If elected president, what would Joe Biden do for education? Although campaign plans face plenty of obstacles when it’s time to govern, the former vice president has rolled out a sweeping education agenda, from the earliest years through college and beyond.
The Democratic nominee also has developed a “road map to reopening schools safely” amid the pandemic, and has been sharply critical of President Trump’s approach.
How to Get Voters to Care About School Board Elections
School board races are even more crucial during the pandemic
School board races typically get short shrift in election coverage. On ballots, they’re often relegated to the last pages, along with district court judges and densely worded ballot measures.
But school board members play a key leadership and oversight role in local public schools. During the pandemic, that includes an important new responsibility: largely deciding whether (and when) shuttered campuses will reopen, as well as setting the parameters for remote or hybrid learning.
As schools scrambled to create remote learning plans and adjust to the new online reality, parents worried about the increased access to their children’s online data. An early summer survey of approximately 1,200 parents by the Center for Democracy and Technology found widespread worries about children’s online safety and privacy. But only 43 percent of parents said someone at their school had discussed student privacy with them.
On the Road With NPR’s Higher Ed Reporter
A nationwide road trip yields insights, first-person accounts of postsecondary life in the coronavirus era
(EWA Radio: Episode 250)
Who takes a cross-country reporting road trip in the midst of a pandemic? NPR’s Elissa Nadworny decided it was the only way to find out for herself what life is really like on college campuses these days, and how students, faculty and administrators are dealing with a new world of logistical challenges.
The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce a call for proposals for its next class of EWA Reporting Fellows, with opportunities to fuel enterprising news coverage of education. The fellowships provide financial awards to journalists to undertake ambitious reporting and writing projects. This will be the 11th class of EWA Reporting Fellows.
Young voters could have a decisive impact on elections this fall at the local, state, and federal levels — if enough of them cast a ballot. Historically, young people (ages 18 to 29) vote at much lower levels than their parents — or their grandparents.
And additional obstacles are making it tougher for college students to vote this year, analysts say, such as fewer polling stations on college campuses and confusion over voter registration rules for students who have moved back home during the pandemic.
Schools opening their doors this fall are bringing back students with disabilities in the first wave of in-person learning. These students are prioritized because online learning isn’t meeting their particular needs, and parents working from home while supporting their children with disabilities face an additional hurdle: they aren’t professionals trained in alternative learning methods.
Colleges Struggle to Serve Mental Health Needs During COVID
One challenge: Differentiating between COVID anxiety and mental illness
Mental health is an increasingly important issue on college campuses, yet it is a topic that does not get enough coverage from education reporters, speakers said during a panel discussion on the topic during the Education Writers Association’s 2020 Higher Education Seminar.
Are you dreaming about writing a book about education? Watch the video below to get firsthand advice from education journalists who have sold books and an agent who has helped education journalists get published in this Education Writers Association webinar.
- The challenges and strategies of transitioning from education journalist to book author.
- How (or whether) to balance a day job with a book project.
- What it takes to get an agent.
‘Left Behind’ By Remote Learning
In Baltimore and other cities, COVID-19 school closures are widening opportunity gaps for vulnerable students
(EWA Radio: Episode 249)
Was the decision to close schools and send students home for remote learning influenced more by politics than the science of what would keep kids safe? That’s the central argument made by ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis in a new story co-published with The New Yorker. MacGillis, who tells the story in part through the experiences of a 12-year-old in his hometown of Baltimore, shows how vulnerable Black, brown, and poor children are most likely to face long-term consequences for lost learning time.
The Top 11 Higher Ed Stories Likely to Make Headlines This Year
Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik highlights COVID, Title IX, affirmative action and more
COVID-19 will continue to be a major story topic for the 2020-21 school year, but reporters should also look at the future of affirmative action and race on college campuses, according to Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik.
Jaschik, veteran higher education journalist and editor, listed his top 11 topics he thinks every higher education reporter should be ready to cover.
From Processing One Crisis to Covering Another: A New Ed Reporter’s Story
It is an 'incredible time' to be a journalist, says Charlottesville Tomorrow's Billy Jean Louis
Billy Jean Louis is no stranger to writing in times of crisis. As a young teenager in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the 2004 coup d’etat completely shifted the world around him. At the time, many people didn’t feel safe speaking about what was going on in the country due to the lack of press freedom in Haiti.
School Budget Cuts Amid COVID-19: Eight Areas to Watch
Public schools are 'on the brink of a financial disaster'
School is back in session for approximately 50 million students that attend public schools and over 3 million teachers, but the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way those institutions operate. District leaders are left to substantially nip and tuck their budgets during a pandemic-driven recession.
Learning in the pandemic has its challenges, but for a lot of students the problem is more fundamental: They are missing out on school altogether this fall, or showing up sporadically.
Schools that have opted for virtual learning are struggling to get every student connected online and consistently in class. Recent news coverage in Chicago, Detroit, and elsewhere has highlighted thousands of students missing from online classes, though intensive outreach has helped reduce the problem.
The pandemic and economic shutdown have slashed colleges’ tuition revenues, reduced state government funding for higher education and, in some cases, even wiped out football ticket sales. Colleges’ severe new financial challenges are already forcing many budget cuts and layoffs.
A Different Kind of College Rankings
The Washington Monthly uses unique metrics to measure quality, including return on investment, strong outcomes for students of color, and effective civic engagement.
(EWA Radio: Episode 248)
When choosing a college, students and families often turn to popular rankings to help inform their decisions. Rather than focus on test scores and how difficult it is to gain entry, The Washington Monthly gives schools points for factors that benefit society as well as individual students, like upward mobility for low-income graduates and encouraging civic engagement on campus and after graduation.
Smart use of data is a key ingredient to powerful education reporting on issues from achievement gaps and the digital divide to funding inequities and college completion rates. Ready to take your data skills and savvy to a new level? EWA is here to help.
Apply now for the next Diving Into Data Workshop. Participants will receive intensive, hands-on training from our data coaches—veteran journalists skilled at analyzing and reporting with education data. The coaches will meet you where you are skills-wise, and help you navigate data for a particular project while also building your overall data skills.
This year, we’re going virtual. The training will be delivered in four half-day sessions on October 12-13 and October 19-20. And it’s free to EWA member journalists. (If you’re not a member, apply today.) Deadline is Sept. 24.
Space is limited for this competitive program. Applicants must provide a letter of recommendation from their editor. Also, we highly recommend that participants plan to use two screens for the workshop. Letters of recommendation should be sent to data (at) ewa.org
So, what are you waiting for?