Blog: The Educated Reporter

Overview

The Educated Reporter

EWA's blog about education issues and topics from a journalist's perspective. The Educated Reporter is anchored by Emily Richmond with contributions from EWA staff and guests.

EWA’s blog about education issues and topics from a journalist’s perspective. The Educated Reporter is anchored by Emily Richmond with contributions from EWA staff and guests.

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Biden v. Trump: Their Education Plans
From school choice to teacher pay and student debt, what are the presidential candidates promising voters?
(EWA Radio: Episode 252)

screenshot of President Trump and Joe Biden during the October, 22, 2020 presidential debate.

What would a second term for President Donald Trump mean for K-12 and postsecondary education? And conversely, what might change if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the election? Lauren Camera of U.S. News & World Report and Michael Stratford of Politico Pro break down the candidates’ education policy priorities and share insights from covering their campaigns.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

COVID-19 Disruptions Raise Questions on Future of Testing, Accountability

One of former boxer Mike Tyson’s most famous maxims is that everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

In the 2020-21 academic year, standardized testing — and just about every other aspect of school — is “getting punched in the face by COVID,” said Scott Marion, the executive director of the Center for Assessment, invoking the heavyweight champion at a panel on testing and accountability during the Education Writers Association’s 2020 National Seminar.

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Battling for ‘The Souls of Black Girls’
Facing ‘double whammy’ of racism and sexism, Black girls are most at risk of unfairly punitive school discipline, a New York Times investigation finds
(EWA Radio: Episode 251)

photo of sad girl sitting in school hallway

When it comes to school discipline, Black girls are significantly more likely to receive harsh treatment than their white female peers, including referrals to enforcement. That’s the conclusion from a new analysis of federal education data by Erica Green and her colleagues at The New York Times. The project was a deeply personal one for Green, who spent two years digging into how racial and gender biases devastate the emotional well-being and academic trajectories of Black girls.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Pandemic-Driven Disparities Seen in After-School Programs
As coronavirus wears on, what role will out-of-school providers play in meeting community needs?

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a disproportionate toll on the education of low-income students and people of color. Stories abound on the situation, especially when it comes to remote instruction and plans for school re-opening. But even after the school day ends, the disparities persist.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How to Get Voters to Care About School Board Elections
School board races are even more crucial during the pandemic

School board races typically get short shrift in election coverage. On ballots, they’re often relegated to the last pages, along with district court judges and densely worded ballot measures.

But school board members play a key leadership and oversight role in local public schools. During the pandemic, that includes an important new responsibility: largely deciding whether (and when) shuttered campuses will reopen, as well as setting the parameters for remote or hybrid learning.

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On the Road With NPR’s Higher Ed Reporter
A nationwide road trip yields insights, first-person accounts of postsecondary life in the coronavirus era
(EWA Radio: Episode 250)

photo of Elissa Nadworny on location

Who takes a cross-country reporting road trip in the midst of a pandemic? NPR’s Elissa Nadworny decided it was the only way to find out for herself what life is really like on college campuses these days, and how students, faculty and administrators are dealing with a new world of logistical challenges.

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‘Left Behind’ By Remote Learning
In Baltimore and other cities, COVID-19 school closures are widening opportunity gaps for vulnerable students
(EWA Radio: Episode 249)

Steindorf Steam School Sign indicates school Is closed

Was the decision to close schools and send students home for remote learning influenced more by politics than the science of what would keep kids safe? That’s the central argument made by ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis in a new story co-published with The New Yorker. MacGillis, who tells the story in part through the experiences of a 12-year-old in his hometown of Baltimore, shows how vulnerable Black, brown, and poor children are most likely to face long-term consequences for lost learning time.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

The Top 11 Higher Ed Stories Likely to Make Headlines This Year
Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik highlights COVID, Title IX, affirmative action and more

COVID-19 will continue to be a major story topic for the 2020-21 school year, but reporters should also look at the future of affirmative action and race on college campuses, according to Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik.

Jaschik, veteran higher education journalist and editor, listed his top 11 topics he thinks every higher education reporter should be ready to cover.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

From Processing One Crisis to Covering Another: A New Ed Reporter’s Story
It is an 'incredible time' to be a journalist, says Charlottesville Tomorrow's Billy Jean Louis

Billy Jean Louis is no stranger to writing in times of crisis. As a young teenager in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the 2004 coup d’etat completely shifted the world around him. At the time, many people didn’t feel safe speaking about what was going on in the country due to the lack of press freedom in Haiti.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

School Budget Cuts Amid COVID-19: Eight Areas to Watch
Public schools are 'on the brink of a financial disaster'

School is back in session for approximately 50 million students that attend public schools and over 3 million teachers, but the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way those institutions operate. District leaders are left to substantially nip and tuck their budgets during a pandemic-driven recession.

Tip Sheet

EWA Tip Sheet: Monitoring Colleges’ Financial Health During a Funding Crisis

The pandemic and economic shutdown have slashed colleges’ tuition revenues, reduced state government funding for higher education and, in some cases, even wiped out football ticket sales. Colleges’ severe new financial challenges are already forcing many budget cuts and layoffs. 

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A Different Kind of College Rankings
The Washington Monthly uses unique metrics to measure quality, including return on investment, strong outcomes for students of color, and effective civic engagement.
(EWA Radio: Episode 248)

image of students

When choosing a college, students and families often turn to popular rankings to help inform their decisions. Rather than focus on test scores and how difficult it is to gain entry, The Washington Monthly gives schools points for factors that benefit society as well as individual students, like upward mobility for low-income graduates and encouraging civic engagement on campus and after graduation.