Agenda

69th EWA National Seminar: Agenda
May 1 – 3, 2016 • Boston

Sunday, May 1

Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

New to the Beat

8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

New to the Beat is EWA’s orientation and mentoring program for journalists with less than two years’ experience on the beat. This workshop session, led by seasoned newsroom experts, covers beat basics including accessing open records; using education research in everyday reporting; building sources; and tips for interviewing teachers and students.

  • Michael Morisy, MuckRock
  • Denise-Marie Ordway, Journalist’s Resource
  • Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association
  • Holly Yettick, Education Week Research Center (moderator)

Community Engagement as a Reporting Tool

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

Media outlets across the country are reaching out to their communities in strategic ways, and it’s making a difference in their ability to report on key issues. Speakers offer advice on savvy ways to engage members of various communities and add extra dimensions to stories. Bring your own ideas for reader engagement or challenges you’ve faced.

  • Shaina Cavazos, Chalkbeat Indiana
  • Keith Hammonds, Solutions Journalism Network
  • Anika Anand, The Seattle Times (moderator)

Community Member Track: Keeping Up With the Zuckerbergs

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

In the 10 years since Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey posted his first tweet — “just setting up my twttr” — a lot has changed in social media. Which platforms — next-generation and old school — should you be using for audience engagement, and how? This session examines a range of platforms and takes a deep dive on a few highly effective tools.

  • Daren Briscoe, GMMB
  • Jack Fleming, The Education Trust
  • Ashley Inman, Collaborative for Student Success
  • Patrick Riccards, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
  • Michelle Lerner, District of Columbia Public Schools (moderator)
  • Barbara McKenna, WestEd (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Data Tools for Beginners

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

DataBasic is a new tool developed by the MIT Civic Engagement Lab that can introduce journalists to the world of spreadsheets — without the need for understanding the complexities of Excel. A journalism professor walks spreadsheet newbies through exercises in how to use DataBasic. Bring a laptop to this session.

  • Catherine D’Ignazio, Emerson College
  • Sarah Karp, WBEZ (moderator)

Enhancing Stories With Audio

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

Stories online aren’t just print and pictures anymore. Often they incorporate audio of interviews, scene-setting sounds, and other audio techniques. WBUR offers participants the opportunity to learn how to incorporate audio seamlessly into the text of a story.

  • Carey Goldberg, WBUR
  • Louise Kennedy, WBUR

Getting in Deep: Immersing Yourself in a Difficult Education Story

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

Award-winning Boston Globe journalist Meghan Irons shares lessons from her reporting on two complex stories about students and race: one on equity and campus climate at Boston Latin, the nation’s oldest public school; and another that looked closely at school desegregation 40 years after the tumultuous debut of court-ordered busing in Boston.

  • Meghan Irons, The Boston Globe (Presentation Links)
  • Denise Amos, The Florida Times-Union (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Inequity in Higher Education: Stories in the Data

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Which colleges are doing the most to help students climb the socioeconomic ladder? Is inequity expanding in higher education, with colleges spending money on wealthier students while lower-income students do without? Award-winning journalists show how you can use data to answer these questions.

  • Ron French, Bridge Magazine
  • Robert Kelchen, Seton Hall University/Washington Monthly
  • Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report
  • Annie Waldman, ProPublica
  • Kenneth Terrell, Education Writers Association (moderator)

Investigative Reporting: Tracking Special Education Documents

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

The K-12 investigative reporting track offers a how-to session on digging into public documents that help reporters examine special education policies, highlights journalists’ work on how teachers charged with abusing students are staying in the classroom, and explores how five elementary schools were allowed to become “failure factories.”

  • Steve Reilly, USA Today
  • Francisco Vara-Orta, Investigative Reporters and Editors (moderator)

Using Data to Report About Poverty

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

EWA members get a sneak peek at a massive study that analyzes 215 million test scores from 80,000 schools over the past five years. The results offer a detailed description of inequality in educational outcomes across school districts and racial groups. Reporters also receive guidance on how to report on the links between poverty and education.

  • Sean Reardon, Stanford University (Presentation)
  • Alejandra Matos, Minneapolis Star Tribune (moderator)

Investigative Reporting: Bad Teachers on the Loose

9:50 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.

The K-12 investigative reporting track offers a how-to session on digging into public documents that help reporters examine special education policies, highlights journalists’ work on how teachers charged with abusing students are staying in the classroom, and explores how five elementary schools were allowed to become “failure factories.”

  • Cara Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Times
  • Lisa Gartner, Tampa Bay Times
  • Francisco Vara-Orta, Investigative Reporters and Editors (moderator)

Community Engagement as a Reporting Tool

10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Media outlets across the country are reaching out to their communities in strategic ways, and it’s making a difference in their ability to report on key issues. Speakers offer advice on savvy ways to engage members of various communities and add extra dimensions to stories. Bring your own ideas for reader engagement or challenges you’ve faced.

  • Shaina Cavazos, Chalkbeat Indiana
  • Keith Hammonds, Solutions Journalism Network
  • Anika Anand, The Seattle Times (moderator)

Community Member Track: Life After the Newsroom

10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Join us for a lively discussion with former journalists who have navigated their way into the communications field – and sometimes back into journalism. What skills transferred and what did they need to learn? What might journalists and communications pros want to look for in their next position?

  • Jeff Frantz, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kathleen Manzo, Education Week
  • James Minichello, AASA | The School Superintendents Association
  • Kat Stein, University of Pennsylvania (moderator)

Covering Segregation Using Data

10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

A researcher walks reporters through national data on segregation in public schools and explains different ways of measuring segregation and its link to academic achievement gaps. Reporters also receive guidance on how they can apply that data and research to their own communities.

  • Sean Reardon, Stanford University (Presenation)
  • Alejandra Matos, Minneapolis Star Tribune (moderator)

Enhancing Stories With Audio

10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Stories online aren’t just print and pictures anymore. Often they incorporate audio of interviews, scene-setting sounds, and other audio techniques. WBUR offers the opportunity to learn how to incorporate audio seamlessly into the text of a story.

  • Carey Goldberg, WBUR
  • Louise Kennedy, WBUR

Finding — and Telling — Great Stories

10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Strong voices can mean the difference between good stories and great ones. Journalists gain practical insights to sharpen their skills in this narrative writing workshop session led by Louise Kiernan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and editor at the Chicago Tribune, and now associate professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

  • Louise Kiernan, Northwestern University (Presentation)
  • Cornelia Grumman, Robert R. McCormick Foundation (moderator)

Meeting Parents’ Data Needs

10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

What data are parents of K-12 students hoping to find and how can news outlets help? The Data Quality Campaign and GreatSchools explore research on the school information parents seek and ways in which that information can be sharpened through data visualization — tricks that reporters can take back to the newsroom.

  • Kristina Saccone, GreatSchools
  • Dakarai Aarons, Data Quality Campaign (moderator)

Investigative Reporting: Investigating ‘Failure Factories’

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

The K-12 investigative reporting track offers a how-to session on digging into public documents that help reporters examine special education policies, highlights journalists’ work on how teachers charged with abusing students are staying in the classroom, and explores how five elementary schools were allowed to become “failure factories.” (Presentation Slides)

  • Cara Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Times
  • Lisa Gartner, Tampa Bay Times
  • Francisco Vara-Orta, Investigative Reporters and Editors (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Working Lunch: Report on State of the Education Beat and Member Meeting

11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

  • Hardin Coleman, Boston University
  • Scott Elliott, Chalkbeat Indiana
  • Thomas Fiedler, Boston University
  • Caroline Hendrie, Education Writers Association (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

A Family Affair: Engaging Parents of Color

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Incorrect assumptions from educators about the attitudes and aspirations of families living in poverty, particularly low-income families of color, can affect students’ experience in school. The session explores what a new survey of parents of color shows. Experts in family and community engagement discuss how schools should work with families.

  • Pious Ali, Portland Empowered
  • Mayra Quiroz Alvarado, Univision
  • Adriana Flores-Ragade, Univision
  • Tyler Lewis, The Leadership Conference Education Fund
  • Joy Resmovits, Los Angeles Times (moderator)

By the Book: Jeff Selingo, There Is Life After College

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Jeffrey Selingo explores why gaining admission to college, even a top-ranked school, is no longer enough for teenagers to move successfully into their twenties. Nowadays, what students do in college is much more important than where they go to school.

  • Jeffrey Selingo, author
  • Felice Nudelman, Antioch University (moderator)

Community Member Track: Diversity Part I: Higher Ed

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

As America’s demographics continue to rapidly shift, how are institutions of higher education adjusting to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population of students? Experts discuss strategies for recruiting and retaining underrepresented students and faculty, improving the campus climate and boosting student achievement.

  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
  • Menah Pratt-Clarke, Virginia Tech
  • Debbie Veney, NewSchools Venture Fund
  • Cathy Grimes, Virginia Tech (moderator)

K-12 How I Did the Story

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Hear from finalists in this year’s EWA National Awards for Education Reporting on how they put together their stories.

  • Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun
  • Celia Llopis-Jepsen, Topeka Capital-Journal
  • Cory Turner, NPR
  • Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat New York
  • Beth Shuster, freelance education editor/writer (moderator)

Lightning Talks

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

EWA is offering a series of eight speedy talks from National Seminar participants for National Seminar participants. Come check out advice from your colleagues on a wide array of topics, from why you should love pivot tables to mistakes journalists make when covering education research.

Here’s the schedule of talks as well as how many votes each topic received.

5 Mistakes Journos Make When Covering Ed Research – 54

Are you making these five common mistakes when covering educational research? Learn about common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Holly Yettick, Editorial Projects in Education (Presentation)

How to Really Talk with Boys from Diverse Backgrounds – 42

Let’s face it—white women trying to talk for real with African American males, especially teens, is tough for teachers and reporters, too. I’ve tried it both ways and learned from failure. Also, what to do when you just can’t get them talking. Maureen Kelleher, freelance (Presentation)

Want Access to a School? Ask the Right Person – 40

I convinced skeptical officials to give me access to a troubled Memphis high school for an entire year. During that year, I went everywhere I wanted. In this lightning talk, I’ll describe how I negotiated this unbelievable level of access. It turns out the method is simple — if you want access to a school, there is one key person that you need to convince first. Daniel Connolly, Memphis Commercial-Appeal (Presentation)

Pivot Tables Will Change Your Life – 36

Pivot tables are a simple, yet powerful Excel feature that let you quickly group and summarize large amounts of data. Learn how to turn school level data into district statistics or individual college campus information into state averages. Sarah Butrymowicz, The Hechinger Report

Maximizing Digital Media for Reporting – 36

Digital education reporting has largely taken the form of print media, and we have seen how the evolution of the news format online has drawn audiences. I will review successful ways to use podcast, videos and other media in digital news. Jenny Abamu, International Education News (Presentation)

I Upped My Data Game. Up Yours! – 32

Ready to move beyond Excel? Using real-world data, I’ll introduce you to the six simple words that will demystify Structured Query Language and start you on the path to taking your data reporting to the next level. Really, SQL is intuitive and easy! Matthew Kauffman, Hartford Courant (Presentation)

Time Management Tips From & For Ed Journalists – 30

Here’s how your colleagues who participated in the State of the Education Beat, released at the National Seminar, find time for in-depth coverage. This is an “extra.” You won’t find this material in the published report! Holly Yettick, Editorial Projects in Education

How to Make the Most of NBER – 28

Of all the e-alerts that I get, few are more vital to my education coverage than the National Bureau of Economic Research. Learn how to get NBER’s latest research and turn it into news stories on a regular basis. Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education (Presentation)

Missing Class: Using Data to Track Chronic Absenteeism

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Students’ attendance at school can predict much about their chances of academic success. A reporter shows attendees how to acquire key data to craft a series about high absentee rates and a leading advocate will discuss the implications of missing so much school.

  • Hedy Chang, Attendance Works (Presentation)
  • James Vaznis, The Boston Globe (moderator)

Paper Tigers: Trauma and Schooling

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The documentary “Paper Tigers” looks at students at a Washington state alternative high school that focuses on educating traumatized young people, exploring what happens to children exposed to chronic stress. Following the movie, the director/producer answers questions and a panel explores relevant research on trauma, stress and learning.

By the Book: Kristina Rizga, Mission High

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Kristina Rizga tells stories from the four years she spent immersed in one of the nation’s most diverse public high schools. She follows four teachers and their students as they struggle against efforts to close the school, resist pressure to focus on test scores, and create highly effective classrooms.

  • Kristina Rizga, author
  • Katherine Lewis, independent journalist (moderator)

Community Member Track: Diversity Part II: PreK-12

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

For decades, educators, policymakers and activists have been trying to improve academic outcomes, especially for black, Latino, and low-income students. Results have been mixed, and the education reform movement does not reflect the diversity of the communities it wants to help. How do we bridge the gap, and bring more diverse voices to this work?

  • Melanie Brown, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Kenya Downs, PBS NewsHour
  • James Minichello, AASA | The School Superintendents Association (moderator)
  • Debbie Veney, NewSchools Venture Fund (moderator)

Ethical (and Legal) Questions on Interviewing Students

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Do reporters need permission from parents to interview their kids? Should they get a consent form signed? What if a student admits to drug use or committing a crime? When it comes to interviewing young people, rules are sometimes different. Ethical, legal and journalistic issues are involved, further complicated by digital privacy concerns.

  • Mark Memmott, NPR Standards & Practices Editor
  • Ashley Messenger, NPR Senior Associate General Counsel
  • Steve Drummond, NPR (moderator)

Interviewing DREAMers

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children are often known as “DREAMers,” for the failed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. In the face of instability, many DREAMers have turned to advocacy. DREAMers share their immigration stories and discuss the media’s approach to reporting on the undocumented.

  • Erendira Calderon, Fearless Undocumented Alliance
  • Ainslya Charlton, UndocuBlack Network
  • Jose Machado, Miami Dade College
  • Jin Park, Act on a Dream at Harvard College
  • Christine Armario, The Associated Press (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Measuring Poverty: National School Lunch Program and SES

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

The percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch is the journalist’s go-to proxy for signaling the level of school poverty. But with federal law now allowing greater flexibility to provide all of schools’ students with free lunch, some data may be misleading. Learn about the hazards of this data proxy and efforts to come up with a new measure.

  • Peter VanWylen, Memphis Teacher Residency (Presentation)
  • William Ward, National Center for Education Statistics (Presentation)
  • Melissa Sanchez, Catalyst Chicago (moderator)

The Massachusetts Story

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Massachusetts’ public schools consistently earn top grades when compared to those in other states, and score well against some high-achieving countries on international assessments. But those high marks don’t cancel out persistent challenges and achievement gaps. Experts discuss ongoing improvement efforts and potential lessons from the Bay State.

  • Tommy Chang, Boston Public Schools
  • Hardin Coleman, Boston University
  • Paul Reville, Harvard University
  • Deborah Becker, WBUR (moderator)

By the Book: Linda K. Wertheimer, Faith Ed

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Courts long ago banned public school teachers from preaching of any kind. But the question remains: How much should schools teach about the world’s religions? Answering that question has pitted schools against their communities. Education journalist Linda K. Wertheimer traveled around the nation, listening to voices on all sides of the debate.

  • Linda Wertheimer, author
  • Nan Austin, Modesto Bee (moderator)

Higher Ed How I Did the Story

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hear from finalists in this year’s EWA National Awards for Education Reporting on how they put together their stories.

  • Jodi Cohen, Chicago Tribune
  • Stacy St. Clair, Chicago Tribune
  • Eric Hoover, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Josh Mitchell, The Wall Street Journal
  • Michael Vasquez, Miami Herald
  • Larry Gordon, EdSource (moderator)

PANEL DISCUSSION: Paper Tigers: Trauma and Schooling

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The documentary “Paper Tigers” looks at students at a Washington state alternative high school that focuses on educating traumatized young people, exploring what happens to children exposed to chronic stress. Following the movie, the director/producer answers questions and a panel explores relevant research on trauma, stress and learning.

  • Amanda Moreno, Erikson Institute
  • Michelle Porche, Boston University
  • James Redford, Filmmaker
  • Jim Sporleder, Lincoln Alternative High School
  • Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post (moderator)

Community Member Track: Journalists’ Top Education Stories of 2016-17

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Will U.S. Secretary of Education John King get his wish to add another “e” for “Equity” to ESSA? Are there any interesting stories left to tell about the Common Core? How can education reporters cover the 2016 presidential campaign? Three seasoned education journalists hold a fast-paced discussion and debate on which top K-12 stories will dominate the news in the coming year.

  • Elizabeth Green, Chalkbeat
  • Cory Turner, NPR
  • Emmeline Zhao, RealClearEducation
  • David Hoff, Hager Sharp (moderator)

Covering Education With Cultural Sensitivity

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Reporters covering education need to be aware of their own perspectives and biases when covering students and families of color. This session offers guidance on how to avoid tired tropes and stereotypes.

  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine
  • Jesse Holland, The Associated Press
  • Kristina Rizga, author

Ethical (and Legal) Questions on Interviewing Students

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Do reporters need permission from parents to interview their kids? Should they get a consent form signed? What if a student admits to drug use or committing a crime? When it comes to interviewing young people, rules are sometimes different. Ethical, legal and journalistic issues are involved, further complicated by digital privacy concerns.

  • Mark Memmott, NPR Standards & Practices Editor
  • Ashley Messenger, NPR Senior Associate General Counsel
  • Steve Drummond, NPR (moderator)

Making Sense of Global Achievement Data

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

A new round of international data will be released this year from two major assessments, once again sparking debate about the standing of U.S. students on the global stage. Experts share insights on how to interpret and use the results from the PISA and TIMSS exams, which collectively cover math, reading, and science.

  • Matthias von Davier, Educational Testing Service
  • Ina Mullis, Boston College
  • Liana Heitin, Education Week (moderator)

Mining Social Media for Reporting

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Social media is a busy place in education. Parents, students, teachers and schools regularly use social media to discuss everything from classes to cancellations. How can journalists mine the data in social media to inform their coverage? Bring a laptop to this session.

  • Maggie Mulvihill, Boston University
  • Kyle Stokes, KPCC (moderator)

By the Book: Dale Russakoff, The Prize

4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced his $100 million pledge to transform the downtrodden schools of Newark, New Jersey, then-mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie were beside him, vowing to help make Newark “a symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation.” Dale Russakoff’s book tells the story of what happened next.

  • Dale Russakoff, author
  • Leslie Brody, The Wall Street Journal (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Welcome Reception, Hosted by Boston University

5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

EWA Awards Banquet

6:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

The Education Writers Association announces and honors the winners of the 16 categories in the 2015 National Awards for Education Reporting.

  • Robert Brown, Boston University
  • Scott Elliott, Chalkbeat Indiana
  • Cornelia Grumman, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • Greg Toppo, USA Today 

Monday, May 2

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Who succeeds in life? Angela Duckworth, whose new book on grit debuts in May, reviews her research on the tendency to pursue long-term goals with perseverance and passion. She explains the predictive power of grit and shares her thoughts on how to cultivate this hotly debated trait.

  • Angela Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania (Presentation)
  • Kate Zernike, The New York Times (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Election 2016: The Stakes for Pre-K-12 Education

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

What implications does the presidential election hold for the future of pre-K -12 policy? What direction would the leading candidates pursue? How might a shift in Congress’s political balance complicate matters? Meanwhile, a dozen governors’ seats are in play, from Oregon to Indiana and North Carolina, setting the stage for state-policy shifts.

  • Frederick Hess, American Enterprise Institute
  • Andrew Rotherham, Bellwether Education
  • Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
  • Martin West, Harvard University
  • Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

EWA Express Talks: Equity, Poverty, and Education

9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

This special, morning-long session features a series of speakers aiming to illuminate under-recognized or under-reported facets of the challenges of providing equitable opportunities for all students. Topics examined include social mobility, cultural questions, combatting trauma, and solutions focusing on equity.

  • Tiffany Anderson, Jennings (Mo.) School District (Presentation)
  • Ronald Ferguson, Harvard University (Presentation)
  • Sonja Santelises, Education Trust (Presentation)
  • Mario Small, Harvard University (Presentation)
  • Paul Tough, author
  • Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University (Presentation)
  • Steve Drummond, NPR (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Top 10 Higher Ed Stories You Should Be Covering This Year

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Inside Higher Ed co-founder and editor Scott Jaschik offers his insights on the most important stories journalists should be following in the upcoming academic year.

  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
  • Felice Nudelman, Antioch University (moderator)

Higher Education and the 2016 Elections

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

With the Higher Education Act due for reauthorization, the next president will be able to play a key role in influencing the future of postsecondary education. From proposals for debt-free college to the legacy of Trump University, this session examines the role higher education has played in the 2016 campaigns.

  • Kimberly Hefling, Politico
  • Michael Stratford, Inside Higher Ed
  • Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education (moderator)

Rethinking Accountability in the ESSA Era

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act ushers in a new era that gives states and districts considerable leeway to reshape school accountability. What’s flexible and what’s not in the new K-12 law? What changes are on tap in states? And what are the implications for ensuring that schools serve all students effectively?

  • Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • George Miller, former member of U.S. House of Representatives
  • Mike Petrilli, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Becky Pringle, National Education Association
  • Lauren Camera, U.S. News & World Report (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

State-by-State Rankings of College Affordability

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

The cuts in state funding to higher education during the Great Recession created bigger bills for families for college costs. Now that the economy has officially recovered, which states are doing better when it comes to making college affordable?

  • Julie Bell, National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Patrick Callan, Higher Education Policy Institute
  • William Doyle, Vanderbilt University
  • Joni Finney, University of Pennsylvania
  • Bridget Long, Harvard University
  • Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report (moderator)

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, known for “Bowling Alone,” examines the state of the American dream in his newest work. He discusses whether equality of opportunity still exists and whether all kids, regardless of background, have the chance to improve their lot in life.

  • Robert Putnam, Harvard University
  • Claudio Sanchez, NPR (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Luncheon Keynote

12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. offers his views on the national education landscape, with a focus on equity. Mayor Martin Walsh delivers welcoming remarks.

  • John King, U.S. Department of Education
  • Martin Walsh, City of Boston
  • Nicholas Donohue, Nellie Mae Education Foundation
  • Greg Toppo, USA Today (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Educating Immigrant Children for Success

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

As many immigrant children navigate a new language in a new country, some schools across the nation are ill-equipped to meet their needs. What strategies have been successful to help these children develop the language and academic skills necessary to succeed? And what will changes to federal education policies mean for this demographic group?

  • Rosanna DeMammos, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Frances Esparza, Boston Public Schools
  • Madeline Mavrogordato, Michigan State University (Presentation)
  • Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Higher Ed: Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell discusses federal efforts to improve quality and equity in postsecondary education. In recent months, the department has released a report recognizing schools that help low-income students earn degrees and worked to simplify the process to help borrowers hurt by the collapse of Corinthian Colleges.

  • Ted Mitchell, U.S. Department of Education
  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed (moderator)

Inequities in Technology: Bridging the Digital Divide

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Studies show a growing digital divide among families: Lower-income families might have smartphones, but not much else. And there is also a digital “use” divide among schools. Schools in high-poverty communities might have an abundance of technology, but not ask their students to do much with it. Most school systems report they are doing nothing to address outside of school access to broadband – the so-called “homework gap.” This panel explores challenges and solutions.

Learning Deeply in the Real World

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Jal Mehta is one of the leading researchers on what it takes to learn deeply. He has challenged the focus on grit and suggested that the “deeper learning” push has a race problem. His talk describes what he expected to see when he visited schools practicing deeper learning and what he actually saw.

  • Jal Mehta, Harvard University
  • Ki Sung, KQED MindShift (moderator)

More Than Scores: Assessing Teacher Evaluations

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

As NCLB gives way to ESSA, will states continue with aggressive efforts to evaluate teacher performance without a federal incentive? What do we know about how teacher evaluations are influencing school improvement, student achievement, and classroom equity? Where are collaborative efforts among districts, union leaders, and states bearing fruit?

  • Elizabeth Davis, Washington (D.C.) Teachers Union
  • Nathan Jones, Boston University (Presentation)
  • Heather Peske, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Thomas Toch, Georgetown University (Presentation)
  • Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week (moderator)

One-Stop Shops? Common Enrollment Systems

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Several cities have recently instituted single enrollment systems for district-run and charter schools. The idea is to make the school choice process simpler and more equitable for families. But the efforts have not always been smooth, and recent efforts to create similar systems in cities such as Boston and Oakland have sparked heated debate.

  • Neil Dorosin, Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice
  • Betheny Gross, Center on Reinventing Public Education
  • Kim Janey, Massachusetts Advocates for Children
  • Rachel Weinstein, Boston Compact
  • Arianna Prothero, Education Week (moderator)

Preparing Principals for Leadership

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Eight in 10 school superintendents in a recent survey expressed dissatisfaction with the way principals are trained at university preparation programs. And more than half of university officials in another survey say they plan to change how they train principals. Speakers advise reporters on how to spot the hallmarks of good training programs.

  • Vincent Cho, Boston College
  • Erika Hunt, Illinois State University
  • Glenn Pethel, Gwinnett (Ga.) County Schools
  • Emma Brown, The Washington Post (moderator)

The Push to Expand AP Enrollment

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Participation in Advanced Placement courses has soared over the past decade. But some experts question how well the program prepares students for higher education, and some institutions are becoming stricter about awarding college credit for passing scores on AP exams. Experts take stock of the program and its role in college readiness.

  • Jason Manoharan, College Board
  • Carmen Melendez-Quintero, North Attleborough (Mass.) High School
  • Philip Sadler, Harvard University
  • Laura Isensee, Houston Public Media (moderator)

Students at Center Stage

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Many conversations about school improvement skip an essential element: student voices. This session stars students who are learning to advocate for themselves — both inside and outside the classroom. What’s firing them up, particularly in “student-centered learning” environments? What do they want reporters to know about the real world of schools? (All Presentations)

  • Yanine Castedo, The Met School (Providence, R.I.)
  • Lissette Castillo, Fenway High School (Boston)
  • Naseem Haamid, Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School (New York City)
  • Ryan Marquis, Pittsfield (N.H.) Middle High School
  • Kalise Osula, Youth on Board (Boston)
  • Trinidad Ramkissoon, Boston Day & Evening Academy
  • Salim Salim, Deering High School (Portland, Maine)
  • Carla Velasquez, Codman Academy (Dorchester, Mass.)
  • Jodie Woodruff, The Met School (Providence, R.I.)
  • Dan Carsen, Southern Education News Desk (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Free for All? Debates Over Universal Pre-K

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Some advocates frame free, universal access to preschool as a civil rights issue vital to narrowing the achievement gap. Critics claim the evidence for the benefits of this approach have been oversold. In this session, educators and researchers share their studies and experiences with universal pre-K and debate its merits versus targeted pre-K.

  • Mark Lipsey, Vanderbilt University
  • Scott Moore, Kidango
  • Cybele Raver, New York University
  • Lillian Mongeau, The Hechinger Report (moderator)

Growing Pains in the Charter Sector?

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Massachusetts is home to a heated battle over whether to lift the state’s cap on the number of charter schools. In other places such as Detroit, Los Angeles and Nashville, debates over charter growth have intensified. What are the barriers to growing the sector, whether explicit caps or other policies? How should communities manage growth?

  • Juan Cofield, New England Area Conference of the NAACP
  • Shannah Varón, Boston Collegiate Charter School
  • David Welker, National Education Association
  • Todd Ziebarth, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (moderator)

Higher Ed: Solutions Showcase Part 1

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Higher education has its problems, but some scholars and administrators have come up with programs that other colleges could follow to improve student retention and graduation. For part one of this showcase, learn about the effectiveness of mentoring and improving students’ motivation and sense of belonging.

  • Mary Murphy, Indiana University (Presentation)
  • Lindsay Page, University of Pittsburgh (Presentation)
  • Mikhail Zinshteyn, Education Writers Association (moderator)

Once More With Feeling: Social and Emotional Learning

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Kids aren’t born ready to read or do math. And they’re not born ready to pay attention, stay calm and feel invested in school. That’s where social and emotional learning comes in. Hear from a leading scholar on social and emotional learning and from an administrator charged with providing students a socially and emotionally rich education.

  • Stephanie Jones, Harvard University
  • Amalio Nieves, Boston Public Schools
  • Evie Blad, Education Week (moderator)

Racial Turmoil on College Campuses

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

From the University of Missouri to Yale, protesters are advocating for solutions to racial tensions on campus, fueled recently by rhetoric from a polarizing presidential campaign. How do student activists decide it’s time to take a stand, and how do protests get organized? What effect could the presidential election have on campus climate?

  • Caroline Bauman, University of Missouri
  • Erendira Calderon, Fearless Undocumented Alliance
  • Asanni York, Black Justice League
  • Collin Binkley, The Associated Press (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Teaching Teachers About the Science of Learning

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

A coalition of education deans is trying to acquaint tomorrow’s teachers with concepts established in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. How can memory be improved? How do students retain information longer? Learn about the ideas and the movement to equip all teachers with a cognitive science toolkit.

  • Mayme Hostetter, Relay Graduate School of Education
  • Nora Newcombe, Temple University
  • Benjamin Riley, Deans for Impact
  • Elizabeth Green, Chalkbeat (moderator)

Student STEM Fair

4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Students of all ages from local schools and community partner programs will showcase their innovative and interactive STEM projects. In addition to the exhibition, you can try out the Boston Museum of Science’s hands-on challenges as well as engineering construction activities provided by DEILAB.

Code of Conduct: Ethics for Educators

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The teaching profession does not have a formal code of ethics, but efforts to change that are underway. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification has created a “Model Code of Ethics for Educators” aimed at helping teachers avoid misconduct and make better, more equitable decisions. What’s behind this bid?

  • Troy Hutchings, Educational Testing Service
  • Phillip Rogers, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification
  • Charol Shakeshaft, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Elizabeth Willen, The Hechinger Report (moderator)

Common Core Math Teaching Demonstration Lab

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

An expert teacher walks reporters through videos of Common Core math lessons and offers guidance on what good teaching to the standards looks like.

  • Audra McPhillips, West Warwick (R.I.) Public Schools
  • Jenny Brundin, Colorado Public Radio (moderator)

Getting High-Quality Teachers to Disadvantaged Students

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Low-income and minority students are less likely to have experienced, high-quality teachers, research shows. What steps can school districts and educators put in place to improve these statistics? Panelists share some strategies.

  • James Cole, U.S. Department of Education
  • Sonja Santelises, Education Trust
  • Dyan Smiley, American Federation of Teachers
  • Jeffrey Solochek, Tampa Bay Times (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Higher Ed: Hunger on Campus

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Even as college enrollment among low-income students has risen, so too have college costs, leaving many students without the means to buy their next meals. From food pantries to food stamps, this session explores what colleges are doing to help the growing number of students facing “food insecurity.”

  • Pam Eddinger, Bunker Hill Community College (Presentation)
  • Sara Goldrick-Rab, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Presentation)
  • Shannon McAvoy, Norwalk (Conn.) Community College
  • Rebecca Villarreal, The Kresge Foundation (Presentation)
  • Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education (moderator)

Watch a Video Recording

Higher Ed: Solutions Showcase Part 2

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

What works to improve student retention and completion? For part two of this showcase, learn about Temple University’s efforts to pay students not to work, help students graduate in four years, and keep student costs low. Then, hear acclaimed reporter Paul Tough discuss ways to translate promising research into compelling stories.

  • Peter Jones, Temple University (Presentation)
  • Paul Tough, author
  • Mikhail Zinshteyn, Education Writers Association (moderator)

School Security — Inside or Out?

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

As concerns about mass shootings increase, so too do schools’ efforts to safeguard students. But are poorly funded schools getting left behind because they can’t afford the newest technologies? And can schools go too far — and make their campuses feel more like prisons?

  • Robin Lambert, Rural School and Community Trust (Presentation)
  • Erroll Southers, TAL Global Corporation (Presentation)
  • Kenneth Trump, National School Safety and Security Services
  • Leah Clapman, PBS NewsHour (moderator)

When States Take Over Schools

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

More states are turning to school turnaround agencies, like those in Louisiana and Tennessee, empowered to enact sweeping changes to school structure and staff. Hear from a leading scholar of such systems and journalists who have covered them in a session on the kind of agencies in place or being considered in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin.

  • Gary Henry, Vanderbilt University (Presentation)
  • Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press
  • Grace Tatter, Chalkbeat Tennessee (moderator)

EWA Awards Reception

5:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

EWA hosts the journalist who led the Boston Globe investigation featured in “Spotlight,” which won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Picture, and announces the winners of the Ronald Moskowitz Prize for Outstanding Beat Reporting, the Edwin Gould Foundation’s Eddie Prize, and the Fred M. Hechinger Award for Distinguished Education Reporting.

  • Mark Bieler, Edwin Gould Foundation
  • Scott Elliott, Chalkbeat Indiana
  • Thomas Fiedler, Boston University
  • Cornelia Grumman, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • Walter Robinson, The Boston Globe
  • Scott Widmeyer, Widmeyer Communications – a Finn Partners Company 

Broadcast Journalists Reception

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Hosted by WBUR

Higher Education Reception

8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success Team

Pre-K-12 Education Reception

8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Hosted by the National Education Association

Pre-K-12 Education Reception

8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Secure Schools Alliance

Tuesday, May 3

Breakfast

7:45 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Site Visit: Codman Academy Charter Public School

7:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Codman Academy Charter Public School uses an “experiential learning” model that stresses depth over breadth, fieldwork to reinforce academic instruction, social-emotional learning, the arts, and social justice. The 9-12 school partners with organizations such as a local health clinic and theater to give students chances for real-world learning.

Site Visit: Revere High School

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Revere High School serves a diverse, high-needs community, with Hispanic students making up over half of enrollment. With support from public and private grants, the open-enrollment campus has seen significant academic gains since adopting a “student-centered learning” approach, which includes “flipped” classrooms and competency-based instruction.

Deep Dive: New Trends in Student Testing

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Amid huge changes in the field, efforts are afoot to rethink the amount of student testing, the use of results, and the very nature of tests. This deep dive examines the rapid shifts in state tests, research on urban-district testing, and advances in performance-based and other next-generation assessments. Participants also take and score test items.

  • Michael Casserly, Council of the Great City Schools
  • Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Kathleen Cotton, Rochester (N.H.) School District
  • Linda Hanson, Arlington (Mass.) Public Schools
  • Andrew Ho, Harvard University
  • Susan Lyons, Center for Assessment
  • Scott Marion, Center for Assessment
  • Lee Sheedy, Rochester (N.H.) School District
  • Tony Siddall, Next Generation Learning Challenges
  • Erik Robelen, Education Writers Association (moderator)
  • Linda Shaw, The Seattle Times (moderator)

Site Visit: Boston Arts Academy

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

As a pilot school within the Boston public school district, Boston Arts Academy trains a diverse, largely low-income student body from every Boston neighborhood in theater, music, dance and the visual arts. The academy is also home to the internationally recognized Center for Arts in Education and receives hundreds of visitors per year.

Site Visit: MATCH Charter Public School

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Match has gained national attention for strong outcomes for disadvantaged P-12 students. With four campuses, Match features high expectations, two hours daily of individual or small-group tutoring, an extended day, and strong teachers. It runs a teacher residency and graduate school of education, and a program to help graduates succeed in college.

Deep Dive: Higher Ed: Covering College Admissions

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

From the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action to alternatives to the Common Application, college admissions practices face the possibility of unprecedented changes as soon as next fall. In this deep dive, experts give journalists insights into what these changes mean for students, families and institutions.

  • Art Coleman, EducationCounsel
  • Michelle Asha Cooper, Institute for Higher Education Policy
  • Liliana Garces, Pennsylvania State University
  • Steven Goodman, Top Colleges
  • Joy St. John, Wellesley College
  • Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation
  • Harold Levy, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
  • Vicky Rivera, Boston Green Academy
  • Eric Waldo, Reach Higher
  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed (moderator)

Deep Dive: Reimagining High Schools

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The prevailing mold for America’s comprehensive high schools is a century old. While divergent models exist, their prevalence is limited. But now the push to re-engineer U.S. secondary education on a broad scale is gaining steam. This deep dive examines efforts to rethink high school, from established designs to startups still on the drawing board. Bring a laptop or mobile device to this session.

  • Nicholas Donohue, Nellie Mae Education Foundation (Presentation)
  • Andrew Frishman, Big Picture Learning
  • Sarah Karp, WBEZ
  • Monica Martinez, ConsultEd Strategists
  • Joel Rose, New Classrooms Innovation Partners
  • Shawn Rubin, Highlander Institute
  • Diane Tavenner, Summit Public Schools (Presentation)
  • Rebecca Wolfe, Jobs for the Future (Handout / Presentation)
  • Emily Hanford, American RadioWorks (moderator)
  • Lillian Mongeau, The Hechinger Report (moderator)

Deep Dive: School Segregation: What Does It Mean Today?

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Is there a trend toward greater racial isolation in public education? Is it important for students to attend diverse schools, and if so, why? What are promising ways to promote integration? What other approaches are needed to serve students of color? And why did busing fail, anyway? Experts and journalists offer context and perspective.

  • Matthew Delmont, Arizona State University
  • Cara Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Times
  • Lisa Gartner, Tampa Bay Times
  • Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation
  • L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, The City College of New York
  • Ann Owens, University of Southern California
  • Chris Stewart, Education Post
  • Farah Stockman, The New York Times
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine (moderator)
  • Kyle Spencer, The New York Times/The Hechinger Report (moderator)

Luncheon

12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

What’s Next for the SAT?

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

This year, students nationwide started to take a new version of the SAT, one that ditches arcane vocabulary words and tries to gauge better how students can apply what they have learned in classes. And through a partnership with Khan Academy, College Board is helping more students gain access to free resources to prepare for this influential exam. The president of College Board talks with journalists on the newest developments.

  • David Coleman, College Board
  • Eric Hoover, The Chronicle of Higher Education (moderator)

Keynote

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

The Republican governor discusses his vision for education in the Bay State and weighs in on timely topics in the news.

  • Charlie Baker, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Scott Elliott, Chalkbeat Indiana