Blog: The Educated Reporter


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.

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No Sports. No Band. No Fun. (And Less Learning?)
With COVID-19 curtailing extracurriculars like sports, fine arts, and special-interest clubs, student engagement suffers at all grade levels, experts say
(EWA Radio: Episode 254)

photo of band instuments

From basketball to band, debate club to dance teams, the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed extracurricular activities for many of the nation’s K-12 students. That could have a long-term impact on student enthusiasm for school overall, experts warn. Longtime education journalist Greg Toppo, writing for The 74, looks at how educators are working to keep kids connected to school, and the research showing a strong link between extracurricular participation and academic achievement.

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Science! (in Education Reporting)
From vetting studies to connecting with experts, tips on smart coverage of COVID-19 and public schools
(EWA Radio: Episode 253)

image of lab testing equipment

How can education reporters do a better job of incorporating science into their coverage of students and schools, especially as the evolving research around COVID-19 dominates discussions about how and when to reopen campuses? What’s known about the relative health risks to students and staff, and what are some examples of responsible coverage of this ongoing debate?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Top Biden Aide Talks Reopening Schools, Education Funding, Charters and More
Provides on-the-record comments in pre-election webinar

President-elect Joe Biden has a far-reaching education agenda that begins with actions to help schools reopen for in-person instruction, as well as plans to reverse key Trump administrative actions and more.

In a recent, on-the-record webinar, the Biden campaign’s national policy director, Stef Feldman, fielded questions from the Education Writers Association and its members around the country.

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COVID-19 College
NPR's Elissa Nadworny hits the road to document how colleges and universities are adapting in coronavirus pandemic era
(EWA Radio: Episode 250)

photo of Elissa Nadworny on location

Who takes a cross-country reporting road trip in the midst of a pandemic? NPR’s Elissa Nadworny decided it was the only way to find out for herself what life is really like on college campuses these days, and how students, faculty and administrators are dealing with a new world of logistical challenges.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

‘You Can’t Change Anything If You Don’t Talk About It’
Chastity Pratt sets the agenda as the Wall Street Journal's first education bureau chief.

As the new education bureau chief at the Wall Street Journal, Chastity Pratt says her personal experiences as a student in, and then a longtime reporter at, Detroit’s under-resourced public schools are helping her shape coverage that guides the finance-oriented readership into appreciating the profound societal and economic impacts of educational inequities. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Word on the Beat: NAEP
What reporters need to know about the 'nation's report card'

New achievement data for the nation’s 12th graders shows a slide in reading proficiency and no change in math skills,according to results released Oct 28. Overall, 37% of students scored at or above the proficient level for reading. In math, just a quarter met or exceeded the proficiency benchmark. (The assessment was administered in 2019, well before the pandemic upended U.S. education. Many educators and analysts are predicting significant learning loss as a result.)

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Biden vs. Trump: Their Education Plans
From school choice to teacher pay and student debt, what are the presidential candidates promising voters?
(EWA Radio: Episode 252)

screenshot of President Trump and Joe Biden during the October, 22, 2020 presidential debate.

What would a second term for President Donald Trump mean for K-12 and postsecondary education? And conversely, what might change if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the election? Lauren Camera of U.S. News & World Report and Michael Stratford of Politico Pro break down the candidates’ education policy priorities and share insights from covering their campaigns.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

COVID-19 Disruptions Raise Questions on Future of Testing, Accountability

One of former boxer Mike Tyson’s most famous maxims is that everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

In the 2020-21 academic year, standardized testing — and just about every other aspect of school — is “getting punched in the face by COVID,” said Scott Marion, the executive director of the Center for Assessment, invoking the heavyweight champion at a panel on testing and accountability during the Education Writers Association’s 2020 National Seminar.

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Battling for ‘The Souls of Black Girls’
Facing ‘double whammy’ of racism and sexism, Black girls are most at risk of unfairly punitive school discipline, a New York Times investigation finds
(EWA Radio: Episode 251)

photo of sad girl sitting in school hallway

When it comes to school discipline, Black girls are significantly more likely to receive harsh treatment than their white female peers, including referrals to enforcement. That’s the conclusion from a new analysis of federal education data by Erica Green and her colleagues at The New York Times. The project was a deeply personal one for Green, who spent two years digging into how racial and gender biases devastate the emotional well-being and academic trajectories of Black girls.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Pandemic-Driven Disparities Seen in After-School Programs
As coronavirus wears on, what role will out-of-school providers play in meeting community needs?

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a disproportionate toll on the education of low-income students and people of color. Stories abound on the situation, especially when it comes to remote instruction and plans for school re-opening. But even after the school day ends, the disparities persist.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

How to Get Voters to Care About School Board Elections
School board races are even more crucial during the pandemic

School board races typically get short shrift in election coverage. On ballots, they’re often relegated to the last pages, along with district court judges and densely worded ballot measures.

But school board members play a key leadership and oversight role in local public schools. During the pandemic, that includes an important new responsibility: largely deciding whether (and when) shuttered campuses will reopen, as well as setting the parameters for remote or hybrid learning.