Legislation banning the teaching of “critical race theory” in schools and colleges is being advanced in statehouses all over the country. Lawmakers sponsoring these policies claim that such teaching is divisive, racist, and psychologically distressing. Opponents say that this is a manufactured misinformation campaign intended to chill teacher speech and limit educators’ ability to teach about race and racism.
How Will School Districts Leverage Stimulus Money for Summer Learning?
Here's why reporters should follow summer school plans in 2021 and post COVID-19.
Summer learning programs are offered across the country each year by school districts. But following the massive disruption of education sparked by COVID-19, there’s more pressure — and federal funding — to get it right, with meaningful and engaging learning opportunities in the summer.
‘We are not a monolith:’ How to Better Cover Race on Campus
Questions to ask about student activism, racism and racial injustice at colleges
For decades, college campuses have served as vital spaces for student activism, especially on issues of race. And, if anything, campus activism on racial issues has been ramping up in 2021.
Lessons From the Educational Equity Beat
Bianca Vázquez Toness of The Boston Globe shares insights from her coverage of vulnerable students, and holding education systems accountable
(EWA Radio Episode 272)
From an inside look at a 12-year-old struggling with remote learning to revealing that districts had wrongly forced parents to sign away their children’s rights to special education services, The Boston Globe’s Bianca Vázquez Toness put the spotlight on families whose educational experiences were most disrupted by the pandemic.
As schools gear up for education recovery over the next year, robust arts programs – in music, visual arts, theater and more – can be a powerful lever to help address key pandemic-driven challenges. That’s the case some arts education advocates are making.
After COVID-19 Reshaped Education, What’s Next for Teachers?
Experts offer four story ideas on the changing workforce, from educator turnover to federal stimulus money.
The pandemic has disrupted teaching and the teacher workforce in a big way.
As the nation pivots to education recovery mode, questions abound and the stakes are high, from hot-button issues like teacher turnover to how COVID-19 has impacted the teacher pipeline and the experience for novice educators who first set foot in a classroom – real or virtual – during the shutdown.
Tips for Scrutinizing Data on College Value
Are college students getting the best education for their (and taxpayers’) money?
What’s the “value” of a college education? As college costs rise, more people are questioning what they’re getting for their tuition and tax money.
Reporters investigating this important topic can access a growing number of databases that are starting to capture at least some aspects of value, according to Dominique Baker, an education policy professor at Southern Methodist University, and Robert Kelchen, a professor at Seton Hall University and data manager for the Washington Monthly College Rankings.
The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce its 12th class of EWA Reporting Fellows as part of the organization’s drive to support enterprising journalism that informs the public about consequential issues in education.
Teaching the Tulsa Race Massacre
Oklahoma wrestles with its history on centennial of destruction of Black neighborhood, and whether 'critical race theory' should be taught in schools
(EWA Radio Episode 271)
The Tulsa Race Massacre’s centennial has recently drawn headlines nationwide, but most Americans – including many educated in Oklahoma public schools – never previously learned about the tragic episode.
When Schools Get Hacked
In the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable K-12 and college systems are increasingly paying millions to unlock hijacked computer networks from hackers.
(EWA Radio: Episode 255)
Across the country, increasingly aggressive hackers are breaking into school computer systems and holding sensitive student information for ransom. Education leaders often quietly pay big bucks to regain control of their networks.
Covering alleged incidents of sexual assault is a difficult assignment for any journalist. Education reporters have to deal with the added complication of Title IX, the 39-page federal law that addresses sexual discrimination in education.
The Billion-Dollar School Safety Boondoggle
Millions of young people experience trauma related to gun violence, and the harm is overlooked in statistics about campus shootings or community incidents (EWA Radio Episode 267)
America’s gun violence crisis is leaving its mark on multiple generations of young people, who don’t need to be victims or even direct witnesses to shootings to suffer lasting harm.
‘Targeted:’ Sheriff Secretly Used School Records to Profile Students
Shool officials, parents had no knowledge of controversial program using grades, family histories to ID kids as potential criminals.
(EWA Radio: Episode 257)
In Pasco County, Florida, the sheriff’s department used students’ school records, including their grades and information about their family lives, to identify them as potential troublemakers.
Professional journalists who turned their beat coverage of higher education into books shared their experiences during a May 4 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.
Learn about the different ways they found literary agents, and how they approached their writing, publishing and promotion journeys.
The participants were:
- Adam Harris, The Atlantic
- Josh Mitchell, The Wall Street Journal
- Andy Thomason, The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Melissa Korn, The Wall Street Journal (Moderator)
Amid pressure to address massive learning disruption, student well-being, and inequities in opportunity, how are communities using this unusual summer?
School districts will have billions in fresh federal aid. You’ll hear more from district and community leaders during a May 4 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar. These leaders are seizing the opportunity to innovate and build a bridge to the coming school year.
The participants were:
- Aaron Philip Dworkin, National Summer Learning Association
- Ebony Johnson, Tulsa Public Schools
- Jennifer Peck, Partnership for Children and Youth
- Erin Richards, USA Today (Moderator)
Investigating the Benefits and Costs of Innovation at Colleges and Universities
Why education reporters should ‘maintain their professional skepticism’
The pandemic forced colleges to make immediate and dramatic innovations with technology to maintain instruction, admissions, counseling and other activities while campuses mainly shut.
Some of those changes proved to be lifesavers for institutions and their students. But others need to be carefully assessed on how well they work, particularly on whether they help adult learners, low-income students, and under-represented ethnic groups, educational leaders who specialize in innovation told reporters at Education Writers Association’s 2021 virtual National Seminar.
Video Tutorial: How to Use the College Scorecard Tool
Find college data on student loans, alumni earnings and more.
If you’re on the higher education beat, your readers are hungry for news and information about student loans and whether a particular college or major paid off in the form of a good job.
Luckily, the U.S. Department of Education has started providing free in-depth data on student debt levels and alumni earnings on its College Scorecard.
Video Tutorial: Downloading and Using College Scorecard Data
Analyze alumni earnings, student debt and other college data.
Data on how quickly people pay back their student loans, and how much alumni earn are among the most commonly cited indicators of the economic value of higher education.
So where do you find that important, and news-making data?
Check out the College Scorecard. The U.S. Department of Education provides free in-depth data on five areas: cost, graduation rate, employment rate, average amount borrowed and loan default rate.