Blog: The Educated Reporter
What Are Regional Educational Labs? Tips for Accessing Research and Story Ideas From an Overlooked Source
Find studies, subject matter experts, insight into educators’ concerns and more from a federal network of labs.
Reporters hunting for useful research can try a federal source that many overlook – Regional Educational Laboratories across the country.
The U.S. Department of Education’s research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), allocates roughly $57 million a year to this network of 10 laboratories. Each lab’s researchers team up with educators and policymakers to try to figure out what works and what doesn’t in their districts.
There’s a question I’m asked all too often, and one I wish I never, ever had another reason to answer: How should reporters approach covering school shootings?
$100K in Debt for a $50K Job
Wall Street Journal investigates USC’s high-priced online social work master’s program that recruited low-income students (EWA Radio Episode 282)
The Wall Street Journal’s investigations team is tackling the student loan debt crisis from multiple angles, including digging into questionable recruiting and loan practices by top schools. Case in point: the University of Southern California’s online graduate program in social work.
How to Cover the Fight Against COVID-19 on Campus
Tips and story ideas for reporters covering mask and vaccine minefields on campus
Universities are a “microcosm” of society, so the same fraught debates happening in society over mask and vaccine mandates are happening on college campuses, too, according to Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick.
Frederick shared this insight during a virtual panel at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 Higher Education Seminar on Oct. 19. Moderated by Francie Diep with The Chronicle of Higher Education, three university officials discussed the legal, political and health care forces at work in the fight against COVID-19 on campus.
Member Spotlight: Educator Turned Journalist Takes on the Race Beat at Vox
Fabiola Cineas’ background as a teacher and education journalist helps her thrive in one of the newest - and most important - beats in journalism.
Less than 3% of journalists are Black women, according to the American Society of News Editors’ 2019 Newsroom Diversity Survey. An even tinier percentage of journalists have public school teaching experience. And on top of that remarkable history, Fabiola Cineas is a pioneer in a new beat.
School Librarian Stories Are Overdue
From teaching media literacy to fending off budget cuts, school librarians face host of challenges (EWA Radio Episode 281)
In districts from Boston to Seattle, school librarians are wearing multiple hats these days, from helping teachers with the tech side of remote learning to working with high-need students who lost academic ground during the pandemic shutdown.
What Happened to $190 Billion in School COVID-19 Funds?
New investigation raises questions on spending priorities of local districts and whether states are prepared to effectively track the federal aid (EWA Radio Episode 280)
Reporter Annie Waldman and Reporting Fellow Bianca Fortis dug into the data from 16,000 provisional reports from state agencies and determined half the money was spent on programs, services or goods categorized as “other,” meaning no specifics are readily available.
When School Board Meetings Become Battlegrounds
COVID-19 safety protocols, critical race theory fuel disputes over local control and education policy (EWA Radio Episode 279)
Across the nation, school boards find themselves on the front lines for debates over COVID-19 mask mandates and teaching about racism. Heated exchanges during public comment periods have expanded to public protests, threats of violence, and a surge in conservative slates of candidates running for school board seats…
The Real Story Behind Teacher Shortages
How the pandemic is impacting districts already short on highly qualified teachers, and could slow efforts to spend federal pandemic relief dollars earmarked for student programs and services (EWA Radio Episode 278)
Across the country, school districts are grappling with staffing shortages that are making it tough to recover from the disruptions of the COVD-19 pandemic. Matt Barnum, a national reporter at Chalkbeat…
How is the Housing Crisis Affecting College Students and Faculty? 5 Things to Consider.
Resources to help reporters cover housing and education issues during the pandemic
The pandemic’s impact on housing – driving rental prices up dramatically, and threatening millions of Americans with eviction – have had a surprising and under-covered impact on higher education.
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.