Beyond NAEP and PISA: Many U.S. Adults Lack Practical Skills, New Tests Show
Students also struggle with digital, information literacy
The results from high-profile assessments issued this fall — both national (NAEP) and international (PISA) — show troubling academic outcomes for U.S. students. Drawing far less attention, however, are important findings from other exams, including a lack of practical literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills among many Americans ages 16 to 65.
No Easy Answers on PISA: U.S. Scores Flat in Reading, Math and Science
Experts urge caution in interpreting results as advocates call for major overhaul of public education
With the results of a global exam showing flat scores for American 15-year-olds in reading, math and science, education journalists were busy this week parsing the data, providing context, and explaining why comparisons among countries’ results can be a tricky business.
The U.S. saw its international rankings climb in all three subjects tested because scores slipped in some other countries on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam, the results of which were published Tuesday.
A Thousand Days of Secretary DeVos
As President Trump's education chief approaches third year in office, a look at her impact, influence, and why she’s expected to stay the course
(EWA Radio: Episode 223)
When Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the U.S. secretary of education in early 2017, few observers would have bet she would stick around for long. Today, DeVos is one of the longest-serving members of President Trump’s cabinet. Rebecca Klein of The Huffington Post talked with dozens of people about the controversial education secretary’s tenure so far, crafting an in-depth analysis of what motivates her decisions and keeps her on the job.
How effective is your local school? Sure, test scores aren’t everything, but until recently, efforts to crunch achievement data to draw conclusions about school quality have been undermined by concerns about fairness: Are test scores measuring the effectiveness of the school, or just the wealth of the parents?
But now the Stanford Education Data Archives has launched a new tool that can help reporters shine a clearer light on how well students at individual schools and districts are progressing, and whether the school is closing achievement gaps.
EWA Opens Entries for 2019 Education Reporting Awards
Journalists Working in All Media Invited to Compete
The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce the launch of the 2019 National Awards for Education Reporting. Journalists may submit entries from 9:00 a.m. Eastern time on Nov. 15 through midnight Pacific time on Dec. 15, 2019.
Journalists who have published work in 2019 on any education topic in any medium are encouraged to enter the contest, which features a total of 20 prizes with cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
EWA 2019 Awards Overview Quick Webinar
In less than 30 minutes you'll learn about new categories and how to enter.
If you’re interested in entering the 2019 National Awards for Education Reporting, the Education Writers Association will hold a brief webinar to outline the rules, categories and submission platform at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18
In this 30-minute mini-webinar, Public Editor Emily Richmond will answer your questions and give a quick tour of the online entry form.
Don’t Mess With Texas: Covering the Lone Star State’s Schools
Aliyya Swaby of The Texas Tribune talks source building, covering segregation, and more
(EWA Radio: Episode 222)
Prior to joining The Texas Tribune in 2016 as its statewide public schools reporter, Aliyya Swaby covered education for the hyperlocal New Haven Independent in Connecticut. Now she’s responsible for a beat that stretches more than a quarter-million square miles.
If DACA Ends, What Happens to Students and Schools?
Final decision pending after U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on program for undocumented children
(EWA Radio: Episode 138)
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). The program has temporarily protected some 800,000 immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children from being deported. While a key focus is college-age students who fear deportation, ending DACA has significant repercussions for the K-12 school community as well. In this 2017 episode of EWA Radio, soon after Trump announced his plans to unwind DACA, Corey Mitchell of Education Week and Katie Mangan of The Chronicle of Higher Education discussed the potential implications.
Why Impeachment Is a Teachable Moment
As President Trump faces a congressional impeachment inquiry, teachers and education journalists share similar challenges to explain and inform
(EWA Radio: Episode 221)
Unlike long-running controversies over topics such as gun control or immigration policy, it’s been 20 years since the nation was roiled by efforts to impeach a sitting president. That gives today’s civics teachers a unique opportunity to help students connect historical and current events, explains Stephen Sawchuk of Education Week.
The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce its eighth class of EWA Reporting Fellows as part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to support ambitious journalism projects that inform the public on important issues in education.
“Enterprising coverage of education by independent journalists has never been more important, and EWA is proud to play a role in supporting their work,” said Caroline Hendrie, EWA’s executive director. “We are delighted to help make possible in-depth reporting by our members.”
Rising college tuition continues to be one of the most important stories that education journalists cover. But fact-checking exactly what price a college charges can be surprisingly difficult. At many schools, for example, almost no students pay the “sticker price” posted on the website.
How To Cover a Teachers’ Strike
A reporter shares tips on cultivating sources, asking good questions, developing fresh angles
(EWA Radio: Episode 165)
With Chicago teachers on the picket lines this fall — and labor actions in recent months in smaller school districts in California, Colorado, and Washington — hear how Ben Felder of The Oklahoman reported on a statewide walkout by educators in 2018. Like their counterparts in West Virginia and Kentucky, teachers in the Sooner State were seeking more than bigger paychecks; they also aimed to draw attention to funding shortfalls for public schools statewide.
New achievement data in math and reading for the nation’s 4th and 8th graders was released in October 2019, showing troubling declines or stagnant scores in most areas. Alongside the national snapshot were state-by-state results, plus scores for 27 urban school systems participating in a pilot program.
Education and the American Dream: Pathways From High School to College and Careers
Northwestern University • November 14-15, 2019
What will it take to make the U.S. education system a more powerful engine for economic mobility? What are the obstacles, especially for low-income families and students of color?
At this journalists-only seminar on Nov. 14-15 in Chicago, we will explore these and other questions, with a special focus on emerging efforts to create stronger pathways from high school to college and promising careers.
What School Choice Means in Rural Mississippi
The ugly history of ‘segregation academies’ hangs over community’s first charter school
(EWA Radio: Episode 220)
In rural Clarksdale, Mississippi, the phrase “school choice” has a different meaning, as it brings to mind the segregation academies set up by white families opposed to federally mandated school integration. Writing for The Hechinger Report, Danielle Dreilinger spent time in Clarksdale — known as the birthplace of the Blues — which recently got its first charter school, serving an almost all-black student population.
Soft Skills Training Teaches Electricians to Fix Fuses, Not Blow Them
Community colleges award budding trades workers badges in empathy
Sure, a plumber should be able to stop a leak or fix a toilet. Those job skills are essential, and easily measured.
But what about the rest of the equation — the people skills customers also want? How does an employer really know if an applicant has what it takes? Can’t there be a test or something?
Educating the ‘Whole Child’ Is Complex. Will Schools Get It Right?
Recipe blends academics with SEL, character development
The idea that education isn’t simply about academics is nothing new. But efforts are mounting to promote a better balance in schools, to more explicitly address students’ social and emotional learning (SEL), build strong character, and foster civic responsibility.
The terminology varies, but the broad concept is sometimes referred to as “educating the whole child.” What’s it all about? What’s driving the increased interest and attention? And are public schools today really equipped to deliver this expansive vision of education?