Blog: The Educated Reporter

EWA Radio: Education Reporters Share Story Ideas for 2015

We have two new episodes of EWA Radio this week, looking at the hot-button stories on the education beat in the coming year.

My EWA colleague Mikhail Zinshteyn and I spoke with reporters at the local, regional and national level about what they expect to tackle in the coming months. On the K-12 beat, we spoke with NPR’s national education reporter Claudio Sanchez, as well as Lauren Foreman of the Bakersfield Californian. (Sanchez elaborated on some of the points we discussed, and his writeup is definitely worth a read.) For the higher education perspective, we turned to Katie Mangan of the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Collin Binkley of the Columbus Dispatch. 

Not surprisingly, there will clearly be some carryover from 2014 on issues like testing, the Common Core State Standards, and how colleges and universities are addressing sexual assault on campus. Reporters are also expecting to see continued impact from the fallout in Ferguson, Mo., and issues of equity in classroom opportunities for traditionally underserved student populations. And teacher quality is expected to gain momentum in 2015, as the feds push states to shut down inferior programs and colleges prepare for new voluntary performance standards. 

We gleaned another lesson from these conversations, and one that’s particularly useful to education reporters: What’s in the spotlight nationally might not be the most pressing issue for local students, teachers, schools, and families. There’s also no substitute for visiting schools — and talking to students, teachers, administrators and families about what matters most to them. 

For more on these issues, take a look at EWA’s Topics Pages. You’ll find the latest news, research and reports, and even questions to ask as you conduct your own reporting.