Blog: The Educated Reporter
Why Four-Day School Weeks Are Gaining Ground
Districts use shorter schedule to cut costs, recruit teachers
(EWA Radio: Episode 185)
Once more common to rural communities, the four-day school week is growing in popularity in suburban and urban districts as a way to reduce costs, boost student engagement, and even retain staff. Tawnell Hobbs of The Wall Street Journal found the number of school systems following a four-day academic week has skyrocketed in the past decade, from about 120 districts in 17 states to at least 600 districts in 22 states this year.
It’s hard to overstate the potential implications for education in the 2018 elections. The reasons have less to do with the high-profile battle for control of Congress. It’s really about the volume of state-level contests in November.
The Feds Have 13,000 Migrant Kids in Custody. Who’s Teaching Them?
Investigation finds little oversight of private companies providing required academic instruction inside detention facilities
(EWA Radio: Episode 184)
Thousands of migrant children have been taken into custody while crossing the border into the U.S., either on their own or while traveling with family members. While they await a court date, the federal government is required to provide school-age detainees—being held in facilities across the country—with daily schooling. In a new investigation, Lauren Camera of U.S.
Federal education officials say they want to help students make more informed decisions about where to go to school, what college will cost, and what return on investment to expect – reflecting U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s vision for reducing regulation of higher education while improving the public’s ability to exercise school choice.
In May, after massive teacher strikes shook up politics in a half-dozen states and thousands of teachers returned to the classroom fresh off the picket lines, a central question lingered: Was the “educator spring,” as the teacher walkouts were dubbed, a one-off event or just a taste of what’s to come?
Want to Help Students in Poverty? Help Their Families, Too.
A review of research finds positive benefits to boosting family well-being
(EWA Radio: Episode 183)
In the debate over how to boost student achievement, especially among kids from low-income families, out-of-school factors are often cited as hurdles that even the best school-based programs and services can’t fully overcome. But what about programs that focus on lifting an entire family out of poverty?
Remember the Alamo. Forget Helen Keller.
There’s more to Texas' new social studies standards than the viral headlines
(EWA Radio: Episode 182)
Dallas Morning News reporter Lauren McGaughy was expecting another mundane Texas Board of Education meeting. Instead, she wound up with a story that quickly went viral, detailing plans to revise social studies standards — and remove references to Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton, among others.
School Board Races Heat Up Around Country
Often overshadowed, these local elections can have big consequences
While the election cycle spotlight typically focuses on state and federal movers and shakers, the outcomes of local school board races this fall could shake up education policies and priorities at the local level in many communities, with seats up for grabs from coast to coast.
Is It Time to Turn The Page on How Schools Teach Reading?
Outdated instructional approaches are hurting student learning, experts say
(EWA Radio: Episode 181)
Across the country, the way most students are being taught to read is out of step with more than 40 years of scientific research on how children learn this essential skill. That’s the case being made in a new radio documentary from APM Reports’ Emily Hanford, who describes the devastating domino effect of inadequate literacy instruction on students’ academic progress and opportunities.
From Passion Project to Career: A Reporter’s Story
To Cover Education Well, Says Trisha Powell Crain, Know Your Community.
For Trisha Powell Crain, the statewide education reporter for AL.com (Alabama Media Group), the path to journalism was not a traditional one. She started out as a parent of school-aged children asking hard questions of local education officials.
When School Funding Isn’t Fair
What does educational inequity look like in Pennsylvania's schools?
(EWA Radio: Episode 180)
In recent years, multiple U.S. Secretaries of education, appointed by both Republicans and Democrats, have called access to quality public schools a civil rights issue. At the same time, a growing number of states face court challenges to how they fund their K-12 systems, amid concerns that current approaches exacerbate inequities, particularly for historically underserved groups like students of color.
More Than Numbers: Getting Inside the Data on Student Absenteeism
As states prepare for new ESSA reporting requirements, advocates push for accountability, raising family awareness
With a new federal accountability mandate looming, teachers and school administrators are trying just about everything to improve student attendance — from offering cold cash to students who show up regularly to texting warning messages to parents when their kids miss class.
These efforts come as some advocates and researchers warn that the nation faces a “chronic absenteeism” crisis.