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.

EWA Radio

Revisiting America’s Reading Wars
As momentum builds to change reading instruction, Lucy Calkins, chief architect of popular method, retreats from prior stance
(EWA Radio Episode 295)

photo by Alliance for Excellent Education

For decades, millions of children have been taught to read using a popular method that’s out of step with the scientific research on how our brains really learn. Amid pushback and criticism – including from researchers, parents, and education journalists – that’s starting to change.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Covering Parent Activism and Engagement? Go Beyond Critical Race Theory
‘Sexy headlines’ about the latest education controversy often grab attention. Learn why reporters shouldn’t limit their coverage. Plus, get research and the history of parent engagement in education.

A new generation of parent activists has arrived, and its members are far more concerned with “ballot boxes, legislative agendas and school district policy priorities than bake sales,” according to a new report from the public policy think tank FutureEd.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Does Money Matter? How Education Spending Affects Student Outcomes
What reporters should closely watch amid school spending initiatives and discussions

With school districts across the country seeing an unprecedented influx of federal aid to fuel the education recovery, the question remains of what impact these extra dollars will ultimately have on students.

School finance expert Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach of Northwestern University sees ample scholarly evidence that spending more improves outcomes for K-12 students.

EWA Radio

Can the Latino College Gap Be Solved?
Texas Public Radio series sheds new light on sources of struggle for higher education students in majority Latino San Antonio, as well as innovative support systems that are making gains
(EWA Radio Episode 294)

photo of Deniff Lara

For Texas student Andres Mendoza, the difference between fulfilling his dream of attending a four-year university away from home and opting for a lower-cost local community college was an unexpected bill for a family funeral.

EWA Radio

‘Unlevel Playing Fields’ for Girls’ Sports
As Title IX turns 50, a new investigation finds the federal law is failing to protect girls’ access to sports, and many parents and students don’t know the rights afforded by the landmark equity law
(EWA Radio Episode 293)

Photo of bleachers beside womens' baseball field.

Title IX prohibits gender-based discrimination in school programs that receive federal funding – but how fairly is the law being applied, especially when it comes to girls’ high school sports? A reporting team of nearly two dozen student journalists at the University of Maryland, College Park, set out to answer that question in a wide-ranging project.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How Reporters Can Better Cover Enrollment Shifts at Public Schools
School finance experts tackle key questions and provide tips for reporters.

Some urban school districts across the country were already grappling with shrinking enrollment when COVID hit. But for many, the pandemic accelerated those student losses, with major implications for their budgets and stability.

For some, the historic influx of federal COVID relief dollars is softening the fiscal blow in the short term. But with birthrates continuing to decline and the effects of a “COVID baby bust” looming, how can public schools adjust to plummeting enrollment — even as they scramble to address the outbreak’s academic and mental health fallout? 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

A Guide to the Guides: What to Know About LGBTQ Style Guides for Journalists

There are numerous LGBTQ style guides for journalists. Most include similar advice for what is and isn’t appropriate to ask gay and trans sources as well as how to steer clear of some oft-repeated misinformation. Offering your pronouns — e.g. she/her/hers, they/them/theirs — at the start of a conversation invites your interviewee to reply with the information they want you to have about their identity.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Getting Out of the Statehouse and Into the Schoolhouse When Covering LGBTQ Students

A consistent criticism from LGBTQ organizations of media coverage of assault on gay and trans rights is that it features too few of the people most affected. Here are three suggestions for education reporters seeking to counter this.

Challenge the narrative: Francisco Vara-Orta is a former Education Week staff writer and EWA board member who is now director of diversity and inclusion for Investigative Reporters and Editors. Reporters need to push back on misleading or false assertions, he says.  

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How to Better Cover LGBTQ Students in the Pandemic Era of ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ Book Bans and Other Issues
This deep dive catches reporters up on the legislation and issues affecting LGBTQ students. Read this main story and two other related pieces to improve your coverage.

Ranging from “Don’t Say Gay” laws to bans on transgender students’ participation in sports and on gay- and trans-themed books in schools, a record 238 anti-LGBTQ bills were filed in U.S. statehouses during the first three months of 2022. Even before the first were signed into law, the new measures had an impact in K-12 schools and on college campuses.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Member Spotlight: Longtime EWA Community Member Reflects on His Journey From Reporter to Education Communicator
"Slow down to speed up" urges veteran communicator Juan Elizondo

Despite working in many roles, jobs and industries, Juan Elizondo says a few important consistent guidelines have enabled him to move from reporting (for the Associated Press) to editing (for the Austin American-Statesman and, later, Dallas Business Journal) to communications for an energy company and then for education nonprofits.