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Coronavirus Stimulus: What Relief Is Coming
For K-12 and Higher Ed?

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act—dubbed the CARES Act—includes over $30 billion in relief for schools and colleges. The unprecedented aid package, which President Trump signed March 27, has many wondering what’s next: How will the funds be distributed? How will relief dollars be spent? And, is it enough?

Join EWA at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 31, for a CARES Act explainer webinar.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Child Care and Early Learning During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Five Stories to Tell
How is COVID-19 impacting early childhood education?

The new coronavirus outbreak is sending shock waves through the nation’s K-12 and higher education systems. But how is the spread of COVID-19 affecting the littlest learners, ages 0 to 5, and the adults who teach and care for them?

The situation is fast evolving, and each state is responding to the child care conundrum differently. Here are five story ideas reporters can pursue to dig into the pandemic’s effects on their local early education workforce and the children and families they serve.

P-16 Topic

Topics Page: Coronavirus and Education
How schools and colleges are responding to COVID-19

The rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) — which the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic — has big implications for P-12 and higher education in the United States. Education journalists around the country are playing a vital role in helping communities understand the situation, from school closures to plans for distance learning and making sure high-need students maintain access to wraparound services like health care and meals.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Coronavirus Effect: Story Ideas on Students, Schools
How COVID-19 is poised to reshape the learning experience

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t just a public health story. It’s also an education story; many of them, actually. With most of the nation’s public and private schools now closed, education reporters are on the front lines of crisis coverage. News outlets around the country are a crucial source of information for communities.

Here are a handful of story ideas to tap in covering what continues to be a fast-changing situation on the preschool through secondary education front, with lots of strong examples of enterprising news coverage.

EWA Radio

EWA Radio: The Impact of the Coronavirus on Education
How the health crisis is impacting students, schools
(EWA Radio: Episode 232)

As the coronavirus pandemic expands in the U.S., education reporters are on the front lines of the news coverage, with nearly three-quarters of public schools either closed or planning to close in coming days, and many colleges and universities moving to online learning or ending the semester outright.

Announcement

Journalists: Please Take Our ‘State of the Education Beat’ Survey

How is the education beat changing? What are the biggest challenges and biggest stories? How much do education reporters and editors get paid these days? To answer these and other important questions, we need your help.

EWA is partnering with the Education Week Research Center to conduct a national survey of working journalists who cover education. The survey is anonymous and should only take a few minutes to complete. It’s the cornerstone of an EWA project to produce a second State of the Education Beat report later this year.

EWA Radio

Two States, Two Takes on Teaching U.S. History
New York Times compares history textbooks for California and Texas, and finds partisan politics help shape the content
(EWA Radio: Episode 227)

They say history is a tale told by winners — so who’s writing the textbooks for the two most populous states? And how are the differing political climates in California and Texas reflected in those materials? what do the differences in those books reveal about the political climate do they tell Dana Goldstein, a national education correspondent for The New York Times, read over 4,800 pages of U.S. history textbooks to determine how the political leanings of policymakers and the appointed textbook review committees influence what students — and future voters — are being taught about the nation’s history.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Talking With Teens: Tips for Interviewing Adolescents
How finding, and elevating, teen voices enriches reporting

While reporting on a school in a neighborhood with a high homicide rate, Los Angeles Times reporter Sonali Kohli stressed to students she interviewed that they were empowered to control the conversation. 

Many teenagers view a professional journalist as an authority figure and might feel pressure to give “correct” answers, Kohli said. That’s why she starts each interview with the premise that a student can end the conversation at any time or ask their own questions.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Responsible Reporting on LGBTQ Students
Tips for coverage of youths' mental health, well-being, and more

The news media must do a better job of covering the challenges faced by LGBTQ youths, a trio of advocates and educators told journalists attending an Education Writers Association seminar on adolescent learning and well-being in February.

Rob Todaro, the press secretary for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youths, urged reporters to pay more attention to elevated rates of depression and suicide among such youths, saying increased public awareness “will go a long way towards saving lives.”

Announcement

Submit Your Proposal for a Lightning Talk
Journalist and supporting community members are invited to make brief presentations at National Seminar

Note: EWA has extended the deadline to submit a proposal to March 30.

Got a brilliant idea to share and looking for a national platform? EWA is inviting proposals from journalist and supporting community members to offer brief presentations at the 2020 National Seminar in Orlando. We’ll hold an online vote just before the conference to decide who will speak.

We’ve held these “Lightning Talks” for journalists before at the National Seminar, and they received some of the best reviews of the conference.

Education Reporting That Counts: Covering the 2020 Census
Webinar

Education Reporting That Counts: Covering the 2020 Census

The federal head count of the nation’s residents is underway, and federal officials are turning to public schools to help spread the word. The outcome of the census could have significant implications for public schools and education funding: It helps determine federal funding for programs and services, as well as congressional districting.

Seminar

73rd EWA National Seminar
Rosen Centre Hotel • Orlando
May 27-29, 2020

EWA’s National Seminar is the largest annual gathering of journalists on the education beat. This year’s event in Orlando will explore an array of timely topics of interest to journalists from across the country, with a thematic focus on with a thematic focus on the vital roles that education and journalism play in democratic societies.

EWA Radio

When College Students Aren’t College-Ready
Thousands of students struggle at Chicago’s two-year colleges. Is an overhaul of developmental ed. programs enough to help?
(EWA Radio: Episode 231)

In Chicago, thousands of students are earning high school diplomas but showing up at the city’s two-year colleges unprepared for the next step in their academic journeys. In a new project, Kate McGee of WBEZ looked at efforts to buck that trend, including an innovative program developed not by outside experts but the system’s own faculty.  Along the way, she explored a number of questions: Do students benefit more from remedial classes that re-teach them material they were supposed to master in high school, or from being placed directly into college classes with additional support like tutoring

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Five Tips for Education Reporters Covering the Coronavirus
How COVID-19 health crisis could impact students and schools, and what education leaders are doing to prepare

As the number of reported cases of the COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, continues to mount in the U.S., here are five things education reporters should keep in mind when covering the health crisis and its impact on schools and colleges. (This post will be periodically updated as circumstances warrant.)

EWA Radio

Are Schools Adequately Preparing Students to Vote?
As political controversies trickle into classrooms, civics teachers connect curriculum to current events
(EWA Radio: Episode 207)

With the youth vote expected to be an important factor in the 2020 election cycle, civics teachers are increasingly using current events to help students understand the democratic system — and to be engaged and informed citizens. Reporter Stephen Sawchuk of Education Week shares insights from his news organization’s “Citizen Z” project, focused on the state of civics education in the U.S., including how it shapes individuals’ perspectives and community engagement beyond voting.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Super Tuesday: The Education Angles
What's at stake for public education in the 2020 election?

A flurry of education-related conversation surfaced at the most recent Democratic presidential debate on Feb. 25, as candidates exchanged jabs and defended their positions on charter schools, student loan debt, and setting up young people for meaningful careers.

The 10th debate came at a pivotal moment, just days before voters in 14 states will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday (March 3). With education taking a back seat in prior debates, the rapid-fire discussion caught the attention of education journalists and pundits.

Tip Sheet

EWA Tip Sheet: Using Data on Risky Youth Behavior
Here's how to use CDC survey findings in your reporting

Today’s teenagers are generally steering clear of risky behaviors compared to young people in years past, but they still face hazards, especially if they identify as LGBTQ. The biennial Youth Risk Behavior survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks at key risk factors that can make high schoolers more susceptible to diseases, violence, and death. 

“You don’t have to know Excel to find story hooks in here,” said Daniel Willis, education journalist and session moderator.

Participants who contributed to this advice: