2019 EWA National Seminar

Overview

72nd EWA National Seminar
Renaissance Harborplace Hotel • Baltimore
May 6-8, 2019

EWA’s National Seminar is the largest annual gathering of journalists on the education beat. This year's event in Baltimore, hosted by Johns Hopkins University's School of Education, will explore an array of timely topics of interest to journalists from across the country, with a thematic focus on student success, safety, and well-being.

EWA’s National Seminar is the largest annual gathering of journalists on the education beat. This year’s event in Baltimore, hosted by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education, will explore an array of timely topics of interest to journalists from across the country, with a thematic focus on student success, safety, and well-being.

This multi-day conference is designed to give participants the skills, understanding, and inspiration to improve their coverage of education at all levels. It also will deliver a lengthy list of story ideas. We will offer numerous sessions on important education issues, as well as on journalism skills. And we will showcase the city of Baltimore.

The conference, tailored primarily to working journalists at independent news outlets, also welcomes other education content providers and communicators. Special features include the presentation of awards that honor the best in education reporting, a track of sessions tailored to communications professionals, and training on digital and data tools and strategies. 

Tip Sheet

EWA Tip Sheet: How to Cover Instruction

Many instructors still use traditional-style lectures despite growing scientific evidence that less-passive approaches are more effective in building students’ skills and knowledge. At the Education Writers Association 2019 National Seminar, Harvard professor Eric Mazur demonstrated to journalists how active engagement – both inside and outside the classroom – stimulates higher-order thinking and motivates students to learn.

Tip Sheet

EWA Tip Sheet: Using Facebook to Report

Reporters can use Facebook to create communities, start conversations, find story tips and sources, and build their individual brands. Lynn Walsh, a veteran reporter, walked journalists through ways to make the most of Facebook at the Education Writers Association’s 2019 National Seminar in Baltimore

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How to Cover Race Issues Accurately and Fairly

Examples of Americans — from prominent political and college leaders to teenagers – making tone-deaf or racist comments continue to make headlines in 2019. Journalists covering such incidents, or just reporting on people from different backgrounds, also need to be vigilant against committing their own faux pas. Deadline pressure, space constraints and implicit biases or lack of knowledge of other cultures can cause journalists to inadvertently make a hurtful statement.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Big Promises for Little Learners: What’s Next for Early Education?

Governors across the country are pledging to pump billions of dollars into early childhood education – historic investments that could have a far-reaching impact on the lives of young people.

But their success will depend on how well states implement those initiatives and the scope and quality of the programs put in place, advocates said during the Education Writers Association’s annual conference this month. And it will be up to journalists, the speakers said, to hold those states accountable.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

EWA Awards Finalists Tell ‘How I Did the Story’

Want to tell a gripping tale? Be prepared to be patient — and really listen — when you do the reporting for your story.

That’s what Chalkbeat Chicago education reporter Adeshina Emmanuel said as he spoke to a room full of education reporters in the EWA session “How I Did The Story, K-12,” describing his method for a story about a 16-year-old Chicago student who could not read.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Hidden Stories on Classroom Curriculum

What students learn every day in their classes is the core of the K-12 enterprise. And yet, unless it’s part of a really terrible lesson that goes viral, content is rarely the focal point for education news coverage.

As curriculum rises on policymakers’ agendas, it should also be a focus of the nation’s education reporters, agreed panelists at the Education Writers Association’s 72nd annual conference in Baltimore this month.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Top 10 Higher Education Story Ideas for 2019-20
Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik says admissions, free speech and rising graduation rates will make headlines.

While the hottest higher education story of early 2019 involved celebrities trying to bribe their kids’ way into elite colleges,  many other important stories are likely to make news in the 2019-20 academic year, according to Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed.

The veteran higher education journalist and editor listed the 10 topics he thinks every higher education reporter should be ready to cover in the coming months. 

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Covering How ‘Varsity Blues’ Affects College Admissions
Experts suggest following up with investigations into large inequities and sports recruiting.

The “Varsity Blues” scandal involved a small group of wealthy families using bribes and other tactics to gain admissions to selective colleges. But it also illuminated broader admissions problems – particularly those involving income disparities – that should be examined by education reporters, according to experts who spoke at the 2019 Education Writers Association seminar in Baltimore.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Six Story Ideas for Covering Race on Campus
College student body diversity, recruiting practices and history

Journalists who want to better cover the reality of the racial environment on college campuses should broaden their focus beyond protests against Confederate statues or controversies over yearbook pictures, advised a group of researchers, educators and veteran journalists gathered at the Education Writers Association’s 2019 National Seminar in Baltimore.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Tips on Covering Race Issues Responsibly
Ask followup questions, add context and use the "R" word carefully.

When covering race issues, journalists can get things things very right, or very wrong. From their story choices, to the context they add and the words they use, opportunities — and risks — abound. That’s especially true for reporters covering schools and colleges, which have been ground zero for some of the most important racial incidents and news stories of the recent past.

Post

Claudio Sanchez: ‘I Saw Myself’ in Stories of Children Whose Struggles Are Overlooked
Longtime NPR Education Report Accepts EWA Lifetime Achievement Prize

Here’s the full text of the speech longtime National Public Radio reporter Claudio Sanchez delivered after receiving the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Prize from the Education Writers Association. The prize was created in memory of longtime Baltimore education journalist Mike Bowler, who died in 2018.

Key Coverage

Top DeVos Deputy Dismisses Criticism of Her Choice Plan As ‘Fearmongering’

A senior official in the U.S. Department of Education has dismissed concerns about a Trump administration school choice plan from a conservative think tank as “outright fear-mongering.” 

Jim Blew, the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development, dismissed the criticisms from the Heritage Foundation, a right-leaning think tank that strongly supports educational choice, during a discussion at the Education Writers Association National Seminar on Tuesday. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Secretary DeVos Comes Face to Face With Education Reporters

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos defended her education agenda in front of hundreds of education reporters on Monday, as she discussed efforts to expand school choice and the reversal of policies and guidance set forth by the Obama administration on student discipline, special education, and student loan forgiveness.

Key Coverage

DeVos Might Not Serve as Ed. Secretary If Trump Re-elected

Betsy DeVos hinted Monday that should President Donald Trump get re-elected in 2020 that she might not serve as education secretary during his second term.

“I’m not sure my husband would be OK with that,” said DeVos of her husband, Dick DeVos, a former Michigan gubernatorial candidate, after hesitating before delivering her response.

Key Coverage

Betsy DeVos Says Great Teachers Should Earn $250,000

At the Education Writers Association conference in Baltimore today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos drew a gulp from the crowd when she said, “Great teachers should be making at least half as much as Randi Weingarten does at a half a million dollars a year.”

Announcement

Submit Your Proposal for a Lightning Talk
Journalist and Community Members are invited to make brief presentations at National Seminar

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 2019 National Seminar in Baltimore. We’ll hold an online vote just before the conference to decide who will speak.

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