Blog: The Educated Reporter
Reporting on Children and Gun Violence
"Our First Job is to be Human, Our Second Job is to be a Journalist"
(EWA Radio: Episode 171)
From first-graders in rural South Carolina to high schoolers in Las Vegas, The Washington Post’s John Woodrow Cox paints searing portraits of the impact of gun violence through the eyes of the survivors themselves.
Matthew Kauffman, an investigative reporter for the Hartford Courant, started a two-part, data literacy workshop for journalists with a question: “How many people got into journalism primarily because they were hoping to do more math?”
When zero hands went flying into the air, he was not surprised.
“There’s just kind of a disconnect between what we do and numbers and math,” Kauffman said. However, he argued it is more important than ever for reporters to get comfortable with math.
“Diversity is essential to the success of the news industry.” Those words, once so eloquently stated by award-winning journalist Gwen Ifill, capture the overarching message conveyed during a recent panel on diversity in the journalism workforce. The spirited talk was part of the Education Writers Association’s 2018 National Seminar in Los Angeles.
College and graduate school have gotten so expensive, and lenders have been so willing to allow borrowers to put off repayment (and let the interest compound), that a few dozen Americans have managed to amass more than $1 million in student loan debt.
In First-Ever Survey, School Police Speak Up
Campus safety, student civil rights, and active-shooter readiness in the spotlight (EWA Radio: Episode 170)
Who are the nation’s school police officers? Have they received adequate training to work with youths? And how prepared do they believe their campuses are for a mass shooting event? In a first-of-its-kind survey, Education Week got answers to these and many more questions from school resource officers. Reporter Evie Blad and Holly Yettick, the director of the Education Week Research Center, discuss the findings and their implications on this episode of EWA Radio.
The U.S. Supreme Court is on the cusp of a decision that could reshape teachers’ unions, putting new pressure on them to convince educators that paid membership is worthwhile.
At issue is a case over whether public employees, including teachers, who choose not to join unions can be required to pay agency fees. (Those fees typically cover the costs of collective bargaining.)
With States at the Wheel, What’s Next for School Accountability?
Issues to watch under ESSA, from report cards to achievement gaps
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act has put states back in the driver’s seat on school accountability.
No longer must states abide by what many perceived as the one-size-fits all federal mandates associated with ESSA’s predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act.
But what will this newfound freedom look like? And what should education reporters watch for to ensure states remain focused on closing achievement gaps and parents get an accurate and easy-to-grasp picture of school performance?
Digging Up Dirt: This Reporter’s Investigation Finds Filthy Chicago Schools
Lax oversight of private custodial services a big factor, Chicago Sun-Times finds (EWA Radio: Episode 169)
When Chicago Public Schools decided to privatize its custodial and facilities maintenance services in 2014, district officials promised it would mean cleaner campuses. But as Lauren FitzPatrick of the Chicago Sun-Times reports in a new series, that’s a far cry from the reality. Instead, inspectors found rat and bug infestations, filthy bathrooms, and potentially hazardous conditions for students and staff.
School safety experts recently weighed in on how states and school systems are — and should be — responding to the spate of campus shootings.
They also shared best practices for journalists when covering the issue of school shootings, including how to analyze school districts’ prevention efforts, what stories to look for, and how to report on shootings while minimizing harm to mourning communities.
The May 16 panel came two days before yet another school shooting, this time at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, that led to 10 deaths.
Five Questions to Ask After Court’s ‘Janus’ Ruling
Teachers' unions face uncertain future as decision looms
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling soon that could potentially deal a major blow to the size and strength of teachers’ unions.
The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31, pits public sector unions against employees who contend that requiring non-union workers to pay certain fees to the union violates their freedom of speech.
As a growing number of teachers across the country hold strikes to advocate for better pay and increased education funding, new questions are arising about the power of teachers’ unions, the role of social media, and what teachers are doing to continue their efforts beyond large-scale work demonstrations.
During a May 16 panel at the Education Writers Association’s annual conference, speakers sought to contextualize the teacher actions, what they mean, and what’s next.
Helping Students Help Themselves
A social-emotional learning approach to school discipline (EWA Radio: Episode 168)
What would happen if teachers had the flexibility to handle classroom discipline issues on a case-by-case basis, rather than following top-down mandates from the district or the principal’s office? Writing for The Atlantic, Katherine Reynolds Lewis visited Ohio Avenue Elementary School in Columbus, where an effort to rethink approaches to bad behavior is paying big dividends.