Agenda: EWA 75th National Seminar
July 24-26, 2022

The Education Writers Association’s 75th anniversary National Seminar will provide a long-awaited opportunity for the community that cares about high-quality education journalism to gather in person for three days of networking, training and inspiration.

Photo of bleachers beside womens' baseball field.
EWA Radio

‘Unlevel Playing Fields’ for Girls’ Sports
As Title IX turns 50, a new investigation finds the federal law is failing to protect girls’ access to sports, and many parents and students don’t know the rights afforded by the landmark equity law
(EWA Radio Episode 293)

Title IX prohibits gender-based discrimination in school programs that receive federal funding – but how fairly is the law being applied, especially when it comes to girls’ high school sports? A reporting team of nearly two dozen student journalists at the University of Maryland, College Park, set out to answer that question in a wide-ranging project.

Why Reporters Should Cover Middle School

Why Reporters Should Cover Middle School
Learning about the middle school years will help journalists better cover youth learning and brain development.

Although middle school is often treated as just a way station between elementary and high school, there’s much more to the story. In fact, the middle school years are a time of profound change for young people – physically, emotionally, and intellectually. These years are a crucial time for learning and brain development, a reality that is often overlooked or misconstrued. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How Reporters Can Better Cover Enrollment Shifts at Public Schools
School finance experts tackle key questions and provide tips for reporters.

Some urban school districts across the country were already grappling with shrinking enrollment when COVID hit. But for many, the pandemic accelerated those student losses, with major implications for their budgets and stability.

For some, the historic influx of federal COVID relief dollars is softening the fiscal blow in the short term. But with birthrates continuing to decline and the effects of a “COVID baby bust” looming, how can public schools adjust to plummeting enrollment — even as they scramble to address the outbreak’s academic and mental health fallout? 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How to Better Cover LGBTQ Students in the Pandemic Era of ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ Book Bans and Other Issues
This deep dive catches reporters up on the legislation and issues affecting LGBTQ students. Read this main story and two other related pieces to improve your coverage.

Ranging from “Don’t Say Gay” laws to bans on transgender students’ participation in sports and on gay- and trans-themed books in schools, a record 238 anti-LGBTQ bills were filed in U.S. statehouses during the first three months of 2022. Even before the first were signed into law, the new measures had an impact in K-12 schools and on college campuses.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Getting Out of the Statehouse and Into the Schoolhouse When Covering LGBTQ Students

A consistent criticism from LGBTQ organizations of media coverage of assault on gay and trans rights is that it features too few of the people most affected. Here are three suggestions for education reporters seeking to counter this.

Challenge the narrative: Francisco Vara-Orta is a former Education Week staff writer and EWA board member who is now director of diversity and inclusion for Investigative Reporters and Editors. Reporters need to push back on misleading or false assertions, he says.  

Blog: The Educated Reporter

A Guide to the Guides: What to Know About LGBTQ Style Guides for Journalists

There are numerous LGBTQ style guides for journalists. Most include similar advice for what is and isn’t appropriate to ask gay and trans sources as well as how to steer clear of some oft-repeated misinformation. Offering your pronouns — e.g. she/her/hers, they/them/theirs — at the start of a conversation invites your interviewee to reply with the information they want you to have about their identity.

How to Report on School and College Finances Using the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) Database

How to Report on School and College Finances Using the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) Database
The searchable municipal bond database makes it easy for education journalists to find and examine municipal bond filings.

You don’t have to be a CPA to glean lots of story-worthy facts and trends from the Electronic Municipal Market Access, better known as EMMA.

EMMA is an often overlooked in-depth database of municipal securities data and documents. Education reporters can find and examine this data, but they may not know where to start. 

The Education Writers Association teamed up with Data Visualization Developer Peter D’Amato to create a how-to video and a list of resources for reporters on how to use the database.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Member Spotlight: Longtime EWA Community Member Reflects on His Journey From Reporter to Education Communicator
"Slow down to speed up" urges veteran communicator Juan Elizondo

Despite working in many roles, jobs and industries, Juan Elizondo says a few important consistent guidelines have enabled him to move from reporting (for the Associated Press) to editing (for the Austin American-Statesman and, later, Dallas Business Journal) to communications for an energy company and then for education nonprofits. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

EWA Tip Sheet: School Finance Reporting Tools and Databases
Learn how to find and use school-level spending data.

School funding can be very murky terrain to navigate for journalists. When the Every Student Succeeds Act took effect during the 2017-18 school year, it became a bright spot for data advocates. Under the federal K-12 education law, school districts across the U.S. were required to disclose school-level spending for the first time.

photo of Dino Sabic by Kathleen Greeson for EdSurge
EWA Radio

The Hopes and Fears of Teenagers
How listening to young people might improve college and job training programs intended to help them reach better futures (EWA Radio Episode 291)

“People can’t tell me what they’re going to college for. But they put themselves in thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars of debt—that doesn’t sound like it makes any sense. That’s like buying a car and not knowing how to drive.”


In Memoriam: Sierra Jenkins, Virginian-Pilot Education Reporter

It is with tremendous sorrow that we share the news of the death of EWA member Sierra Jenkins of The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press. She was shot and killed over the weekend in Norfolk, Virginia, while leaving a restaurant. She was 25. 

Jenkins joined EWA in fall 2021. She had already distinguished herself with strong education reporting for The Pilot and its sibling publication, the Daily Press. 


Join EWA’s New ‘Reporting With Education Research’ Program

“What does the research say about that?” If you have ever asked yourself that question when getting started on an education story – or think now is a good time to start – we’ve got just the program for you.

The Education Writers Association is accepting applications to join our new “Reporting With Education Research” program. Eligibility is a benefit of EWA membership, which is free for qualifying journalists.


Video: Can You Buy Improved Educational Outcomes?
SXSW EDU Conference March 8, 2022 Austin, Texas.

Does money really matter in education? How much? Under what circumstances? Amid an unprecedented influx of federal pandemic-relief aid for schools and pressure to make school finance systems more equitable, experts unpack the research on how spending affects student outcomes. Panelists also explore the implications of recent state-level school finance overhauls, including in Texas, and whether they hit the mark.