Agenda: EWA 71st National Seminar
Los Angeles • May 16-18, 2018

Tuesday May 15, 2018

5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Welcome Reception (Westin Bonaventure Hotel)

  • Hosted by National Education Association

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Registration Open (Westin Bonaventure Hotel)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

All concurrent sessions are held in the Gould School of Law’s Musick Building or the Wallis Annenberg Hall.

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. Continental Breakfast (Bovard Lobby South)

8:45 – 8:50 a.m. Welcome (Bovard Auditorium)

  • Caroline Hendrie, Education Writers Association

8:50 – 10:00 a.m. Big Ideas on Equity, Race, and Inclusion in Education (Bovard Auditorium) – Shaun Harper of the University of Southern California explores key issues journalists should consider when covering equity, race, and inclusion in education. Other experts respond.

  • Shaun Harper, University of Southern California
  • Estela Bensimon, University of Southern California
  • Pedro Noguera, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Michael Petrilli, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Greg Toppo, Inside Higher Ed (moderator)

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

How Colleges Use, Abuse, and Hide Student Data (Gould/Musick Room 101) – Experts and journalists discuss what data higher education institutions collect on students and how to access that information in light of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

  • Gina Johnson, Association for Institutional Research
  • Paula Lavigne, ESPN
  • Frank LoMonte, University of Florida
  • Annie Waldman, ProPublica (moderator)


How Personal Is Personalized Learning? (Gould/Musick Room 7) – With lesson playlists, digital portfolios, and other ed-tech tools proliferating in America’s K-12 classrooms, what do we know about the power – and limits – of technology to customize the student experience?

  • April Chou, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Larry Cuban, Stanford University
  • Heidi Vazquez, Compass School/Highlander Institute
  • Jenny Abamu, EdSurge (moderator)


The Many Faces of Janus: Teachers’ Unions on the Docket (Wallis Annenberg Room 105) – An upcoming Supreme Court decision could deal a major blow to the size and strength of teachers’ unions. Panelists discuss the future of organized labor and implications for public education.

  • Lily Eskelsen García, National Education Association
  • Julia Koppich, J. Koppich & Associates
  • William Messenger, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
  • David Washburn, EdSource (moderator)

Newsrooms for All? Journalists’ Viewpoint Diversity (Gould/Musick Room 1) – A recent spate of media firings and resignations sparked by political discord has lent urgency to questions about diversity of thought in newsrooms. Some of those involved in high-profile cases, and journalists who have pushed newsrooms to include alternative viewpoints, discuss how groupthink can limit both coverage and careers, and how newsrooms can encourage a variety of perspectives.

  • Waliya Lari, TEGNA
  • Alan Richard, freelance
  • Justin Simmons, freelance
  • Kevin D. Williamson, commentator
  • Maura Walz, Southern California Public Radio (moderator)


The State of Educational Equity (and Inequity) in Schools (Gould/Musick Room 3) – Too many students attend schools that are still separate and unequal, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights observed in a recent report. Experts and policymakers discuss the reality and solutions.

  • Howard Fuller, Marquette University
  • Catherine Lhamon, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Pedro Noguera, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Steve Drummond, NPR (moderator)


Noon – 12:45 p.m. Lunch (Town and Gown Ballroom) – Welcome by University of Southern California Provost Michael Quick


12:45 – 1:30 p.m. Keynote: Diversity in the Journalism Workforce (Town and Gown Ballroom) – Recent surveys show newsrooms lag in ethnic and gender diversity. What are solutions, and how do education reporters fit into the mix?

  • Danielle Belton, The Root
  • Laura Castañeda, University of Southern California
  • Jon Funabiki, Renaissance Journalism
  • Jesse Holland, The Associated Press
  • Francisco Vara-Orta, Education Week (moderator)

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. Break

2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Deep Dive on Hispanic Students Access to and Success in Higher Education (Wallis Annenberg Room 101)

A. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. - Improving Hispanic Access to Higher Education What obstacles are preventing today’s Hispanic students from pursuing education beyond high school? From finances to “college knowledge,” experts explore barriers to higher education and how to overcome them.

  • Zoe Corwin, University of Southern California
  • Yamilet Medina López, University of Southern California
  • Marcos Montes, Cal State LA 
  • Michele Siqueiros, Campaign for College Opportunity
  • Esmeralda Fabián Romero, LA Report (moderator)

B. 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Why Hispanic Students Do – or Don’t – Graduate
Getting into college is less than half the battle. What matters most for turning acceptance letters into degrees? What practices are institutions adopting to promote the success of Latinx students?   

  • Luis Maldonado, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Ninfa Murillo, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
  • Andrés Castro Samayoa, Boston College
  • Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Southern California Public Radio (moderator)

C. 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Ins and Outs of Public Data on Higher Ed In this introduction to federal information sources, learn how to obtain and understand free government data on Hispanics in higher education to generate stories and buttress your reporting.

  • Andrés Castro Samayoa, Boston College
  • Sara Garcia, Center for American Progress
  • Wil Del Pilar, The Education Trust
  • Mc Nelly Torres, freelance (moderator)


2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

The State of Private School Choice (Wallis Annenberg Room 105) – Efforts to expand private school choice continue to spread, from vouchers for bullied students in Florida to education savings accounts and a new federal tax break for K-12 tuition. Such efforts also have a high-profile champion in U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. What’s happening, what’s ahead, and what impact are these programs having in communities?

  • Howard Fuller, Marquette University
  • Maggie Garrett, National Coalition for Public Education
  • Preston Green III, University of Connecticut
  • Adam Peshek, Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • Caroline Hendrie, Education Writers Association (moderator)


Covering LGBTQ Issues in the Classroom (Gould/Musick Room 130) – Learn how shifting cultural attitudes and growing political support for the LGBTQ community are influencing classroom instruction and curriculum, from history to sex education.

  • Dominic Le Fort, Queer Education (QEDU)
  • Rick Oculto, Our Family Coalition  
  • Krystal Torres-Covarrubias, Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • Theresa Harrington, EdSource (moderator)


Understanding Public School Segregation Data (Gould/Musick Room 7) – Are schools in communities around the country becoming more segregated? Experts and educators will provide explanations of and context for school segregation and the related data.

  • Alvin Chang, Vox Media
  • Meredith Richards, Southern Methodist University
  • Patrick Wolf, University of Arkansas
  • Sheneka Williams, University of Georgia
  • Emmanuel Felton, The Hechinger Report (moderator)


Where Are States Headed on Accountability in the ESSA Era? (Gould/Musick Room 3) – Learn what’s changing in how states approach school accountability in light of new federal leeway. Will parents get better information? Will states continue to keep a strong focus on closing achievement gaps?

  • Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
  • Lillian Lowery, The Education Trust
  • Michael Petrilli, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Erica Green, The New York Times (moderator)


Covering the New Reality on Campus: Adult Learners (Gould/Musick Room 103) – The profile of the “traditional” college student is changing. Panelists discuss how colleges and public policy are (or are not) adapting to meet the needs of adult learners.

  • Michael Cunningham, National University System
  • Corrine Gordon, Northern Arizona University
  • Brian Jones, Strayer University
  • George Miller, Cengage Learning
  • Larry Gordon, EdSource (moderator)


How I Did the Story (Higher Ed) (Gould/Musick Room 1) – Journalists recognized in the National Awards for Education Reporting share their stories and insights, including mining public records, narrative reporting, and making the most of the daily beat.

  • Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker
  • Melissa Korn, The Wall Street Journal
  • Michael Vasquez, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Liz Willen, The Hechinger Report (moderator)


Community Member Track: How to Translate Research for the Public (Gould/Musick Room 101) – In this session geared to EWA community members, researchers and communications experts explain how to translate wonky numbers and data into digestible, pithy information that translates smoothly for the public.

  • Terri Carbaugh, California State University, Long Beach
  • Jackie Kerstetter, Education Next
  • Morgan Polikoff, University of Southern California
  • Jeffrey Frantz, University of Pennsylvania (moderator)

3:00 – 3:30 p.m.  Break

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Charter Schools 101 (Gould/Musick Room 1) – Journalists with deep experience covering the charter schools sector offer a primer, plus share advice on effective coverage and how to navigate charged debates over these public schools of choice.

  • Eva-Marie Ayala, The Dallas Morning News
  • Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
  • Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
  • Erik Robelen, Education Writers Association (moderator)


Covering Schools’ Preparation and Response to Shootings (Wallis Annenberg Room 105) – Armed teachers, school resource officers, threat assessment programs: Learn about the nationwide rethinking of campus safety that has followed the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

  • Kristen Harper, Child Trends
  • Amy Swearer, The Heritage Foundation
  • Kenneth Trump, National School Safety and Security Services
  • Tawnell Hobbs, The Wall Street Journal (moderator)


Free Speech on Campus (Gould/Musick Room 7) – Amid recent polling suggesting that students prioritize inclusion over free speech, experts discuss how colleges are trying to balance rights to free expression with respect for students’ wishes to limit speech perceived as hateful.

  • Brandon Busteed, Gallup
  • Jane Kirtley, University of Minnesota
  • Linus Owens, Middlebury College
  • Josh Blackman, South Texas College of Law Houston
  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed (moderator)


An ESSA Guide for Reporters (Gould/Musick Room 103) – Journalists offer guidance on tracking implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, including how to read and interpret state ESSA plans and how to make sense of revamped state report cards.

  • Daarel Burnette II, Education Week
  • Daniel Willis, EdSource
  • Carolyn Phenicie, The 74 (moderator)


They’re Not Gonna Take It: When Teachers Walk Out (Gould/Musick Room 3) – In West Virginia, Oklahoma, and elsewhere, teachers are standing up and walking out. Is this the beginning of a national movement? Local leaders share their experiences and analysts discuss the national picture.

  • Chad Aldeman, Bellwether Education Partners
  • Ed Allen, Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers
  • Bartlett Cleland, American Legislative Exchange Council
  • Katie Endicott, Mingo Central Comprehensive High School (Delbarton, W. Va.)
  • Moriah Balingit, The Washington Post (moderator)


Community Member Track: Analytics and Measuring Impact (Gould/Musick Room 101) – If you Tweet it, they will come…. Or will they? Putting content out on social media is relatively easy. This community member session will focus on the most effective tools communications professionals can use to gather analytics data and identify and analyze their impact.

  • Neha Singh Gohil, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Patrick Dougall, Southern California Public Radio
  • Lyndsay Green-Barber, Impact Architects
  • Barbara McKenna, Learning Policy Institute  (moderator)

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Break

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Top 10 Higher Ed Stories You Should Be Covering This Year (Gould/Musick Room 3) –  In one of EWA’s most popular regular sessions, a leading national higher education journalist offers his top 10 story ideas for the coming year.

  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Caucuses - Colleagues with common interests come together in this collection of community-building meetings. Journalists and EWA community members share tips, discuss challenges, and get to know one another.

California Reporter Caucus (Wallis Annenberg Room 106)

  • Facilitator: Joy Resmovits, Los Angeles Times

EWA Reporting Fellows Caucus (Gould/Musick Room 2)

  • Facilitator: Kelly Field, Freelance

New to the Beat Reporter Caucus (Gould/Musick Room 103)

  • Facilitator: Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association

K-12 EWA Community Member Caucus (Gould/Musick Room 101)

  • Facilitator: Jelena Hasbrouck, The Education Trust–West

Radio Reporter Caucus (Wallis Annenberg Room 101)

  • Facilitator: Kyle Stokes, Southern California Public Radio

Rural Schools Reporter Caucus (Wallis Annenberg Room 106)

  • Facilitator: Samantha Hernandez, Green Bay Press Gazette

Urban Schools Reporter Caucus (Gould/Musick Room 130)

  • Facilitator: Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Bridge Magazine


6:30 – 8:00 p.m. National Awards for Education Reporting Banquet  (Town and Gown Ballroom) The Education Writers Association announces and honors the winners of the 16 categories in the 2017 National Awards for Education Reporting.

8:30 – 10:30 p.m.  Receptions (Westin Bonaventure Hotel)

  • Hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Hosted by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Thursday May 17, 2018

All concurrent sessions are held in the Gould School of Law’s Musick Building or the Wallis Annenberg Hall.

7:15 – 8:00 a.m. Breakfast

8:00 – 9:15 a.m. Plenary on Student Activism (Tutor Campus Center Ballroom) – Hear from student leaders of anti-violence community groups, as well as those advocating for stricter gun control in the wake of recent school shootings.

  • Emma Gonzalez, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, Fla.)
  • David Hogg, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, Fla.)
  • Alex King, North Lawndale College Prep High School (Chicago)
  • Jackson Mittleman, Newtown High School (Newtown, Conn.)
  • Evie Blad, Education Week (moderator)


9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

Child Care Deserts: What and Where Are They? (Gould/Musick Room 103) In some neighborhoods, a lack of child care threatens to perpetuate inequities and widen achievement gaps. Find out how race, geography, and income affect child care options and learn about efforts to improve access to high-quality early learning.

  • Emily Bustos, Denver’s Early Childhood Council
  • Rasheed Malik, Center for American Progress
  • Patti Miller, Too Small to Fail
  • Nic Garcia, Chalkbeat (moderator)


Diversifying the Educator Workforce (Gould/Musick Room 1) – Nationally, the student population is growing increasingly diverse, while the educator workforce remains mostly white. How does the diversity gap vary by location and race, and what are the keys to recruiting and retaining teachers and school leaders of color?

  • Michael Hansen, The Brookings Institution
  • Cassandra Herring, Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity
  • Darline Robles, University of Southern California
  • Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
  • Matt Barnum, Chalkbeat (moderator)


College and the American Dream (Gould/Musick Room 3) – New data show that a few — but only a few — colleges have track records of launching lots of low-income students into the middle and upper classes. Learn about new mobility data and its implications for higher education.

  • Allan Golston, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dianne Harrison, California State University, Northridge
  • Marvin Krislov, Pace University
  • Adam Harris, The Atlantic (moderator)


Rethinking Student Discipline (Wallis Annenberg Room 105) – Techniques such as restorative justice have been touted as ways to disrupt the “school-to-prison pipeline” but also blamed for violence in schools. Find out what the research and data show.

  • Cami Anderson, The Discipline Revolution Project
  • Taharka Anderson, California Conference for Equality and Justice
  • Gary Favors, Cincinnati Public Schools
  • Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times (moderator)


Use of Test Scores 101 (Gould/Musick Room 101) – Many claims are made about what can be gleaned from standardized test scores. Journalists learn the basics of  the art and science of interpreting test scores.

  • Marianne Perie, University of Kansas
  • Diane Rado, freelance (moderator)


Pivoting to Podcasts (Gould/Musick Room 7) Journalists from Slate, the Los Angeles Times, and The Cincinnati Enquirer, to name a few, have had great success launching podcasts. Learn how you, too, can pivot to audio.

  • Sarah Carr, The Teacher Project
  • Cheryl Devall, Reveal
  • Kerry Donahue, PRX
  • Adolfo Guzman Lopez, Southern California Public Radio (moderator)

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Covering the First Three Years (Gould/Musick Room 103) – Reporters share advice on writing stories about an increasingly important part of the education beat — infants and toddlers.

  • Sarah Carr, The Teacher Project
  • Zoë Kirsch, The Teacher Project
  • Lillian Mongeau, The Hechinger Report
  • Priska Neely, KPCC (moderator)


Are Schools in Your Community ‘Gaming’ the Graduation Stats? (Gould/Musick Room 3) – Recent investigations by journalists have uncovered situations in which claims of high graduation rates in public schools appear to belie the reality. Reporters discuss their stories and offer advice on fact-checking schools and districts. A researcher also chimes in with insights on how to unpack graduation data.  

  • Kate McGee, WBEZ Chicago
  • Russell Rumberger, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Heather Vogell, ProPublica
  • Francisco Vara-Orta, Education Week (moderator)


Covering Race on College Campuses (Wallis Annenberg Room 105) – Racial tensions on campus are nothing new. But more colleges are confronting their historical ties to slavery, and students are reporting more racist incidents. Hear from experts and reporters on how to cover this delicate subject accurately and fairly.

  • Kirt von Daacke, University of Virginia
  • Lee Gill, Clemson University
  • Vimal Patel, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Delece Smith-Barrow, The Hechinger Report (moderator)


Mining ESSA School Finance Data (Gould/Musick Room 7) – The federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires states and school districts to report the breakdown of how much local, state, and federal money each school actually receives. Experts walk reporters through the reporting requirements and the potentially game-changing implications.

  • Arun Ramanathan, Pivot Learning
  • Marguerite Roza, Georgetown University
  • Jessica Calefati, CALmatters (moderator)


Use of Test Scores 201 (Gould/Musick Room 101) – How arbitrary are cut scores and proficiency levels? What does “validity” mean? Our examination of the use of student test scores digs into how to understand what test scores can and cannot measure.

  • Marianne Perie, University of Kansas
  • Diane Rado, freelance (moderator)


When Schools Network to Improve (Gould/Musick Room 1) – Fresh efforts are afoot to organize teachers and principals from different, sometimes far-flung schools into networks to work on common problems. What are the hallmarks of this emerging trend to improve student outcomes, and what evidence lies behind it?

  • Sarah Duncan, Network for College Success
  • Robert Hughes, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Kirk Walters, American Institutes for Research
  • Joseph Espinosa, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • John Fensterwald, EdSource (moderator)


Noon – 12:45 p.m. Lunch (Tutor Campus Center Ballroom)

12:45 – 1:30 p.m. The National Awards for Education Reporting (Tutor Campus Center) – EWA 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.


1:45 – 2:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

What’s in Store for Big University Systems? (Gould/Musick Room 3) – Leaders of two of the nation’s largest and most important university systems discuss their biggest challenges — including finances, safety, and the fate of the liberal arts — with one of the nation’s most knowledgeable higher education journalists.  

  • Janet Napolitano, University of California
  • Timothy White, California State University
  • Liz McMillen, The Chronicle of Higher Education (moderator)


How to Get Funding for Your Dream Reporting Project (Wallis Annenberg Room 105) – Representatives from organizations offering financial support for education journalism share tips and strategies for getting the money to make big ideas a reality. And beyond dollars, learn about new opportunities for partnerships among newsrooms and nonprofit journalism organizations to join forces on reporting projects.

  • Barbara Kantrowitz, Spencer Education Fellowship
  • Derek Kravitz, ProPublica
  • Michelle Levander, Center for Health Journalism’s Impact Fund
  • Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report
  • Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association (moderator)


Social and Emotional Learning: From Theory to Practice  (Gould/Musick Room 101) – Researchers and educators provide reporters with tips to discern between the many emerging approaches to supporting students’ social and emotional development.

  • Tamara Alston, Hazel Wolf K-8 STEM School (Seattle)
  • Ron Berger, EL Education
  • Brooke Stafford-Brizard, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Kelly Stuart, Center for the Collaborative Classroom
  • Linda Jacobson, Education Dive (moderator)


Use of Testing 301 (Gould/Musick Room 1) – Learn about new findings on the impact of race and poverty on students in grades three through eight from a Stanford University database that includes 300 million student test scores from 11,000 school districts.

  • Sean Reardon, Stanford University
  • Jill Barshay, The Hechinger Report (moderator)


Covering Immigrant Students and Families (Gould/Musick Room 7) – In the wake of immigration raids, more students are skipping school and parents are avoiding teacher meetings or other involvement, a survey of educators has found. Experts offer background and resources for covering today’s fraught immigration climate.

  • Elizabeth Aguilera, Migratory Notes
  • J. Joy Ee, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Ana Ponce, Camino Nuevo Academy Charter Schools
  • Conor Williams, New America
  • Monica Campbell, PRI’s The World (moderator)


Community Member Track: Reporter Roundtable (Gould/ Musick Room 103) Communications professionals sit down with reporters and talk about how to get replies to pitches and ensure their work makes it into stories instead of spam folders.

  • Steve Drummond, NPR News
  • Tawnell D. Hobbs, The Wall Street Journal
  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
  • Christina Samuels, Education Week
  • Debbie Veney, NewSchools Venture Fund (moderator)
  • Barbara McKenna, Learning Policy Institute (moderator)

2:45 – 3:15 p.m. Break

2:45 – 5:45 p.m. Show and Tell Interactive Playroom (Wallis Annenberg Room 101) – Visit learning stations to find out how journalists are using virtual reality to tell their stories, as well as how teachers are using games, “escape rooms,” and artificial intelligence to make their lessons stick.

  • Artificial Intelligence - IBM demonstrates Teacher Advisor, which is powered by Watson, to help teachers with lesson planning.
  • Artificial Intelligence – Pearson uses AI technology for its virtual tutor for college students, and journalists experience holding a conversation with the tutor.
  • Escape Rooms – You might think it is something millennials do for fun, but teacher Rachel Zonshine explains how educators use escape rooms as teaching tools.
  • Gaming – Zoe Corwin of the University of Southern California walks journalists through the game “Mission: Admission,” which helps first-generation college applicants better understand the process.
  • Gaming – Tracy Fullerton of the University of Southern California walks journalists through her game “Walden,” which simulates Henry David Thoreau’s life at Walden Pond. She also offers a ChronoCards game where reporters can learn about World War I the way students do.
  • Virtual Academy – Pearson walks journalists through what a typical student’s day might look like at a virtual academy.
  • Virtual Reality – Robert Hernandez of the University of Southern California offers journalists experiences with 360-degree video storytelling, along with his “JVRNALISM” students.
  • Virtual Reality – Kevin Tsukii of Emblematic demonstrates reports that his company has produced for FRONTLINE and other media outlets.

3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

How President Trump and Congress Are Affecting Your College (Wallis Annenberg Room 105) – D.C. insiders and college leaders explain how federal actions are changing your local colleges’ financial aid, admissions, endowments, international enrollment, and more.

  • Michael Adams, Pepperdine University
  • Sarah Flanagan, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • Barmak Nassirian, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
  • Kim Hefling, Politico (moderator)


Data Literacy for Reporters Part I (Gould/Musick Room 2) – (Pre-registration only) Learning a few basic skills on programs such as Microsoft Excel can improve your ability to mine data for stories. Get started with this primer led by a veteran data journalist.

  • Matthew Kauffman, The Hartford Courant


Lectures Stink! A Top Physicist Shows How to Teach Science (Gould/Musick Room 3) – Were you bored or stumped by science classes? Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman demonstrates evidence-based techniques that have been proven to be more effective — even for math-allergic writers.

  • Carl Wieman, Stanford University
  • Kim Clark, Education Writers Association (moderator)


Off the Books: Open Educational Resources in K-12 (Gould/Musick Room 101) – Experts offer a close look at how the growing use of nontraditional and online curriculum materials is reshaping teaching and learning.

  • Erin English, San Diego County Office of Education
  • Larry Singer, Open-Up Resources
  • Barbara Soots, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State
  • Stephen Noonoo, EdSurge (moderator)


A Reporter’s Guide to Research (Gould/Musick Room 7) – An expert and a journalist walk reporters through how to read research reports and glean the golden nuggets that the arcane text and Greek formulas often obscure.

  • Denise-Marie Ordway, Journalist’s Resource
  • Ed Pauly, The Wallace Foundation
  • Jamaal Abdul-Alim, The Conversation (moderator)


AI and the Future of Work: Are Schools Ready? (Gould/Musick Room 1) – Technological advancements like artificial intelligence and robotics are changing the role of humans in the workplace. Experts explain these innovations and discuss how K-12 and higher education should respond to prepare young people for jobs of the future.

  • Lydia Dobyns, New Tech Network
  • James Tracy, Rocky Hill School
  • Greg Toppo, Inside Higher Ed (moderator)


Community Member Track: Communications Social Media Workshop (Gould/Musick Room 103) – In this workshop, a social media expert leads the group in best practices for social media.

  • Vincent Gonzalez, University of Southern California
  • Beth Shuster, University of Southern California (moderator)

4:15 – 4:45 p.m. Break

4:45 – 5:45 p.m. Concurrent sessions and Caucuses

Transparency in Journalism (Gould/Musick Room 3) – A movement is afoot in the media to build public trust by becoming more open about what goes into covering the news. How can emerging transparency practices be applied in your own work?  

  • Jay Rosen, New York University
  • Greg Toppo, Inside Higher Ed (moderator)


Data Literacy for Reporters Part II (Gould/Musick Room 2) – (pre-registration only) Take your beginner-level Excel skills further in the second part of this workshop.

  • Matthew Kauffman, The Hartford Courant


Caucuses – Colleagues with common interests come together in this collection of community-building meetings. Journalists and community members share tips, discuss challenges, and get to know one another.

Freelance Reporter Caucus

  • Facilitator: Eleanor Chute, Freelance

Higher Ed EWA Community Member Caucus

  • Facilitator: Felice Nudelman, The Weiss Institute

Higher Ed Reporter Caucus

  • Facilitator: Jamal Watson, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

Journalists of Color Caucus

  • Facilitator: TBD

Multi-District Reporter Caucus

  • Facilitator: Shannon Gilchrist, Columbus Dispatch

National Reporter Caucus

  • Facilitator: Emmeline Zhao, The 74


6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Receptions (Westin Bonaventure Hotel)

  • Hosted by the American Federation of Teachers
  • Hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Friday May 18, 2018

7:30 – 11:30 a.m. Site Visits - EWA offers the opportunity to join guided visits to local schools and other institutions. Pre-registration is required to attend. Start time indicates when participants leave the hotel.

  • Homeboy Industries - For men and women who were involved in gangs or were incarcerated, Homeboy Industries offers employment, training, education and a second chance. Participants get a tour and talk with senior staff.

8:00 – 11:30 a.m. Site Visit

  • USC Hybrid High School - Since its opening in 2012, USC Hybrid High has combined technology and personalized, mastery-based learning to prepare its students for college. Participants explore the school’s blended learning model and talk with staff and students. 

8:00 a.m. Breakfast (Town and Gown Ballroom) – Please note that if you attend a site visit, breakfast is not provided. Plan accordingly.

9:00 a.m. – Noon. Deep Dives

Deep Dive: Covering Special Education – Smart and thoughtful news coverage on students with disabilities is a critical part of the education beat, but it can be intimidating for reporters, given the complex issues involved. Experts and experienced journalists provide guidance to hit the ground running with compelling stories.

9:00 – 9:50 a.m. The Basics and Big Issues to Watch – Experts offer a short primer for reporters on special education and dispel common misconceptions. They also weigh in on timely issues, including debates over student discipline, under- and over-identification of students with disabilities, charters and school choice, the impact of the Trump administration, and a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2017 with big stakes for schools.

  • Karla Estrada, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence
  • Denise Marshall, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
  • Lauren Morando Rhim, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
  • Trisha Powell Crain, | Alabama Media Group (moderator)

B. 10:00 – 10:50 a.m. Building Disability Awareness and Empathy - In this interactive workshop, an expert in disability awareness who presents at schools around the country invites participants to experience how disabilities might impact the learning experience through simulation activities focused on ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and hearing impairment.

  • Sam Drazin, Changing Perspectives

C. 11:00 a.m. – Noon. Reporter Roundtable on Special Education – Journalists offer practical advice and story ideas, and discuss their enterprising coverage. Examples include an award-winning investigation on how Texas denied special education services to thousands of students, a documentary that finds U.S. schools failing to effectively teach students with dyslexia to read, and an analysis of seclusion and restraint data for special education students.   

  • Emily Hanford, APM Reports
  • Brian Rosenthal, The New York Times
  • Christina Samuels, Education Week
  • Joy Resmovits, Los Angeles Times (moderator)


Deep Dive: Covering Race and Diversity in Education (Gould/Musick Room 3) – The three-part session explores racial literacy and research on educator implicit bias, how to recognize personal blind spots, and how to incorporate diverse voices into coverage.

9:00 – 9:50 a.m. Overcoming Unconscious Bias – Research shows even preschool teachers pay more attention to the behavior of black boys and that can lead to higher suspension rates. Experts lay out the research and potential solutions, such as racial literacy.

  • Chin Reyes, Yale University
  • Howard Stevenson, University of Pennsylvania
  • Eva-Marie Ayala, The Dallas Morning News (moderator)

B. 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. I Don’t See Color and Other Myths of Cultural Competency – An expert offers a workshop on recognizing your own blind spots on race, gender, disability, and age.

  • LaVonna Blair Lewis, University of Southern California
  • Eva-Marie Ayala, The Dallas Morning News (moderator)

C. 11:10 a.m. – Noon. Fault Lines in Coverage - A trainer walks journalists through diversifying sources and how to consider their blind spots in identifying sources to interview.

  • Jean Marie Brown, Texas Christian University
  • Eva-Marie Ayala, The Dallas Morning News (moderator)


Deep Dive: Higher Education Affordability (Gould/Musick Room 7) – Surveys show that paying for college is now a bigger worry for most students than getting in. And phrases like “student loans” get more Google search action than newsmakers like Prince Harry, Paula Abdul, or Robert Mueller!

9:00 – 9:50 a.m. How Much Does College Really Cost – Most students don’t pay their college’s “sticker price.” College leaders like to emphasize the difference between the price and cost of higher education. And, increasingly, researchers focus on the price/cost of degrees rather than years or semesters. Data experts, higher education leaders, and veteran reporters showcase the most reliable numbers and demonstrate how to evaluate individual schools’ affordability.  

  • Dana Amihere, The Dallas Morning News
  • Sandy Baum, Urban Institute
  • Catharine Bond Hill, Ithaka S+R
  • Kaitlin Mulhere, Money (moderator)

10:00 – 10:50 a.m. All You Need to Know About Student Loans – From examples of alumni with six-figure debt loads to differences in default rates by race, student debt makes for some of the hottest education stories. Learn from leading experts on student debt and experienced reporters about how to develop accurate and high-impact stories.  

  • Susan Dynarski, University of Michigan
  • James Kvaal, The Institute of College Access and Success
  • Sarah Butrymowicz, The Hechinger Report
  • Donna Rosato, Consumer Reports (moderator)

11:00 a.m. – Noon. Solutions to the Affordability Crisis - In these politically divided times, making college more affordable appears to be one of the few bipartisan causes. Learn the political and economic realities behind affordability efforts such as “free college” programs and Income Share Agreements.

  • Susan Dynarski, University of Michigan
  • Tonio DeSorrento, Vemo Education
  • Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, Say Yes to Education
  • Robert Shireman, The Century Foundation
  • Ashley Smith, Inside Higher Ed (moderator)


Community Member Deep Dive: Diversity in Communications (Gould/Musick Room 103) – This three-part session will cover how to hire a diverse workforce and  communicate with diverse audiences, as well as issues related to diversity in education.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Hiring a Diverse Workforce – Sometimes it seems like the résumé pile can be stacked against your favor in the hiring process as you are looking to diversify. How can you make sure your workplace is inclusive and find the qualified candidates you’re looking for?

  • Daria Hall, America’s Promise
  • Debra Humphreys, Lumina Foundation
  • Debbie Veney, NewSchools Venture Fund
  • David Hoff, Hager Sharp (moderator)

B. 10:00 to 10:50 a.m. Communicating With Diverse Audiences – Learn how to ensure your messages don’t communicate implicit bias or exclusionary language, and how to widen the breadth of the audiences you reach.

  • Nicolle Grayson, The Education Trust
  • David Park, Learning Heroes
  • Dakarai Aarons, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (moderator)

C. 11:00 a.m. to Noon. Issues Related to Diversity in Education –  Hear experts talk through education issues related to diversity, and how you can use this knowledge to better inform your work to make it inclusive and informed by the realities of the education world.

  • Dakarai Aarons, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • David Hoff, Hager Sharp


Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch and Annual Member Meeting

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

How I Did the Story (K-12) (Gould/Musick Room 3) – Journalists recognized in the National Awards for Education Reporting share their stories and insights, including mining public records, narrative reporting, and making the most of the daily beat.

  • John Woodrow Cox, The Washington Post
  • Linda Lutton, WBEZ
  • Aliyya Swaby, The Texas Tribune
  • Dale Mezzacappa, Philadelphia Public School Notebook (moderator)


How to Defend Against Bots and Trolls (Wallis Annenberg Room 105) – Reporters are increasingly battling online fraudsters who try to fool them into relaying misinformation, and trolls who insult, threaten, and in some cases, endanger them. Security experts will explain strategies journalists can use to avoid getting fooled or attacked by con artists or trolls on social media.

  • Doug Haddix, Investigative Reporters and Editors
  • Steve Myers, The Lens
  • Alex Harris, Miami Herald (moderator)


Sex on Campus: Balancing Rights for Men and Women (Gould/Musick Room 7) – How well are colleges and universities balancing the rights of different groups of students — including accusers and the accused — as they grapple with sexual assault and how to respond to it? Experts on Title IX and veteran reporters will share advice on how to cover this difficult and important subject.

  • Shep Melnick, Boston College
  • Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle
  • Aneri Suthar, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Emily Yoffe, The Atlantic
  • Kim Clark, Education Writers Association (moderator)


Using Data Visualization Tools (Gould/Musick Room 1) – Data-savvy reporters know not to just bury numbers in their stories. Get a primer on using data visualization — creating charts, graphs, and other images to enhance data-driven reporting.

  • Alvin Chang, Vox Media
  • Dana Chinn, University of Southern California
  • Daniel Willis, EdSource
  • Marquita Brown, Education Writers Association (moderator)


Community Member Track: Pivoting to Podcasts (Gould/Musick Room 103) – Podcasts are hot! Get the basics on how to launch your own.

  • Kerry Donahue, PRX
  • Michele Jawando, Thinking CAP Podcast
  • Andrew Scanlan, The Education Gadfly Show
  • Dorie Turner Nolt, Consultant (moderator)

3:00 – 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 – 4:00 p.m.  Reporter Showcase (Wallis Annenberg Room 101) – Journalists show off noteworthy reporting projects in small-group discussions with attendees.

  • Bethany Barnes, The Oregonian
  • Kalyn Belsha, Chicago Reporter
  • Ricardo Cano, Arizona Republic
  • Mark Lima, Fusion
  • Mackenzie Mays, Fresno Bee
  • Linda Shaw, Solutions Journalism Network