74th EWA National Seminar

74th National Seminar Graphic
Overview

74th EWA National Seminar

EWA’s National Seminar is the largest annual gathering of journalists on the education beat. 

EWA’s National Seminar is the largest annual gathering of journalists on the education beat. 

Blog: Education by the Numbers

‘Don’t Go Back to the Old Normal’: Opportunities for Adolescent Learning Revealed by COVID-19
COVID-19’s effects on childhood brain development and those up to age 25 provides some new insights.

Long before the COVID-19 shutdown forced schools to launch remote learning, the nonprofit Challenge Success tracked student wellness, using the findings to encourage schools and families to rethink what constitutes “success” for students. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

4 Tips for Covering the Recovery of the Child Care Industry
Mindful approaches to reporting on early education and child care

The Biden administration’s ambitious plan to expand access to free universal preschool, increase the wages of child care providers to at least $15 an hour, and make child care more affordable for families sent ripples of optimism through the child care industry when unveiled this spring.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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. 

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Adolescence on the Mind: Helping Teens Out of the Pandemic

Building social connections outside the family, especially with peers, is key to healthy adolescent development. Yet isolation wrought by the pandemic has curtailed social opportunities.

What works to help adolescents overcome such setbacks? What do surveys of students in high school and middle school show about the impact of the past year?

Two national experts answered these and other questions during a May 5 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.

The participants were:

  • Adriana Galván, University of California Los Angeles
  • Denise Pope, Stanford University
  • Lydia Denworth, Scientific American (Moderator)

Adolescence on the Mind: Helping Teens Out of the Pandemic

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A Year of ‘Teachable Moments’: Civic Virtues and Character Education in Action

Following a tumultuous year, how can educators develop inclusive and supportive campus climates? How might a focus on character traits, such as integrity, compassion, justice, and empathy, improve student learning and outcomes?

What approaches are schools taking to nurture these traits through experiential learning and classroom instruction?

Educators and experts addressed these and other questions during a May 4 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.

The participants were:

  • Ashley Rogers Berner, Johns Hopkins University
  • Arria Coburn, The Springfield (MA) Renaissance School
  • Andrew Smarick, The Manhattan Institute
  • Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association (Moderator)

A Year of ‘Teachable Moments’: Civic Virtues and Character Education in Action

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Knowing and Addressing Students’ Social and Emotional Needs

The pandemic has interrupted social interactions and hurt student well-being. Understanding students’ social and emotional needs will be crucial in the coming year.

What new methods are emerging for gauging social and emotional needs, competencies and learning? How has the pandemic affected SEL and what does that mean for teaching and learning?

Speakers addressed these and other issues at a May 3 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.

The participants were:

  • Julia Joy Dumas Wilks, Great Oaks Charter School, Wilmington, Delaware
  • Libby Pier, Education Analytics
  • Juany Valdespino-Gaytán, Dallas Independent School District
  • Kevin McCorry, WHYY (Moderator)

Knowing and Addressing Students’ Social and Emotional Needs

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Child Care and Early Education: Crawling to ‘Recovery’ Amid the Pandemic

With federal stimulus funds set to be released to states this summer, how can reporters prepare to cover and track developments in the essential early care and education sector? 

As the field seeks to recover from the pandemic, experts offered guidance on what to watch for during a May 5 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar. They also suggested story ideas for education journalists to explore in the year ahead.

The participants were:

  • Katie Hamm, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Caitlin McLean, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
  • Rochelle Wilcox, Wilcox Academy of Early Learning
  • Jackie Mader, The Hechinger Report (Moderator) 

Child Care and Early Education: Crawling to ‘Recovery’ Amid the Pandemic

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What Pandemic-Driven Changes in Education Will Last, and Why?

Education will never be the same again. Or will it? 

COVID-19 disrupted business as usual in the K-12 and postsecondary domains, from the delivery of instruction to testing, parent-teacher conferences, college admissions and financial aid. 

To what extent will changes sparked or accelerated by the pandemic have staying power? What are the implications for educational equity?

Several experts tackled these questions and more during a May 4 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.

The participants were:

  • Daniel Domenech, AASA: The School Superintendents Association
  • Joshua Kim, Dartmouth College
  • Robin Lake, Center on Reinventing Public Education
  • Robert Vela, San Antonio College
  • Erica Green, The New York Times (Moderator)

What Pandemic-Driven Changes in Education Will Last, and Why?

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How to Turn Higher Education Coverage into Published Books

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)

How to Turn Higher Education Coverage into Published Books

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The COVID Slide and What to Do About It

One of the most important tasks schools face in the recovery is to pinpoint academic gaps students face, and devise strategies to effectively address them. 

This challenge is exacerbated by students’ widely varying experiences in the pandemic. 

Panelists at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar discussed key data on the scope of the learning gaps and promising practices to support students.

The participants were:

  • Emma Dorn, McKinsey & Company
  • Angélica Infante-Green, Rhode Island Department of Education
  • Sonja Santelises, Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Chastity Pratt, The Wall Street Journal (Moderator)

The COVID Slide and What to Do About It

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How Summer ‘School’ Will Look Different This Year

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)

How Summer ‘School’ Will Look Different This Year

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What Reporters Need to Know About State Testing in 2021

With the Biden administration largely holding fast on the resumption of state assessments this year, critical questions remain on the scope of testing, as well as what can and should be done with the results.

Experts discussed what testing will look like, strengths and limitations of the exams, and other key issues during a May 3 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.

The participants were:

  • Andrew Ho, Harvard University
  • Scott Marion, Center for Assessment
  • Lynn Vasquez, New Mexico Public Education Department
  • Erik Robelen, Education Writers Association (Moderator)

What Reporters Need to Know About State Testing in 2021

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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.

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How Schools (and Reporters) Can Better Connect With Parents
'Talk to us,' parent organizers urge

Participants

The grand experiment with remote instruction in the pandemic hasn’t just impacted teachers and students. It has also changed the relationship of parents to their children’s learning, and provided a firsthand look at the virtual classroom experience.

During a May 4 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar, parent advocates and researchers explored how the role of families in education may shift, and ways schools and others can support the change. 

How Schools (and Reporters) Can Better Connect With Parents

Click here to download the transcript of the 2021 family engagement session

The participants were: 

  • Sarah Carpenter, Memphis Lift
  • Keri Rodrigues, National Parents Union
  • Vidya Sundaram, Family Engagement Lab
  • Rebecca Winthrop, Center for Universal Education
  • Katherine Lewis, independent journalist (Moderator)
Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Are ‘Merit’-based Education Admissions Practices Racist?
Experts outline problems with - and efforts to improve - use of SAT scores, affirmative action, school lotteries.

Are ‘Merit’-based Education Admissions Practices Racist?

It is one of the thorniest topics in education: What criteria should be used to fairly determine which students are admitted to America’s “elite” public schools, colleges and universities? 

Many top schools have faced criticism in recent decades for not reflecting the nation’s racial and socioeconomic diversity.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Miguel Cardona’s Education Priorities: Addressing Disparities, Student Loans, Pre-K and More

Miguel Cardona

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona made his priorities clear at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar. 

Cardona vowed to “unapologetically address achievement disparities” and urge all schools to reopen for in-person learning during the wide-ranging conversation on May 3.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Teaching Respect and Tolerance in Tumultuous Times
What to know when reporting on character education

Teaching Respect and Tolerance in Tumultuous Times

It won’t be easy, but American schools need to do more to instill civic and moral virtues in their students, three experts said at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.

“For millennia, people thought moral character development was part of education, but that seems to have been abandoned in the U.S. in the last 20 years,” said Andy Smarick, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.