Blog: The Educated Reporter
How Rural Schools Get Left Behind
Journalist Casey Parks shares insights on culturally competent reporting, building trust with sources, and why more reporters should pay attention to rural education. (EWA Radio Episode 277)
Writing for The New York Times Magazine, veteran education journalist Casey Parks takes readers deep inside the struggles of a rural school district in the Mississippi delta that is poised for a state takeover. She also profiles Harvey Ellington, a 16-year-old Black student with big college dreams but few opportunities for advanced learning in his cash-strapped and understaffed high school.
Covering School Board Meetings? Tips to Tackle the COVID-19, Critical Race Theory Culture Wars
Attending hyper politicized school board meetings in this day and age requires much preparation.
Division over COVID-19 and racial justice is playing out in school board meetings across the country, turning typically sleepy gatherings into politicized and, at times, volatile events.
When meetings turn contentious, reporters need to take care to avoid amplifying misinformation, and provide context on key issues and the board’s authority.
Covering Critical Race Theory: Resources and Tips to Debunk Misinformation
How reporters can arm themselves with knowledge to prevent the spread of intentional and unintentional incorrect information.
This story was updated on Sept. 23, 2021.
After a more than 40-year-old graduate-level, academic research framework became the center of a national culture war that began last year, misinformation and disinformation infiltrated the public sphere, and internet searches increased.
In 2019, Nexis listed a total of 635 news articles mentioning “critical race theory.” Today, the phrase is cited in more than 5,000 pieces a month. And the vast majority of those stories focus on how history and race are taught in schools.
For many of us who remember Sept. 11, it’s difficult to process that two full decades have passed since the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Some of those moments remain so clear – and so painful – that the wounds feel fresh.
All Eyes on Enrollment as K-12 Students Return to School
Pandemic-driven shifts may have lasting repercussions.
Enrollment in K-12 schools, which plunged by 1.5 million students during the first wave of COVID-19, appeared poised to bounce back this fall. But then, the delta variant of COVID-19 raced across the nation, and school districts confronted the possibility of further shutdowns and lost students.
Home Ec’s ‘Secret History’
New book explores how home economics influenced American life and public education beyond 'stitching and stirring' (EWA Radio Episode 276)
Often overlooked and misunderstood, home economics is about far more than learning to bake cakes or sew lopsided oven mitts, argues education journalist Danielle Dreilinger. She discusses her new book, “The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live.”
8 Questions to Ask About College Enrollment Numbers
COVID-19 sparked enrollment declines at universities, especially among low-income students.
As students and higher learning institutions prepare for the fall semester, lagging vaccination rates and the rise of the delta variant present unanticipated challenges.
For reporters looking to tell stories about how the ongoing public health crisis is affecting higher education access, enrollment numbers are a good place to start.
How to Cover COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates and Bans at Colleges
Learn about the key players, find data, get story ideas and more.
The fast-spreading COVID-19 Delta variant is forcing rapid changes in colleges’ vaccination plans and requirements. And these changes are encountering backlash from state legislatures and students as they roll out.
Reporters covering the vaccine and its usage among students, faculty and staff at colleges need to provide context on how policies comport with state laws or preemptions, how students and local communities are affected by these decisions, and how to track vaccine mandates’ rollout and potential outbreaks.
Lack of Sleep Affecting Adolescent Learning? Coverage Tips for Early School Start Times
Get background, story ideas and advice.
“What’s keeping you up at night?”
Science journalist and author Lydia Denworth posed that question to a pair of experts on adolescent development during the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.
“Sleep!,” speakers Adriana Galván of UCLA and Denise Pope of Stanford University both said at a panel. Adolescents, they agreed, don’t get enough of it.
Pulitzer Prize Winner: How to Cover Stonewalling or Antagonistic School Boards and Leaders
South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Scott Travis provides tips on ways to get beyond “No Comment.”
When a school district wants to hide corruption, mismanagement and misspending, it will do what it can to make a reporter’s job difficult.
As the education reporter covering Broward County Public Schools in Florida – a district plagued by a school massacre, an $800 million construction bond boondoggle and the arrest and resignation of its superintendent – my beat has been difficult.
With Schools Reopening Full-Time, What Pandemic-Driven Changes Will Last?
Get 7 story ideas to help you cover K-12 and higher education shifts that may have staying power.
Despite the many hardships the pandemic caused, the COVID-19 disruption also sparked – or in some cases accelerated – changes to K-12 and higher education that leaders say should stick.
The speakers pointed to the power of flexibility, the need to focus energy and resources that will serve the “whole student,” and how increased outreach and new communication strategies with students and families could be transformative during a plenary at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar.
Free College Tuition Isn’t Enough: Fresh Story Ideas on the Dropout Crisis
What education reporters need to know about social service programs that can help close the completion gap
When it comes to writing news stories about efforts to help low-income students earn a college degree, journalists may be tempted to focus on “promise” programs that provide free tuition and, occasionally, intense academic counseling.