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The State of Private School Choice
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The State of Private School Choice
EWA National Seminar • Los Angeles May 16, 2018

Efforts to expand private school choice continue to spread, from vouchers for bullied students in Florida to education savings accounts and a new federal tax break for K-12 tuition. Such efforts also have a high-profile champion in U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. What’s happening, what’s ahead, and what impact are these programs having in communities?

Speakers:

Webinar

Summer Story Ideas for Education Reporters

Summer break is upon us, and there’s a host of compelling stories to cover on the education beat while school is out.

In this EWA webinar, a summer learning expert will explain the role summer break plays in widening achievement gaps, particularly for rural students, students with disabilities, and English-language learners. Also, the webinar will highlight examples of innovative work afoot to provide students with powerful summer learning experiences.

image of School Resource Officer
EWA Radio

In First-Ever Survey, School Police Speak Up
Campus safety, student civil rights, and active-shooter readiness in the spotlight (EWA Radio: Episode 170)

Who are the nation’s school police officers? Have they received adequate training to work with youths? And how prepared do they believe their campuses are for a mass shooting event? In a first-of-its-kind survey, Education Week got answers to these and many more questions from school resource officers. Reporter Evie Blad and Holly Yettick, the director of the Education Week Research Center, discuss the findings and their implications on this episode of EWA Radio.

image of Miami, Fla.
Seminar

Beyond the Numbers: Getting the Story on Latino Education
The Fifth Annual EWA Conference for Spanish-Language Media

The Education Writers Association is pleased to partner with NAHJ to offer a 1½-day institute on covering education at the NAHJ National Conference in Miami. The July 20-21 education coverage bootcamp, which will be held in Spanish,  will feature some of the most important and influential researchers and educational leaders in the field of Latino education. They will help journalists gain a better understanding of the education issues affecting Latino students in the U.S., such as the impacts of school choice, teacher demographics, and student loans. You’ll also get training on data sources that can help you buttress or generate  education stories.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Understanding ‘Janus:’ The High Court Case That Could Shake Up Teachers’ Unions

The U.S. Supreme Court is on the cusp of a decision that could reshape teachers’ unions, putting new pressure on them to convince educators that paid membership is worthwhile.

At issue is a case over whether public employees, including teachers, who choose not to join unions can be required to pay agency fees. (Those fees typically cover the costs of collective bargaining.)

image of Chicago Sun Times article CPS's Dirty Little Secrets
EWA Radio

Digging Up Dirt: This Reporter’s Investigation Finds Filthy Chicago Schools
Lax oversight of private custodial services a big factor, Chicago Sun-Times finds (EWA Radio: Episode 169)

When Chicago Public Schools decided to privatize its custodial and facilities maintenance services in 2014, district officials promised it would mean cleaner campuses. But as Lauren FitzPatrick of the Chicago Sun-Times reports in a new series, that’s a far cry from the reality. Instead, inspectors found rat and bug infestations, filthy bathrooms, and potentially hazardous conditions for students and staff.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

With States at the Wheel, What’s Next for School Accountability?
Issues to watch under ESSA, from report cards to achievement gaps

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act has put states back in the driver’s seat on school accountability.

No longer must states abide by what many perceived as the one-size-fits all federal mandates associated with ESSA’s predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act.

But what will this newfound freedom look like? And what should education reporters watch for to ensure states remain focused on closing achievement gaps and parents get an accurate and easy-to-grasp picture of school performance?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Five Questions to Ask After Court’s ‘Janus’ Ruling
Teachers' unions face uncertain future as decision looms

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling soon that could potentially deal a major blow to the size and strength of teachers’ unions.

The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31, pits public sector unions against employees who contend that requiring non-union workers to pay certain fees to the union violates their freedom of speech.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Shifting Response to School Shootings

School safety experts recently weighed in on how states and school systems are — and should be — responding to the spate of campus shootings.

They also shared best practices for journalists when covering the issue of school shootings, including how to analyze school districts’ prevention efforts, what stories to look for, and how to report on shootings while minimizing harm to mourning communities.

The May 16 panel came two days before yet another school shooting, this time at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, that led to 10 deaths.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

What’s Behind the Spate of Teacher Strikes?

As a growing number of teachers across the country hold strikes to advocate for better pay and increased education funding, new questions are arising about the power of teachers’ unions, the role of social media, and what teachers are doing to continue their efforts beyond large-scale work demonstrations.

During a May 16 panel at the Education Writers Association’s annual conference, speakers sought to contextualize the teacher actions, what they mean, and what’s next.

How High Do States Set the Academic Bar for Students?
Webinar

How High Do States Set the Academic Bar for Students?

When measuring what students know and can do on statewide tests, how high (or low) are the expectations for determining academic “proficiency”? A forthcoming report from the National Center for Education Statistics offers insights on this question, including state-by-state analysis.

image of teacher and students at Ohio Ave school.
EWA Radio

Helping Students Help Themselves
A social-emotional learning approach to school discipline (EWA Radio: Episode 168)

What would happen if teachers had the flexibility to handle classroom discipline issues on a case-by-case basis, rather than following top-down mandates from the district or the principal’s office? Writing for The Atlantic, Katherine Reynolds Lewis visited Ohio Avenue Elementary School in Columbus, where an effort to rethink approaches to bad behavior is paying big dividends.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

What’s Missing From Stories on Campus Free Speech?

Campus speech has become one of the hottest topics in higher education — especially in recent months, as clashes have turned violent and drawn the attention of President Donald Trump and the Justice Department.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Why Race and Equity Matter in Education Reporting

Education journalists must think more critically about the ways in which race, ethnicity and gender play into the stories they tell, a panel of experts said at the first keynote session at the Education Writers Association’s national seminar in Los Angeles last week.

Parkland Survivors and Other Youth Activists: ‘You’re Going to Listen to Us’ on Gun Violence
Blog: The Educated Reporter

Parkland Survivors and Other Youth Activists: ‘You’re Going to Listen to Us’ on Gun Violence
EWA National Seminar puts spotlight on students

In an emotionally charged session at the Education Writers Association’s national seminar, several student activists urged journalists to keep the national spotlight on gun violence and not let the shootings at a Florida high school and elsewhere be forgotten.