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.

EWA Radio

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)

photo of Malaki Solo  using his laptop at home

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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. 


Video Tutorial: Downloading and Using College Scorecard Data
Analyze alumni earnings, student debt and other college data.

Video Tutorial: Downloading and Using College Scorecard 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.

Video Tutorial: How to Use the College Scorecard Tool

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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.


How Schools (and Reporters) Can Better Connect With Parents
'Talk to us,' parent organizers urge


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. 

How Schools (and Reporters) Can Better Connect With Parents

Click here to download the transcript of the 2021 family engagement session

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)
Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Are ‘Merit’-based Education Admissions Practices Racist?
Experts outline problems with - and efforts to improve - use of SAT scores, affirmative action, school lotteries.

Are ‘Merit’-based Education Admissions Practices Racist?

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.