Blog: The Educated Reporter
‘We Are Not a Monolith:’ How to Better Cover Race on Campus
Questions to ask about student activism, racism and racial injustice at colleges
For decades, college campuses have served as vital spaces for student activism, especially on issues of race. And, if anything, campus activism on racial issues has been ramping up in 2021.
Lessons From the Educational Equity Beat
Bianca Vázquez Toness of The Boston Globe shares insights from her coverage of vulnerable students, and holding education systems accountable
(EWA Radio Episode 272)
From an inside look at a 12-year-old struggling with remote learning to revealing that districts had wrongly forced parents to sign away their children’s rights to special education services, The Boston Globe’s Bianca Vázquez Toness put the spotlight on families whose educational experiences were most disrupted by the pandemic.
Covering alleged incidents of sexual assault is a difficult assignment for any journalist. Education reporters have to deal with the added complication of Title IX, the 39-page federal law that addresses sexual discrimination in education.
After COVID-19 Reshaped Education, What’s Next for Teachers?
Experts offer four story ideas on the changing workforce, from educator turnover to federal stimulus money.
The pandemic has disrupted teaching and the teacher workforce in a big way.
As the nation pivots to education recovery mode, questions abound and the stakes are high, from hot-button issues like teacher turnover to how COVID-19 has impacted the teacher pipeline and the experience for novice educators who first set foot in a classroom – real or virtual – during the shutdown.
Tips for Scrutinizing Data on College Value
Are college students getting the best education for their (and taxpayers’) money?
What’s the “value” of a college education? As college costs rise, more people are questioning what they’re getting for their tuition and tax money.
Reporters investigating this important topic can access a growing number of databases that are starting to capture at least some aspects of value, according to Dominique Baker, an education policy professor at Southern Methodist University, and Robert Kelchen, a professor at Seton Hall University and data manager for the Washington Monthly College Rankings.
Teaching the Tulsa Race Massacre
Oklahoma wrestles with its history on centennial of destruction of Black neighborhood, and whether 'critical race theory' should be taught in schools
(EWA Radio Episode 271)
The Tulsa Race Massacre’s centennial has recently drawn headlines nationwide, but most Americans – including many educated in Oklahoma public schools – never previously learned about the tragic episode.
Video Tutorial: Downloading and Using College Scorecard Data
Analyze alumni earnings, student debt and other college data.
Data on how quickly people pay back their student loans, and how much alumni earn are among the most commonly cited indicators of the economic value of higher education.
So where do you find that important, and news-making data?
Check out the College Scorecard. The U.S. Department of Education provides free in-depth data on five areas: cost, graduation rate, employment rate, average amount borrowed and loan default rate.
Video Tutorial: How to Use the College Scorecard Tool
Find college data on student loans, alumni earnings and more.
If you’re on the higher education beat, your readers are hungry for news and information about student loans and whether a particular college or major paid off in the form of a good job.
Luckily, the U.S. Department of Education has started providing free in-depth data on student debt levels and alumni earnings on its College Scorecard.
Investigating the Benefits and Costs of Innovation at Colleges and Universities
Why education reporters should ‘maintain their professional skepticism’
The pandemic forced colleges to make immediate and dramatic innovations with technology to maintain instruction, admissions, counseling and other activities while campuses mainly shut.
Some of those changes proved to be lifesavers for institutions and their students. But others need to be carefully assessed on how well they work, particularly on whether they help adult learners, low-income students, and under-represented ethnic groups, educational leaders who specialize in innovation told reporters at Education Writers Association’s 2021 virtual National Seminar.
The Billion-Dollar School Safety Boondoggle
Millions of young people experience trauma related to gun violence, and the harm is overlooked in statistics about campus shootings or community incidents (EWA Radio Episode 267)
America’s gun violence crisis is leaving its mark on multiple generations of young people, who don’t need to be victims or even direct witnesses to shootings to suffer lasting harm.
The grand experiment with remote instruction in the pandemic hasn’t just impacted teachers and students. It has also changed the relationship of parents to their children’s learning, and provided a firsthand look at the virtual classroom experience.
During a May 4 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar, parent advocates and researchers explored how the role of families in education may shift, and ways schools and others can support the change.
The participants were:
- Sarah Carpenter, Memphis Lift
- Keri Rodrigues, National Parents Union
- Vidya Sundaram, Family Engagement Lab
- Rebecca Winthrop, Center for Universal Education
- Katherine Lewis, independent journalist (Moderator)
Are ‘Merit’-based Education Admissions Practices Racist?
Experts outline problems with - and efforts to improve - use of SAT scores, affirmative action, school lotteries.
It is one of the thorniest topics in education: What criteria should be used to fairly determine which students are admitted to America’s “elite” public schools, colleges and universities?
Many top schools have faced criticism in recent decades for not reflecting the nation’s racial and socioeconomic diversity.