Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teaching Respect and Tolerance in Tumultuous Times
What to know when reporting on character education

It won’t be easy, but American schools need to do more to instill civic and moral virtues in their students, three experts said at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.

“For millennia, people thought moral character development was part of education, but that seems to have been abandoned in the U.S. in the last 20 years,” said Andy Smarick, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

How Can We Widen the Pathway to the Middle Class?

How Can We Widen the Pathway to the Middle Class?
Webinar offers background on "middle skills" research and training programs.

One of the most important goals of America’s education system is to launch citizens into “middle class” jobs that pay enough to provide economic security. But the number of those jobs have been shrinking, and the skills needed to land the remaining middle class jobs are changing faster than many traditional educational or training programs have been able to match.


Miguel Cardona: Why Schools Should Reopen Fully and Train Their Police Officers Better
What education reporters can expect from the Biden administration

Public schools that don’t offer full-time, in-person learning for students five days a week next fall risk intervention from the U.S. Education Department.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona shared this message with journalists, just two months after his Senate confirmation, during the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar. 

EWA 74th National Seminar  graphic

74th EWA National Seminar
Virtual, May 2-5, 2021

The Education Writers Association’s 74th National Seminar will focus on the theme of “Now What? Reporting on Education Amid Uncertainty.” Four afternoons of conversations, training and presentations will give attendees deeper understanding of these crises, as well as tools, skills and context to help them better serve their communities — and advance their careers. 

To be held May 2-5, 2021, the seminar will feature education newsmakers, including leaders, policy makers, researchers, practitioners and journalists. And it will offer practical data and other skills training. 

Reporter Guide

Character Education Reporter Guide

The Character Education Reporter Guide aims to help education journalists explore, research, and pitch stories on this complex and important topic. 

At a time of political division, societal discord, and deep distrust in many communities, schools are helping students make sense of the upheaval. And character education can play an important role in those teachable moments. The subject lends itself to numerous angles and stories. 

This guide will provide essential background for any reporter—seasoned or new.

Download the guide.

photo of help wanted sign in window
EWA Radio

No School, No Work, No Chance
The federal Job Corps program is falling short in serving millions of young people who are otherwise disconnected from pathways to meaningful employment, a Washington Monthly investigation finds
(EWA Radio Episode 268)

The only federal program intended to help disconnected young adults find meaningful job training has turned into a $1.7 billion boondoggle. That’s the big takeaway from a new investigation by Anne S. Kim of Washington Monthly.

illustration of scale with money on one side and books with mortar cap on the other.
EWA Radio

The Billions of Dollars in Hidden Student Loan Debt
Students who fall behind on their loans to their for-profit colleges find themselves unable to move forward with their careers until the debt is paid off
(EWA Radio Episode 266)

The impact of America’s $1.5 trillion in student loan debt makes a lot of headlines. But one team of reporters dug into a little-known corner of the student debt market and discovered a pattern of rule-evading and abuses that is destroying the educational opportunities and careers of tens of thousands of Americans.

Photo taken at student-led vigil.
EWA Radio

Lessons From the Stoneman Douglas School Shooting
Student advocacy, campus safety, and journalism ethics in the spotlight (EWA Radio: Episode 160)

For most journalists, the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida is a national story. But for Jessica Bakeman of WLRN public radio, it’s local. She’s closely covered the story for this NPR affiliate in South Florida, including the effects of the shooting on students, educators, and parents, and the student survivors’ growing grassroots campaign to enact stricter gun control laws both in Florida and nationally.

Trauma in the Classroom: What Reporters Need to Know

Trauma in the Classroom: What Reporters Need to Know

Attention is growing to the detrimental impact stress and trauma have on children’s learning and development. In response, some schools are rethinking everything from student discipline and support services to teacher training. The shift has also given birth to a whole new set of terms and practices for education reporters to understand and break down for their audiences.

photo of LA teachers strike
EWA Radio

Let’s Talk About Teachers’ Unions
In Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest school district, the high-powered UTLA labor organization was a key player in determining how, and when students continued learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
(EWA Radio Episode 265)

The growing clout of teachers’ unions is becoming one of the nation’s most attention-getting education stories. Before the pandemic, successful “Red for Ed” unionized teacher strikes and demonstrations won long overdue funding increases for schools and pay raises for instructional staff.

Tip Sheet

EWA Tip Sheet: How to Produce a Great Child Care/Early Ed Story

The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented interest in child care. Without child care, many parents cannot work. At the same time, providers are struggling to remain open. 

Those facilities that have powered through the pandemic are serving fewer children, have laid off staff and have encountered additional costs, such as cleaning supplies and PPEs. Many have closed, possibly permanently.