data
Quality Campaign, provides an update on states’ progress toward
collecting and using education data and reveals the type of data and
related reports available from your states. She'll especially
concentrate on linking K-12 and postsecondary data to explore issues
like college and career readiness, college remediation, and other
Freelancing 101: How to Thrive as an Independent Education Writer
Jan. 26, 2012
Are you interested in freelancing, but don’t know how to get started?
Veteran journalist David McKay Wilson offers a primer for reporters
new to freelancing and those who want to learn the ropes of this
exciting career path. Wilson broke into journalism as a freelancer for
the Boston Phoenix and continued to freelance over his 26-year career.
He left Gannett's The Journal News in 2007 after 21 years to launch a
business that focuses primarily on publications at institutions of
higher education. He is a regular contributor to publications at
Columbia, Harvard, Dartmouth, Fordham, Loyola Chicago, SUNY Purchase, NY
Institute of Technology, and Sarah Lawrence. His work has appeared in
alumni magazines at 101 colleges and universities, including 33
institutions in 2011. Click here to download the Powerpoint presentation.
Do the Math: Outsmarting Statistics
Jan. 20, 2012
No one ever entered the journalism profession to crunch numbers, but
dealing with data is a crucial part of the education beat. Holly Hacker,
statistics guru and education reporter for the Dallas Morning News, shows you the basics for understanding how to effectively report on
statistics. Click here to download the Powerpoint presentation.
Homeless Students: Covering the School Safety Net
Dec. 19, 2011
1 Hour, 3 minutes
From Maine to California, school districts are reporting significant increases in the number of homeless students. Our webinar takes a closer look at the underlying issues, and also gives participants a blueprint for localizing this important story. Our presenters will include Barbara Duffield, policy director of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children; Pamela Hosmer, Program Manager for the San Diego Unified School District's Children and Youth in Transition program; and Dr. Ellen Bassuk, a Harvard University professor and founder and president of the National Center on Family Homelessness.
Behind the Numbers: What the SAT Scores Really Say
November 9, 2011
States love to brag when their SAT scores go up, and are quick to offer reasons why they went down. How can reporters see through the spin and put their states in context?
Holly Hacker, education reporter and stats guru at the Dallas Morning News, explains some basic statistical concepts using state SAT scores, showing you the biggest force driving those scores to help effectively and fairly compare your state with all the others.
While this webinar is focused on the SAT, these techniques are applicable to many other education issues.
Teacher Evaluations: A State-by-State Overview and Lessons From Early Adopters
October 25, 2011
1 hour 3 minutes
In advance of its 2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, the
National Council on Teacher Quality offers a closer look into what is
shaping up to be a critically important education policy trend. Across
the nation states are engaged in create teacher evaluation systems to
provide meaningful information about teacher performance, based in
significant ways on student achievement, and tying information on
teacher effectiveness to decisions of consequence about tenure,
compensation, professional development and advancement.
With momentum towards performance-based teacher evaluation across the states, NCTQ:
• presents a detailed picture of the changing policy landscape across the states on performance-based teacher evaluation;
• highlights noteworthy state policies in performance-based teacher evaluation; and
• provides early observations on current challenges to building performance-based teacher evaluations in the states.
• Sandi Jacobs, Vice President, National Center on Teacher Quality
Dr. Jane Hannaway, a vice president of the American Institutes of
Research and director of the National Center for Analysis of
Longitudinal Data in Education Research
EWA/OECD Web Press Conference -- Education at a Glance 2011 (audio starts at 00:54 -- Windows Media Player required to view)
September 12, 2011
Education at a Glance is the leading international compendium of comparable national statistics on education. This year’s edition shows how the economic crisis has changed the job perspectives for workers at different qualification levels. It presents an overview on how much countries invest in education and how they allocate their resources within the education system.
With pressure on government spending growing and demand for higher education rising, Education at a Glance aims to help educators and policy makers formulate strategies for maintaining quality in education. The report also includes new data on private and public returns on education and looks at possible impasses for more investment in higher education.
For the first time, Education at a Glance also includes analysis of education systems in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. Andreas Schleicher, Head of Indicators and Analysis at the OECD Education Directorate, offers a presentation.