Blog: The Educated Reporter
Responsible Reporting on LGBTQ Students
Tips for coverage of youths' mental health, well-being, and more
Editor’s note: This post was updated on June 15, 2020, to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court decision that protects LGBTQ employees from being fired.
The news media must do a better job of covering the challenges faced by LGBTQ youths, a trio of advocates and educators told journalists attending an Education Writers Association seminar on adolescent learning and well-being in February.
When College Students Aren’t College-Ready
Thousands of students struggle at Chicago’s two-year colleges. Is an overhaul of developmental ed. programs enough to help?
(EWA Radio: Episode 231)
In Chicago, thousands of students are earning high school diplomas but showing up at the city’s two-year colleges unprepared for the next step in their academic journeys. In a new project, Kate McGee of WBEZ looked at efforts to buck that trend, including an innovative program developed not by outside experts but the system’s own faculty. Along the way, she explored a number of questions: Do students benefit more from remedial classes that re-teach them material they were supposed to master in high school, or from being placed directly into college classes with additional support like tutoring
Five Tips for Education Reporters Covering the Coronavirus
How COVID-19 health crisis could impact students and schools, and what education leaders are doing to prepare
As the number of reported cases of the COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, continues to mount in the U.S., here are five things education reporters should keep in mind when covering the health crisis and its impact on schools and colleges. (This post will be periodically updated as circumstances warrant.)
Are Schools Adequately Preparing Students to Vote?
As political controversies trickle into classrooms, civics teachers connect curriculum to current events
(EWA Radio: Episode 207)
With the youth vote expected to be an important factor in the 2020 election cycle, civics teachers are increasingly using current events to help students understand the democratic system — and to be engaged and informed citizens. Reporter Stephen Sawchuk of Education Week shares insights from his news organization’s “Citizen Z” project, focused on the state of civics education in the U.S., including how it shapes individuals’ perspectives and community engagement beyond voting.
A flurry of education-related conversation surfaced at the most recent Democratic presidential debate on Feb. 25, as candidates exchanged jabs and defended their positions on charter schools, student loan debt, and setting up young people for meaningful careers.
The 10th debate came at a pivotal moment, just days before voters in 14 states will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday (March 3). With education taking a back seat in prior debates, the rapid-fire discussion caught the attention of education journalists and pundits.
EWA Tip Sheet: Using Data to Report on Risky Youth Behavior
Here's how to use CDC survey findings in your reporting
Today’s teenagers are generally steering clear of risky behaviors compared to young people in years past, but they still face hazards, especially if they identify as LGBTQ. The biennial Youth Risk Behavior survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks at key risk factors that can make high schoolers more susceptible to diseases, violence, and death.
“You don’t have to know Excel to find story hooks in here,” said Daniel Willis, education journalist and session moderator.
Participants who contributed to this advice:
Getting Education Equity Messages Through the Noise Now Takes a 5-Prong Strategy
The Education Trust's Nicolle Grayson: Journalists should "leave us with hope."
Growing up in one of the nicer neighborhoods of Washington D.C., Nicolle Grayson assumed that her fellow students across the city had the same kinds of well-funded schools and highly qualified teachers as she did. Then she started volunteering at an elementary school across town, and discovered how drastically different public education could be for students just a few miles apart.
How Schools Handle Hate
After incidents of racism and anti-semitism, Seattle-area schools struggle to respond
(EWA Radio: Episode 230)
Education reporters are increasingly covering incidents of racism, antisemitism and other forms of hate committed by K-12 students. But what happens after the media spotlight shifts to the next story?
Investigating a University’s Ties to China
How one reporter used her EWA Fellowship to examine a school's growing Chinese population
The number of students from mainland China attending an American university has increased by more than 50 percent in the last decade. For many campuses, that student population has become a key source of tuition revenue and talent. For those who see China as an economic, political and military threat, this rapid growth has raised alarms.
When Public Dollars Pay for Private School
A new investigation sheds light on a lesser-known provision of federal law intended to ensure students with disabilities get the educational services they need
(EWA Radio: Episode 229)
In New York City, separated by just 15 blocks, two boys with similar learning disabilities struggled in public school classrooms. Under the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), both were eligible to enroll in private school on the taxpayers’ dime as a remedy. But as a new investigation by The Teacher Project at Columbia University School of Journalism revealed, the financial status of the boys’ families played a big role in whether the district picked up the tab.
Paradise Lost? Hawaii’s Teacher Shortage
Educators struggle with high cost of living as Aloha State looks to boost pay, training, and workforce diversity
(EWA Radio: Episode 228)
In the mainland United States, typical conversations about Hawaii are more likely to center on dream vacations than teacher shortages. But there’s plenty to be learned from the state’s educational challenges, and how Hawaii is approaching teacher training, recruitment, and retention. Suevon Lee — who covers Hawaii’s public schools for Honolulu Civil Beat, an investigative news outlet — examined these issues with support from an EWA Reporting Fellowship.
How Partisan Politics Shape States’ History Textbooks
New York Times evaluates differences among textbooks in California and Texas, finding big differences in what students are taught about civil rights, immigration, and more
(EWA Radio: Episode 227)
They say history is a tale told by winners — so who’s writing the textbooks and deciding what students are taught in two of the nation’s biggest states? Dana Goldstein, a national education correspondent for The New York Times, read 4,800 pages of textbooks to determine how the political leanings of policymakers and the appointed textbook review committees influence what students — and future voters — are being taught about the nation’s history. Among the key findings for California and Texas: textbook publishers adjust the content on seminal topics like civil rights, immigration, and LGBTQ issues to align with state-specific standards.