COVID-19, viral examples of racism, financial distress and political discord: Reporters covering education amid these crises have never faced more challenges, or been more important to the nation. And despite the recent spread of vaccines, hope for economic recovery, and changes to federal policies, the education and journalism worlds still both face extraordinary difficulties in 2021.
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.
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.
The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce a call for proposals for its next class of EWA Reporting Fellows, in support of enterprising news coverage of education. The fellowships provide financial awards to journalists to undertake ambitious reporting and writing projects. This will be the 12th class of EWA Reporting Fellows.
The nearly $2 trillion stimulus package President Joe Biden signed into law last week contains an historic infusion of federal aid for schools, colleges and universities. Education journalists will play an important role in shedding light on the uses and impacts of that funding – over $125 billion for K-12 and nearly $40 billion for higher education.
Where exactly will the money from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 go? How will it be used? Will the funds “rescue” the schools and students with the highest needs?
New Data Tool Reveals Disparities in School-Level Spending
Learn how to use reporter-friendly database to tell local stories
For the first time ever, school-by-school spending data is publicly available that makes it possible to shine a spotlight on disparities within school district boundaries, as well as differences across school systems and even state borders.
When the Child Care Gap Is a Chasm
How the COVID-19 pandemic worsened existing shortages of early learning and child care programs, slowing down the economic recovery and putting some kids at risk (EWA Radio Episode 264)
In many communities, the demand for reliable, affordable child care has long outstripped the number of available spots. The coronavirus pandemic has only worsened the shortage, and many mothers have left the workforce to stay with their young children. In central Washington, the situation is taking a bite out of…
“Free college” was one of President Joe Biden’s most popular campaign promises.
But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So what’s the reality behind the free college plans? What are the costs? Are there any gotchas?
As the pandemic-driven disruption to education persists, many schools across the country are or soon will be providing hybrid instruction — a combination of in-person and remote classes. Sometimes, the same teacher even delivers both modes simultaneously.
Hybrid learning can be the best of both worlds or the worst of both worlds, said Bree Dusseault, the practitioner-in-residence at the Center on Reinventing Public Education.
The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce the class of 2021 for New to the Beat, a mentoring and training program for journalists with less than two years experience covering education.
The 28 rookies were selected through a competitive application process. Each will be matched with an experienced education reporter who will serve as a mentor and coach for the duration of the six-month program. The rookies also take part in specialized training opportunities.
A Busing Program’s Troubled Legacy
Louisville Courier-Journal investigation: Controversial plan to combat segregation favored white students, hurt Black students and communities
(EWA Radio Episode 263)
Can busing Black students to schools outside of their immediate neighborhoods make public education more equitable? How can reporters better cover the history of such desegregation efforts, and the impact on young people, families, and communities?
Oregon’s ‘Class of 2025:’ Meet the Middle Schoolers
Oregon Public Broadcasting’s multi-year series follows students, families from first grade through high school. (EWA Radio Episode 262)
Imagine keeping tabs on the same group of students and families for nearly a decade — Oregon Public Broadcasting has done it, and plans to keep going through the next four years. OPB editor Rob Manning and education reporter Elizabeth Miller share stories from the cast in this project, which is supported in part by an EWA Reporting Fellowship.
What’s on the Horizon for Early Childhood Education in 2021?
Local and national preschool efforts provide clues
Eight months into the pandemic, voters in Multnomah County, Oregon, approved a new tax on high earners to fund a program called Preschool For All.
The action represents a major early childhood investment during a recession that threatens to drive many child care providers out of business. It also puts forth a compelling model for solving some of the problems that publicly funded preschool and child care programs in other states and cities haven’t fully addressed.
Why More Men Are Missing Out on College
The decline in student enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic is seven times as steep for men as women, raising questions about the long-term impact on individuals and communities (EWA Radio Episode 261)
COVID-19 is remaking the college landscape, especially when it comes to who’s pursuing – and who’s pausing – on higher education. New data shows the decline in enrollment is seven times as large for men as for women.
Pathways: Experts Offer a Quick Roundup on Student Loan Forgiveness
Webinar will provide journalists with resources, context and answers about education debt forgiveness plans.
Proposals to forgive some or all of the nation’s $1.5 trillion in student loans are making headlines as the Biden administration considers how to restart the economy and make the U.S. education system more equitable.
In this EWA webinar, speakers discussed the impact of student debt forgiveness on access to higher education and pathways to good jobs. They shared their insights and answered audience questions on this pressing topic.
The ongoing pandemic has heightened concerns about children’s mental and physical health, food insecurity and trauma. One factor that can have a big impact on children’s health that is too often overlooked by the media: a state’s policies governing schools’ responses to student health and safety issues.
Member Spotlight: ‘Breaking News Monkey’ Rises to Editor and Restaurateur
EWA Member Emmeline Zhao turned a side hustle into a second career.
After a full day of overseeing The 74 Million’s reporting projects and multimedia offerings on COVID-19’s impact on educational inequities, Emmeline Zhao quickly shifts to her second career: Managing a new Greenwich Village restaurant that the New York Times has praised as a delicious “synthesis of Chinese ideas and the Hudson Valley farm-to-table movement.”
What’s the outlook for federal education legislation now that Democrats control (though, admittedly, just barely) Congress?