73rd EWA National Seminar
Top Biden Aide Talks Reopening Schools, Education Funding, Charters and More
Provides on-the-record comments in pre-election webinar
President-elect Joe Biden has a far-reaching education agenda that begins with actions to help schools reopen for in-person instruction, as well as plans to reverse key Trump administrative actions and more.
In a recent, on-the-record webinar, the Biden campaign’s national policy director, Stef Feldman, fielded questions from the Education Writers Association and its members around the country.
In 2020, Elections for Key State Posts Have High Stakes for Education
Governors, legislators, state superintendents on ballot
The race for the White House is (understandably) dominating headlines this election season, but when it comes to education policy and funding, a raft of state-level campaigns this year have a lot at stake.
One of former boxer Mike Tyson’s most famous maxims is that everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.
In the 2020-21 academic year, standardized testing — and just about every other aspect of school — is “getting punched in the face by COVID,” said Scott Marion, the executive director of the Center for Assessment, invoking the heavyweight champion at a panel on testing and accountability during the Education Writers Association’s 2020 National Seminar.
School Budget Cuts Amid COVID-19: Eight Areas to Watch
Public schools are 'on the brink of a financial disaster'
School is back in session for approximately 50 million students that attend public schools and over 3 million teachers, but the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way those institutions operate. District leaders are left to substantially nip and tuck their budgets during a pandemic-driven recession.
This tip sheet was compiled during an EWA 2020 National Seminar caucus on Following the K-12 Money. Participants, led by facilitator Tawnell Hobbs of the Wall Street Journal, shared strategies for tracking how school districts are spending money and budgeting dollars during the pandemic.
The pandemic and economic shutdown have slashed colleges’ tuition revenues, reduced state government funding for higher education and, in some cases, even wiped out football ticket sales. Colleges’ severe new financial challenges are already forcing many budget cuts and layoffs.
The Pandemic Is Taking a Toll on the Child Care System. Here’s What Analysts Say Is Needed to ‘Rebuild’
About half of all child care centers are expected to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and their meager share of federal relief funds cannot begin to address the crisis in an industry that serves an essential role in both early education and the economy, experts said during a recent panel hosted by the Education Writers Association.
Education Surges to Top Tier of Presidential Race Amid Pandemic
Journalists offer insights, story ideas on covering the schools angle
Education is not typically an issue that comes to the forefront in presidential races.
But months of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic have elevated conversations about how schools and elected officials are tackling the issue. In fact, education took a front seat in high-stakes negotiations this summer over a federal stimulus bill that has stalled.
How the Pandemic Is Changing the World of College Admissions
Journalists should examine access, enrollment uncertainty
Hundreds of colleges are going test-optional. Fewer students are filling out financial-aid forms. Everyone is staring down unknowns.
The field of admissions has been turned upside down, Eric Hoover, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, said as he kicked off a panel about college admissions and enrollment at the Education Writers Association’s 2020 National Seminar.
Schools Brace for Mental Health Challenges During COVID-19 and Civil Unrest
Experts discuss trauma, social and emotional development
As schools nationwide gear up for a new school year during the pandemic — whether virtually or in person — meeting the social, emotional and mental health needs of students and staff will be a huge challenge and priority for school systems.
Educators and counselors said stories are waiting to be told at every level of education as the combination of pandemic fears and racial injustice puts added pressures on students and teachers.
Schools Experiment to Allay the Inequitable Impact of COVID-19
Pandemic sparks calls for changes to technology, curriculum and funding.
In an effort to counteract the way COVID-19 is worsening many educational inequities, government and educational leaders around the country are trying a variety of interventions such as free headphones, traffic light Wi-Fi, and more explicit teaching about the realities of race relations.
Jeb Bush Says ‘Classic Conservatives’ Want More Educational Funding, Local Control and Parent Choice
Former Florida governor supports taxpayer vouchers, including for private schools with rules against hiring LGBTQ staff
Cable TV shouting heads can make it seem as if party politics — more than research — guides stances on how education leaders should respond to COVID-19. But in a conversation with education journalists, one prominent Republican outlined potential divisions among those who identify as conservatives.
Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and 2016 presidential candidate, called for additional federal funding to help schools during the public health crisis and to address historical inequities affecting low-income students.
Young Activists Offer Tips, Share Hesitations on Working With Journalists
'Amplify their voices,' and remember this may be their first media experience
When high schoolers Eric Luo and Zoe Monterola saw how inaccessible grocery delivery services were for at-risk populations in their hometown of Santa Clarita, California, they knew something needed to be done.
“Seeing people pay hundreds of dollars just so people can grocery shop for them … these issues affect us. That’s something that we can change,” Zoe said.
The Scramble for Effective Special Education in a Pandemic
Virtual learning often doesn't work for students with disabilities, experts say
The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has created reopening challenges for schools across the nation, but those challenges are magnified for the seven million students with disabilities whose educational plans and therapies often rely on the structure of a classroom setting and face-to-face services and lessons.
What Will ‘Back to Campus’ Mean? Analyzing Universities’ Plans for Reopening This Fall
While many schools are online-only, those returning in person get tough
Want to return to a college campus this fall? You’ll have to strictly follow tough rules. Fail to wear a mask or follow other strict safety requirements at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., and “you will be excised from the community. You will be voted off the island,” warned President Roslyn Artis.
DeVos’ Top Deputy: COVID-19 ‘Underscores’ Need for School Choice
US assistant education secretary James Blew also addresses testing waivers
If anything, the global pandemic has deepened U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s commitment to all forms of school choice, top deputy James Blew told reporters in a keynote question-and-answer session at the Education Writers Association’s 73rd National Seminar, held remotely in late July.
Educating During COVID: Superintendents and College Leaders Scramble to Fill Students’ New Needs
Solutions include more financial aid, free headphones and traffic light wifi hotspots
Pedro Martinez, the superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District, oversees the education of almost 50,000 students. Ninety percent live in poverty, he said, and half of the families in the district make less than $35,000 a year. Martinez described educating students, kindergarten through high school, who live in cramped homes without computers or internet connections since the pandemic hit in March.
US Rep. Bobby Scott: ‘If You Can’t Open Schools Safely, Don’t’
Congressman details schools' planning, funding, and Republican discord during EWA interview
If schools can be opened safely, then do it. “If you can’t do it safely, you shouldn’t do it at all.” That’s the view of the Democratic congressman with the most clout in federal education policy.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, dismissed recent CDC guidelines that emphasize the importance of reopening schools in a Friday, July 24 webinar at the Education Writers Association’s National Seminar.
Missed some of the sessions this week — or just want to relive some of the great moments? We’ve gathered some outstanding quotes from our speakers in this post.