Agenda: EWA 73rd National Seminar
July 21-24, 2020

Find the conference site here.

A trio of momentous forces — the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic meltdown, and a reckoning with America’s long-entrenched structural racism — have converged in 2020 to upend the U.S. education landscape. Journalists covering the education sector face a host of immediate challenges as they work to help the public understand a coming academic year like no other.  

EWA’s 73rd annual National Seminar will explore how these three interconnected crises have reinforced profound educational inequities, and how responses, including widespread protests of police brutality, are changing everything from preschool story time to college admissions. 

Forward-looking programming during this virtual event will prepare attendees with critical information, key questions, essential data, and compelling story ideas for covering a landscape still marked by tremendous uncertainty about how the 2020-21 academic year will unfold. 

EWA’s National Seminar is only open to EWA members who pre-register. To participate in this exclusive opportunity to hear from some of the most important movers and shakers in the education and journalism world, you must become a member of EWA (membership is free for journalists) then register for the National Seminar here.

This agenda is tentative and subject to change. 

2020 EWA National Seminar Program

Tuesday, July 21, 2020: Celebrating Our Community: Awards and Member Meeting

12 – 12:45 p.m.
Annual Member Meeting

Officers of the Education Writers Association Board of Directors give an overview of the current state of the organization, discuss future plans, and respond to member questions.

  • Greg Toppo, President 
  • Steve Drummond, Vice President/Journalists
  • Scott Widmeyer, Vice President/Community Members
  • Debbie Veney, Board Secretary 
  • Felice Nudelman, Treasurer

1 – 1:30 p.m.
Awards Ceremony: Part 1

EWA announces the winners of the 2019 National Awards for Education Reporting in each size division of the program’s seven categories: Single-Topic News, Feature Stories, Beat Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Public Service, Best Audio Storytelling, and Best Visual Storytelling.2

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Shop Talk: Beat Reporting
Reporters recognized for top-notch beat coverage discuss techniques for managing a beat effectively and offer ideas for finding and prioritizing stories that make a difference for their unique audiences. 

  • Matt Krupnick, The Hechinger Report
  • Eliza Shapiro, The New York Times
  • David Jesse, Detroit Free Press (moderator)

Shop Talk: Investigative Reporting
Finalists in EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting explore how journalists can identify promising topics for investigative projects about education and bring them to fruition in today’s news environment. 

  • Kenny Jacoby, USA TODAY Network 
  • Dylan Peers McCoy, Chalkbeat
  • Francisco Vara-Orta, Investigative Reporters & Editors (moderator)

Shop Talk: News Reporting
Journalists who have received finalist honors for in-depth and enterprising news coverage of a single education topic in EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting share tips for producing thoughtful and nuanced stories on consequential issues.

  • Denise Zapata, EdSource
  • Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
  • Chrissie Thompson, USA Today
  • Mary Niederberger, independent journalist (moderator)

3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Shop Talk: Public Service Journalism
Finalists in the public service category of EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting reveal what it took to carry out their exceptional projects and what others can learn from their experiences. 

  • Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica Illinois 
  • Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune
  • Alvin Chang, The Wall Street Journal (moderator)

Shop Talk: Visual Storytelling
Journalists honored in EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting discuss how they harnessed the power of images at a time when video, data visualization, and other visual media play a growing role in newsrooms.  

  • Jennifer Molina, EdSource
  • Iris Lee, LA Times
  • Wayne Carter, NBC-Owned Television Stations / KXAS-TV (moderator)

4:30 – 5:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Shop Talk: Audio Storytelling
Amid a podcasting boom, reporters recognized in EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting for their powerful use of sound share insights into the special opportunities and challenges of creating great audio journalism. 

  • Jessica Bakeman, WLRN
  • Katrina Schwartz, KQED
  • Sascha Raiyn, WDET (moderator) 

Shop Talk: Feature Stories
From documentaries to magazine pieces to timely news takeouts, what makes for great feature stories? Finalists in EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting discuss hallmarks of standout examples of the genre. 

  • Kevin McCorry, WHYY
  • Avi Wolfman-Arent, WHYY
  • Casey Parks, freelance
  • Sara Hebel, Open Campus (moderator) 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020: Economics and Equity

11 – 11:30 a.m.
Top Awards Announcements

EWA announces the winners of the top two prizes in the 2019 National Awards for Education Reporting, The Ronald Moskowitz Prize for Outstanding Beat Reporting and the Fred M. Hechinger Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, as well as the winner of the Edwin Gould Foundation Eddie Prize. 

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

12 - 12:45 p.m.
A Conversation With Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Magazine writer Nikole Hannah-Jones discusses how journalists can effectively cover race, educational equity, and economic challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine
  • Chastity Pratt, The Wall Street Journal (moderator)

12:45 – 1 p.m.

1 - 1:45 p.m.
Five Days: What Education Reporters Can Learn From a City’s Unrest
Best-selling author Wes Moore and New York Times education correspondent Erica L. Green  discuss their new book, “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City.” Exploring the uprising in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, the book has special resonance for education journalists in this moment of reckoning over police violence and racial injustice. 

  • Erica L. Green, The New York Times
  • Wes Moore, Robin Hood 
  • Kristen Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer (moderator)

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Big Funding Cuts Coming for Schools (P-12)
With P-12 budget cuts looming amid the coronavirus recession, what’s ahead and what’s the expected impact on students and schools? What types of disparate effects by race, ethnicity, and income level are likely and why? What new costs will public health considerations require? Experts provide journalists with insights, key questions to ask in their states and local communities, and point to resources they can use.

  • Michael Griffith, Learning Policy Institute
  • Marguerite Roza, Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University
  • Daarel Burnette II, Education Week (moderator)

The Digital Divide: Bridging Home and School Connectivity Gaps (P-16)
COVID-19 has brought into stark relief inequities of access, often along lines of race and wealth, to digital devices and the internet. As social-distancing guidelines push schooling to expand into students’ homes, these gaps become more troubling than ever. What’s happening, what’s the impact, and what promising solutions are emerging?

  • Laura Hammack, Brown County (Indiana) Schools
  • Chris Lewis, Public Knowledge
  • Evan Marwell, EducationSuperHighway
  • Kaylee Tornay, Mail Tribune (Medford, Oregon) (moderator)

Higher Education Funding Crises and Inequities (Higher Ed)
Colleges and universities are taking huge financial hits from the pandemic and recession, forcing budget cuts and, in some cases, closures that seem poised to worsen racial and socioeconomic disparities. Experts and college insiders discuss how to track the financial realities and the implications budget decisions will have on access to high-quality postsecondary education.      

  • Denisa Gandara, Southern Methodist University
  • Robert Kelchen, Seton Hall University
  • Michael Volna, University of Minnesota
  • Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post (moderator)

3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

How I Did the COVID-19 Story (P-12)
Three journalists describe their outstanding coverage of the pandemic, including stories about how students experience remote learning, how educators connect with their students, and disturbing equity questions across an array of subjects, including special education, school finance, and refugee children.

  • Dahlia Bazzaz, The Seattle Times
  • Sarah Carr, The Boston Globe
  • Mila Koumpilova, Chalkbeat Chicago
  • Stephanie Daniel, KUNC (moderator)

How I Did the COVID-19 Story (Higher Ed)
Three higher education journalists share tips and ideas from their outstanding coverage of the pandemic, including faculty bracing for budget cuts, first-generation students cut off from resources, and the challenges for postsecondary institutions as they shift from in-person to distance learning. 

  • Brittany Britto, The Houston Chronicle
  • Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed
  • Elissa Nadworny, NPR
  • Joy Resmovits, The Seattle Times (moderator) 

Countering the COVID Slide (P-12)
How will schools measure and address learning loss among students this fall? Diagnostic assessments, mastery learning, tutoring and other strategies could make up for lost time. Experts offer guidance on solutions to the COVID-19 slide and how to accelerate learning.

  • Christine Fowler-Mack, Cleveland Metropolitan School District 
  • Heather Hough, Policy Analysis for California Education
  • Jamila Newman, TNTP 
  • Dana Goldstein, The New York Times (moderator)

Community Member Session — Reporter Roundtable: Hot Topics
In a perennially popular offering, EWA gathers veteran reporters to share insights into what pitches and news capture their attention—and what doesn’t.

  • Bianca Quilantan, Politico
  • Bracey Harris, The Hechinger Report
  • Annie Ma, The Charlotte Observer
  • Patrick Riccards, Best in the World Teachers (Moderator)

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

4:30 – 5:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Reporter Caucus: COVID-19 Science
In a fully interactive virtual roundtable, participants share strategies for incorporating COVID-19 science into back-to-school stories. 

  • Hannah Furfaro, The Seattle Times (facilitator) 

Reporter Caucus: New to the Beat
Participants in the 2019-20 class of EWA’s New to the Beat orientation and mentoring program reunite for a discussion to share their progress and produce a tip sheet for next year’s rookies. 

  • Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association (facilitator)

Higher Ed Data Training: CARES Act Breakdowns
Get access to free spreadsheets showing how much each college received in CARES Act money and how much they were supposed to have sent out to students as emergency aid. Get story ideas and reporting tips about how to dig into the differing bailouts that went to, for example, your local for-profit colleges and your community colleges.

  • Ben Miller, Center for American Progress
  • Andrew Lehren, NBC (Moderator)

Sponsor Session: How School Districts and Charters Responded to COVID-19: Early Results From a National Survey on Pandemic Response
 The coronavirus pandemic required public education to make sudden, significant changes to teaching and learning for students across the country. To better understand how the pandemic affected K-12 education, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is conducting the National Survey on Public Education’s Response to COVID-19, a nationally representative survey of more than 2,500 school districts and Charter Management Organizations (CMOs). At this session, AIR will release early results from the survey, including data on how school systems responded to the COVID-19 outbreak, how much instruction students received, and insights from district and CMO leadership. The data from the survey will help education leaders and policymakers as they plan for the 2020-21 school year. (Sponsored and organized by American Institutes for Research.)

  • Michael Garet, Vice President and Institute Fellow, AIR
  • Dia Jackson, Senior Researcher, AIR
  • Makini Nyanteh, American Institutes for Research (moderator)

Sponsor Session: Spotlighting Educational Inequity in COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic exposed huge inequities in funding, access to digital tools and instructional delivery in K-12 public schools. These disparities disproportionately affect Black and Brown students, and students from low-income families. This session will spotlight the most pernicious gaps – especially the digital divide – and specific equity issues related to re-opening schools that serve these students. The session will also offer bright spots that are often untold in reporting on COVID-19. (Sponsored and organized by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.)

  • Bryan Hassel, Public Impact
  • Nina Rees, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • Amy Wilkins, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • Debbie Veney, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (moderator)


Thursday, July 23, 2020: In the Trenches: Rethinking Teaching and Learning

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

12 - 12:45 p.m.
The Unequal Impact of COVID-19

Leaders in K-12 and higher education share how COVID-19 and its economic impact are exposing inequities in the American education system. The speakers also explore promising strategies to educate and support young people in the pandemic amid nationwide protests about racial injustice.

  • Jeremy Anderson, Education Commission of the States
  • Pedro Martinez, San Antonio Independent School District
  • Ruth Simmons, Prairie View A & M University
  • Eva-Marie Ayala, The Dallas Morning News (moderator)

12:45 – 1 p.m. 

1 – 1:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

The New (Ab)normal in P-12 Education (P-12)
What are the most likely re-entry scenarios for reopening schools? How are issues of racial and socioeconomic inequality factoring into the mix? A look at the myriad practical questions, including social distancing, added safety measures, rethinking schedules, and potentially combining in-person with remote instruction. 

  • John Bailey, American Enterprise Institute
  • Mario Ramirez, Opportunity Labs
  • Aleesia Johnson, Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Aliyya Swaby, The Texas Tribune (moderator)

What Will ‘Back to Campus’ Mean? Analyzing the Fall Scenarios (Higher Ed)
Colleges and universities are wrestling with unprecedented uncertainty as they face the practicalities of bringing students and faculty back to campus. Dorms, cafeterias, labs, lecture halls, sports — it’s all up in the air as we barrel toward fall.

  • Roslyn Clark Artis, Benedict College
  • Jean Chin, University of Georgia
  • Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Texas A&M University at San Antonio
  • Andy Thomason, The Chronicle of Higher Education (moderator)

Teaching About Racism Amid a National Reckoning (P-16)
The wave of protests after the killing of George Floyd has many educators reflecting on how they do (or do not) teach their students about race and racism. What opportunities will the new school year bring for addressing this critical issue in the classroom, and what are the challenges? How best can journalists explore how schools in their communities are handling the topic? 

  • Kristin González, Sunset Ridge School (Northfield, IL)
  • Richard Reddick, University of Texas at Austin
  • Keziah Ridgeway, Northeast High School (Philadelphia)
  • Melinda Anderson, freelance journalist (moderator)

1:50 – 2:20 p.m.
‘TeachRock’: A Conversation on Music Education With Steven Van Zandt
Musician, actor, and activist Steven Van Zandt, best known as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, discusses his TeachRock music education program, which his foundation provides for free to schools in the U.S. and beyond. He also shares how the program has pivoted online in a big way during the pandemic.

  • Steven Van Zandt, Rock and Roll Forever Foundation
  • Greg Toppo, EWA board president (moderator)

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

K-12 Hybrid/Remote Learning (P-12)
What are key takeaways from the vast, pandemic-driven experiment with remote learning this spring? What went right and what went wrong? A key thread is how race and socioeconomic status impact decisions by educators and policymakers and the experiences of young people.  

  • Robin Lake, Center on Reinventing Public Education
  • Allison Tingwall, Marie Sklodowska Curie Metropolitan High School (Chicago)
  • Arthur Everett, High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Ki Sung, Mindshift/KQED (moderator)

Social-Emotional Learning and Mental Health (P-16)
A high priority when schools and universities reopen is assessing and addressing the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students and faculty. The pandemic combined with the pain and vulnerability many young people — especially students of color — may feel amid nationwide protests on racial injustice, poses a big challenge. How should schools respond?

  • Elizabeth Englander, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center
  • Sharon Mitchell, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Rose Prejean-Harris, Atlanta Public Schools
  • Anya Kamenetz, NPR (moderator)

Higher Ed Rushes Online (Higher Ed)
What will remote instruction look like this fall, and how is it continuing to evolve? What are the implications for racial and socioeconomic equity? What are best practices and problems to avoid?

  • Angela Echeverri, Los Angeles Community College District Academic Senate 
  • Lauren Hakimi, Hunter College
  • Manya Whitaker, Colorado College
  • Jason Gonzales, Chalkbeat Colorado (moderator)

3:15 – 3:30 

3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

A New Role for Parents and Families (P-12)
What are families saying about their children’s educational experiences during the pandemic? How have race and ethnicity influenced different on-the-ground realities? How much contact parents have with educators? How did the role of parents change, and will that shift have a longer-term impact?

  • Bibb Hubbard, Learning Heroes
  • Rhonda Blandford, 15th District Kentucky PTA
  • Lakisha Young, The Oakland REACH
  • Kavitha Cardoza, freelance journalist (moderator)

How I Did the Story (P-12)
Journalists discuss outstanding coverage of racial injustice and educational inequities, and what they learned along the way.

  • Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times
  • Corey Mitchell, Education Week
  • Lindsey Seavert, KARE 11 News (Minneapolis)
  • Aallyah Wright, Mississippi Today (moderator)

How I Did the Story (Higher Ed)
Journalists discuss outstanding coverage of the connections between education, race and socioeconomic opportunity, and share insights on how to build trust with sources and how to sensitively cover tough issues.

  • Lori Higgins, Chalkbeat
  • Lynn Novick, documentary filmmaker, “College Behind Bars,” Skiff Mountain Films
  • Vimal Patel, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Dyjuan Tatro, Bard Prison Initiative
  • Larry Gordon, EdSource (moderator)

Community Member Session — Beyond Media Relations: The Other 90 Percent
Media relations are an important part of the everyday work of communicators. But what about the other 90% of the job? Communications experts from several sectors will discuss strategies and best practices for strategic planning, understanding audiences, partner relations, social media, and other aspects of the multi-faceted job of sharing our stories.

  • Blair Mann, Data Quality Campaign
  • Gretchen Wright, Southern Education Foundation
  • Barbara McKenna, Learning Policy Institute (moderator)

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

4:30 – 5:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Reporter Caucus: Rural Education
In a fully interactive virtual roundtable, participants share strategies for improving their coverage of rural education and schools.

  • Samantha Hernandez, freelance (facilitator) 

Reporter Caucus: Work and Parenting
In a fully interactive virtual roundtable, participants share strategies for coping with working at home full-time while also parenting full-time.

  • Cara Fitzpatrick, freelance (facilitator)

Tracking Student Progress During COVID-19 (P-12)
The Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker at Harvard University has collected data on the economic impact of COVID-19. One of its newest components tracks K-12 students’ engagement in math classes and progress through online tasks. The data includes breakdowns by county and metro area and compares student engagement and progress by income level. 

  • David Williams, Harvard University
  • Shalinee Sharma, Zearn
  • Denise-Marie Ordway, Journalist’s Resource (moderator)

Sponsor Session: Why Build Culturally Sustaining Curricula For All?
Student-led demonstrations and calls for racial justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death have transformed our national dialogue about anti-racism and the role of education over the past several months. Despite extensive research showing that when students see themselves in lessons, they learn more, many subjects and curricula still don’t represent all students. With the variance in cultural contexts across the country, how should programs approach building curriculum for different subjects and cultures? From tackling why certain banned books like Dear Martin should be included in curriculum, to exploring what histories and narratives students are owed in the classroom, our conversation with author Nic Stone will discuss why and how schools can incorporate things like — racial and ethnic identity, LGBTQ rights, and cultural divides in rural America — into relevant curriculum at a time when America’s students are demanding change.(Sponsored and organized by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.)

  • Nic Stone, Author
  • Evan Gutierrez, Summit Learning (moderator)

Sponsor Session: Challenges and Opportunities: K-12 Dual Language Immersion Programs in the Age of COVID​ 
This panel, moderated by QFI, will discuss the growing dual language immersion model of K-12 education in the United States with special attention to the opportunities and challenges presented by COVID-19 and the racial justice movement. QFI supports the four existing public school Arabic dual language immersion programs in the United States through grant funding, convenings, and professional development. The three panelists have worked with QFI to develop Arabic immersion programs in the United States and have been active in the dual language immersion field in the US (across all languages including French, Chinese and Spanish) for more than 20 years.(Sponsored and organized by Qatar Foundation International.)

  • Myriam Met, former Deputy Director, National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland
  • Gregg Roberts, American Councils for International Education
  • Dawn Samples, Avant Assessment
  • Carine Allaf, Qatar Foundation International (co-moderator)
  • Julia Sylla, Qatar Foundation International (co-moderator)


Friday, July 24, 2020: Education Policy and Politics in a Pandemic

11 – 11:45 a.m.
A Conversation With U.S. Assistant Education Secretary James Blew

The assistant secretary for policy, planning, and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Education discusses the Trump administration’s priorities for education amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and answers questions. 

  • James Blew, U.S. Department of Education 
  • Steve Drummond, NPR (moderator) 

12 - 12:45 p.m.
A Conversation With U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott

The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee, will share his insights into the outlook for federal education legislation in the coming year. 

  • U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va.  
  • Laura Meckler, The Washington Post (moderator) 

12:45 – 1 p.m.

1 – 1:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Teacher Workforce Issues in a Time of Disruption (P-12)
The COVID-19 crisis is raising a host of complex issues for the nation’s teacher workforce. Teachers and their unions are voicing concerns over how safe is safe enough for millions of educators to return to school. Will the pandemic recession drive large-scale layoffs? How will these and other factors impact the quality of teaching in a time of massive educational disruption, and how will schools respond? 

  • Becky Pringle, National Education Association 
  • Roberto Rodriguez, Teach Plus
  • Thomas Toch, FutureEd
  • Jenny Brundin, Colorado Public Radio (moderator)

Job Training/Career Prep and the Pandemic (Higher Ed)
The pandemic and shutdown have wiped out an estimated 20 million jobs — many of them permanently. What should schools, especially community colleges, be doing to help those looking to improve their career prospects in today’s economy? How can CTE and certificate programs be retooled in the midst of a pandemic to help build valuable skills without endangering students? 

  • Steve Probst, Gray Associates
  • Matt Sigelman, Burning Glass Technologies
  • William Serrata, El Paso Community College
  • Alia Wong, independent journalist (moderator)

What’s Next for Testing and Accountability? (P-12)
What are the implications for the coming school year and beyond, given the cancellation of 2020 end-of-year state testing and the anticipation of huge learning losses? Some states advocate dropping next year’s tests as well. What are other ways states and districts can measure accountability and evaluate student progress? 

  • Laura Jimenez, Center for American Progress
  • Scott Marion, Center for Assessment
  • Richard Woods, Georgia Department of Education
  • Claire McInerny, KUT Public Media (moderator)

Sponsor Session: Beyond “Re-opening”: The Online-Blended-Hybrid Future of American Schools
Imagine it’s 2025. We’re beyond COVID-19 and education has adapted to a new reality that weaves together online, blended, hybrid learning and beyond. What stories will you be writing? Leading education visionaries Mickey Revenaugh, co-founder of Connections Academy online school who also helped launch e-Rate, and Michael Horn, author of Disrupting Class and most recently, Choosing College share their ideas about innovation, equity, and how learning might work for the future in this can’t miss session. (Sponsored and organized by Pearson.)

  • Mickey Revenaugh, Connections Academy
  • Michael Horn, Author 
  • Erin Richards, USA TODAY (moderator)


1:50 – 2:20 p.m.
A ‘Classic Conservative’s’ Approach to Education: Jeb Bush on Accountability, Equity and Managing Through Crises 
Jeb Bush, Florida’s governor from 1999 through 2007, managed the state through several natural disasters, pushed for increased educational accountability, championed school vouchers and eliminated race-based admissions into state colleges and universities. He is the founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a non-partisan nonprofit that develops state-level policies. The Washington Post’s Moriah Balingit will lead a conversation on how he thinks educational leaders should be moving education forward during the pandemic.

  • Jeb Bush, Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • Moriah Balingit, Washington Post (moderator)

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Impacts of the Pandemic on Early Education (P-12)
The COVID-19 shutdown has taken a severe toll on child care and early learning facilities, many of which may never reopen. What are the implications for children, families, and K-12 educators who themselves will need child care this fall? How are home-based providers — and the predominantly Black and Brown women who run them — offering solutions to the ever-pressing child care problem? 

  • Safiyah Jackson, North Carolina Partnership for Children
  • Tabatha Rosproy, 2020 National Teacher of the Year
  • Albert Wat, Alliance for Early Success
  • Lillian Mongeau, The Hechinger Report (moderator)

P-16 Politics and the 2020 Presidential Election (P-16)
Journalists discuss how education is shaping up as a presidential campaign issue and how the pandemic and the national spotlight on racism are influencing and reshaping the candidates’ agendas, from early childhood and K-12 schooling to postsecondary education. 

  • Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week 
  • Michael Stratford, Politico
  • Emmeline Zhao, The 74 (moderator)

College Admissions and Enrollment (Higher Ed)
Widespread uncertainty over reopening this fall, the nation’s unfolding economic crisis, and rekindled efforts to fight systemic racism are forcing rapid and dramatic changes to the way colleges recruit and select students. 

  • Jody Glassman, Florida International University
  • Angel B. Perez, National Association of College Admission Counseling
  • Eric Hoover, The Chronicle of Higher Education (moderator)

3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Special Education and the Pandemic (P-12)
The pivot away from in-person instruction this spring raised deep concerns about how to effectively serve students with disabilities remotely. What are key takeaways from the experience, both the troubling and promising responses from school systems? What should reporters focus on this fall to tell the story of special education in the pandemic? 

  • Lindsay Jones, National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • Brittney Robins, KIPP New Orleans and Bright Minds
  • Laurie VanderPloeg, U.S. Department of Education
  • Mandy McLaren, Louisville Courier Journal (moderator)

Youth Voice, Community Engagement, and Activism (P-16)
There are powerful stories to tell about the community-minded, morally engaged, and politically active youths working to improve their communities amid the global pandemic. From grocery shopping for vulnerable individuals to organizing protests and direct action, hear how teens are making a difference.

  • Kris English, Leaders Igniting Transformation
  • Keashun Lawrence, Leaders Igniting Transformation
  • Jayde Powell, Shopping Angels
  • Stephanie Pacheco, Teens Take Charge
  • Toby Paperno, Teens Take Charge
  • Brandon St. Luce, Teens Take Charge
  • Lauren Lumpkin, The Washington Post (moderator)

Rethinking Police in Schools (P-12)
Recent actions in communities including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis signal that many school systems may sever ties with local police departments and altogether rethink the roles of School Resource Officers. We explore what’s happening, why, and how this issue may play out over time.

  • Don Bridges, Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Princess Powell, Los Angeles Unified School District (student)
  • Eric Moore, Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Sarah Karp, WBEZ Chicago (moderator)

Community Member Session — Communicating Toward a More Informed Public
With so many voices sharing information on current events — from COVID-19 to racial injustice — how do you make sure your voice is trusted? Communicators must rise above the noise to share information with the public in a time when “fake news” can derail communications efforts. Learn how to counter misinformation and create a winning strategy that ensures your message is heard.

  • Nicolle Grayson, The Education Trust
  • Sharise Johnson, Forthright Advising
  • Tamar Wilner, University of Texas at Austin
  • Denise-Marie Ordway, Journalist’s Resource (moderator)

4:15 – 4:30 

4:30 – 5:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Reporter Caucus: Follow the Money (K-12)
In a fully interactive virtual roundtable, participants share strategies for tracking how school districts are spending money and budgeting dollars during the pandemic.

  • Tawnell Hobbs, Wall Street Journal

Reporter Caucus: Follow the Money (Higher Ed)
In a fully interactive virtual roundtable, participants share strategies for tracking how universities and colleges are dealing with their funding during the pandemic. 

  • Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report

Improve Your Journalism Skills: Fact-checking in 2020
Trying to determine whether that tweet about a Black Lives Matter protest in your town is real? This session, led by trainers from First Draft, will help reporters improve their digital literacy skills and learn how to spot fabricated websites, videos, and social media posts. Participants walk through real-life scenarios from both the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement. 

  • Jacquelyn Mason, First Draft