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Budget Cuts Loom for Education. How Vulnerable Are Your Local Schools?
COVID-19's economic fallout is sure to take a toll on districts, but impacts may vary widely
(EWA Radio: Episode 238)

With the nation facing a pandemic-driven recession unlike any in generations, public schools are bracing for a big financial hit. Reporter Daarel Burnette II of Education Week shares insights from his school finance coverage during the crisis and a new database that gauges the economic vulnerability of districts from coast to coast.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Keeping Up With Brain Science Is a Tall Order for Many Teachers
Teacher training often fails to reflect current research, experts say

When teacher Eric Kalenze introduced a new book or reading passage to his students, he used to allow them to explore it on their own, following an approach he learned in teacher training.

Now, armed with a better understanding of the science of learning, he believes leading with this type of student inquiry is ineffective. Instead, he front-loads crucial context and factual information he thinks students will need to understand the text.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Elevating Your Reporting With Data: The Dos and Don’ts
How to marry basic reporting with a data set — and tips to read it correctly

You don’t need data to write a great story. But adding data, if done well, can take your reporting from McDonald’s to Michelin-starred.

These tips will help you elevate the coverage you produce every year, such as stories on student performance; ensure you correctly translate what the data is saying; and remind you to stay skeptical.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Testing COVID-19’s Academic Impact on Students
Early assessments seen as key to gauging learning gaps, social-emotional needs

When schools reopen, expect to see a lot of testing.

Sure, COVID-19 testing may be prevalent for students and their teachers. But in addition, a first step for many schools will be diagnostic tests to gauge learning gaps after months away. Some experts also are calling for assessments of students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs as they start the new academic year.

Tip Sheet

EWA Tip Sheet: Covering Adolescents Through Data

Stories about adolescents present the opportunity for a variety of compelling characters, from parents and teachers to the teens themselves who feel passionately about the issues. But data can also be a powerful tool in crafting such narratives, as it provides vital context for the audience. 

Teacher Prep, Interrupted: Licensing Educators During Coronavirus
Webinar

Teacher Prep, Interrupted: Licensing Educators During Coronavirus
Experts discuss emergency waivers and their potential impact

Each year, hundreds of thousands of new teachers are licensed in the United States. With the shuttering of schools and colleges due to the coronavirus pandemic, states are using emergency waivers to certify teacher candidates who are unable to complete preparation requirements such as coursework, student teaching, and certification exams.

Along with these swift changes come new questions about the teacher workforce and what will happen to the educator pipeline in the midst of a public health emergency and economic recession.

EWA Radio

Do Students Have a Right to Literacy?
Landmark court decision finds access to adequate educational services is a “basic right”
(EWA Radio: Episode 237)

A federal appeals court recently ruled that the state of Michigan has failed  to make sure children in Detroit are adequately educated. The April decision said the city’s schools have suffered from underfunding, poorly maintained facilities and too few qualified teachers. While the state is contemplating an appeal, the decision is still considered a landmark for civil rights advocates mounting similar challenges in state courts across the country.

Tip Sheet

EWA Tip Sheet: Reporting on Colleges’ Finances Amid Coronavirus

This post was originally published on Journalist’s Resource. It has been republished here with permission of the author. 

Colleges across the country face deep financial losses after the coronavirus forced school officials to shutter campuses and cancel events. Administrators worry their money troubles will only get worse if enrollment, government funding and other sources of revenue continue to fall amid a likely recession.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Will Coronavirus Be a Tipping Point That Ends Annual Testing in Schools?
Every state received a waiver of federal testing rules for 2019-20. What about next year and beyond?

The cancellation of statewide testing for millions of students this spring was no surprise, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s raising a larger question — whether the era of annual assessments in reading and mathematics, as required under federal law, will soon end.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Grant Writing: The Next Skill for Successful Journalists
A reporter and a foundation official share their best tips for winning fellowships or grants.

It’s now an economic reality for journalists: Many outlets pay for at least some of their reporting through grants and fellowships. That means many reporters need to supplement their news writing with grant writing.

But how can you make your application stand out from the crowd? These tips, from a journalist who has written successful fellowship applications and from a foundation official who has approved grants, will help you write your applications with confidence and a plan.

Announcement

EWA Announces New Class of Reporting Fellows

The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce its ninth class of EWA Reporting Fellows as part of the organization’s drive to support enterprising journalism that informs the public about consequential issues in education.

“This is an unprecedented time for the news industry, the education sector, and our nation,” said Caroline Hendrie, EWA’s executive director. “We are proud to help our members pursue in-depth projects on critical topics, including on the far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Reporting Remotely: Strategies for Sourcing From Home
Webinar

Reporting Remotely: Strategies for Sourcing From Home

How can journalists who are (mostly) stuck at home during the pandemic continue to cultivate sources and tell compelling stories of the real human experience unfolding for students and families?

Two reporters provide practical advice and strategies in this webinar from the Education Writers Association. How can you make the most of virtually following a student via Zoom as he tries to learn at home? What are the best tools to cast a wide net in your community to identify fresh voices for news coverage?

Announcement

EWA Joins #GivingNewsday Amid COVID-19 for Global Day of Giving and Unity

The Education Writers Association, the nation’s professional membership organization for journalists covering education, is joining #GivingTuesdayNow to raise awareness of local journalism and to seek support for the cause of high-quality coverage of education by local news organizations. Local independent newsrooms play a vital role in helping communities be safe during the ongoing pandemic, yet have never been more imperiled economically.

Behind (Remotely) Closed Doors: Keeping Tabs on School Boards and Leaders
Webinar

Behind (Remotely) Closed Doors: Keeping Tabs on School Boards and Leaders

State sunshine laws and open meetings acts are meant to promote government transparency and democratic participation. But as COVID-19 has prompted school boards and state educational agencies to shift to virtual meetings, reporters have already seen slippages in adherence to transparency laws.

With big budget deadlines looming and other major decisions being made every day, journalists and analysts are wondering if the move to virtual meetings means virtually zero public input and communication.