Blog: The Educated Reporter
In May, after massive teacher strikes shook up politics in a half-dozen states and thousands of teachers returned to the classroom fresh off the picket lines, a central question lingered: Was the “educator spring,” as the teacher walkouts were dubbed, a one-off event or just a taste of what’s to come?
Want to Help Students in Poverty? Help Their Families, Too.
A review of research finds positive benefits to boosting family well-being
(EWA Radio: Episode 183)
In the debate over how to boost student achievement, especially among kids from low-income families, out-of-school factors are often cited as hurdles that even the best school-based programs and services can’t fully overcome. But what about programs that focus on lifting an entire family out of poverty?
Remember the Alamo. Forget Helen Keller.
There’s more to Texas' new social studies standards than the viral headlines
(EWA Radio: Episode 182)
Dallas Morning News reporter Lauren McGaughy was expecting another mundane Texas Board of Education meeting. Instead, she wound up with a story that quickly went viral, detailing plans to revise social studies standards — and remove references to Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton, among others.
School Board Races Heat Up Around Country
Often overshadowed, these local elections can have big consequences
While the election cycle spotlight typically focuses on state and federal movers and shakers, the outcomes of local school board races this fall could shake up education policies and priorities at the local level in many communities, with seats up for grabs from coast to coast.
Is It Time to Turn The Page on How Schools Teach Reading?
Outdated instructional approaches are hurting student learning, experts say
(EWA Radio: Episode 181)
Across the country, the way most students are being taught to read is out of step with more than 40 years of scientific research on how children learn this essential skill. That’s the case being made in a new radio documentary from APM Reports’ Emily Hanford, who describes the devastating domino effect of inadequate literacy instruction on students’ academic progress and opportunities.
From Passion Project to Career: A Reporter’s Story
To Cover Education Well, Says Trisha Powell Crain, Know Your Community.
For Trisha Powell Crain, the statewide education reporter for AL.com (Alabama Media Group), the path to journalism was not a traditional one. She started out as a parent of school-aged children asking hard questions of local education officials.
When School Funding Isn’t Fair
What does educational inequity look like in Pennsylvania's schools?
(EWA Radio: Episode 180)
In recent years, multiple U.S. Secretaries of education, appointed by both Republicans and Democrats, have called access to quality public schools a civil rights issue. At the same time, a growing number of states face court challenges to how they fund their K-12 systems, amid concerns that current approaches exacerbate inequities, particularly for historically underserved groups like students of color.
More Than Numbers: Getting Inside the Data on Student Absenteeism
As states prepare for new ESSA reporting requirements, advocates push for accountability, raising family awareness
With a new federal accountability mandate looming, teachers and school administrators are trying just about everything to improve student attendance — from offering cold cash to students who show up regularly to texting warning messages to parents when their kids miss class.
These efforts come as some advocates and researchers warn that the nation faces a “chronic absenteeism” crisis.
If a Los Angeles gang member decides to seek a new start, he or she can walk through the front door of Homeboy Industries in West Los Angeles and its founder, “Father G,” typically will come out of his office and welcome them with open arms.
Back-to-School Story Ideas: Higher Ed Edition
From free speech to DeVos' policy rollbacks, how will colleges and universities approach new academic year?
(EWA Radio: Episode 174)
Scott Jaschik, the editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed, shares his annual “what to watch” list for reporters covering postsecondary education—from the impact of the Trump administration’s policies and rhetoric on international-student enrollment to efforts to train the next generation of workers in high-need fields. Other ideas Jaschik serves up: How are university leaders handling free speech issues on campus, from student protests to controversial speakers?
Higher Ed ‘Deserts’: Who Lives in Them, and Why it Matters
For millions of would-be college students, convenient and affordable degree programs are out of reach
(EWA Radio: Episode 179)
About seven in 10 undergraduates are “nontraditional” students, according to the U.S. Department of Education, meaning they delayed starting college, have a job or children, or are attending part-time. Meanwhile,, millions of would-be college students live in what some have dubbed higher ed “deserts” without easy or affordable access to postsecondary education.
Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Teachers
New polls shed light on public attitudes toward public schools, declining enthusiasm for teaching profession
Two new national polls provide insights into Americans’ attitudes and perceptions of public education, and provide plenty of fodder for reporters looking for story ideas on the teacher workforce, school choice, and funding priorities.