Blog: The Educated Reporter
How Should the Government Support Families?
Experts debate federal policies that support early care and learning
Government agencies give lip service to the importance of high-quality child care and early learning programs, but the patchwork system of tax breaks and government grants has too many gaps, causing many families to struggle with bills. And many communities have too few options for high-quality early learning opportunities. That was the consensus of a panel of experts who spoke at the Education Writers Association’s early childhood conference Nov. 6 and 7.
They debated however, the causes of and potential fixes to the problems – ranging from taxes to grants to privatization.
The evidence base for early childhood education expanded last month with the release of two reports that, together, analyze the outcomes of more than 100 early childhood interventions.
The reports, from the Rand Corporation and the American Educational Research Association (AERA), find short- and long-term benefits for children and families, and identify potential cost-savings for schools and government.
If you missed EWA’s webinar, It’s Greek to Me: How to Report on Media-Averse Fraternities, the two speakers had plenty of resources to share with reporters looking to beef up their stories with experts and nationally culled data.
Could Silicon Valley Reinvent Public Schooling?
Student-centered, personalized learning is focus for charter school network
At Summit Public Schools, a network of charters primarily in California’s Silicon Valley, students are in charge of their own learning. Customized digital “playlists” map out — and track — their daily instruction, guided by teachers who serve more as coaches than lecturers.
An ‘Ounce’ of Early Education Pays Off
First Lady of Illinois Says Funding Should Be Made More Sustainable
Diana Rauner advocates for early childhood care and education today because of ex-offenders.
The now-first lady of Illinois was working on Wall Street years ago when she began volunteering at a local settlement house, teaching ex-offenders how to read. She remembers being astonished that somebody her age could not know how to read.
“That really was when I decided to start thinking about educational inequities,” Rauner said at a recent Education Writers Association conference on early learning at the Erikson Institute held in Chicago Nov. 6 and 7, 2017.
What Reporters Should Look for in Early Learning Settings
Lectures don't work well for young children. Look instead for child-directed fun.
In some classrooms she visited, children counted numbers as they did jumping jacks, author Suzanne Bouffard said. In others, teachers lectured as children sat quietly, nearly whispering answers to questions as if scared to say the wrong thing — something you never want to see a 4-year-old do.
The stark differences among these preschool classrooms illustrate what years of research have documented, Bouffard said.
Six Tips for Using Twitter (and Other Social Media Platforms)
Twitter and Facebook can be useful reporting tools, not just places to post cat GIFs
For journalists already enduring understaffed newsrooms, shrinking news holes and daily deadlines, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter may seem more like an additional burden than a useful tool. But they don’t have to be.
Social media can be a powerful tool for culling sources, breaking news, and promoting your work, among other things.
Tight Budgets Force Hard Choices Among Child Care Providers
Funding constraints, high cost of quality leave early learning programs feeling squeezed
“An impossible equation.” That’s how Phil Acord describes the challenge of keeping afloat a high-quality early learning program that serves children from low-income families.
As the president of the Chambliss Center for Children, a nonprofit organization that provides around-the-clock care and education to young children in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Acord knows well how difficult it can be for child care providers to simply keep their doors open each month.
‘Raising Kings’: A Portrait of an Urban High School for Young Men of Color
Education Week-NPR series features social-emotional learning and restorative justice at new D.C. campus
Can schools ever fully fill the gaps in students’ life experiences that often keep them from succeeding in school? Two reporters, Education Week’s Kavitha Cardoza and Cory Turner of NPR, spent hundreds of hours at Ron Brown College Prep, a new boys-only public high school in Washington, D.C. that primarily serves students of color.
Michele Siqueiros recalled the day she arrived on a college campus.
“I thought I had arrived on another planet,” she told a recent gathering of journalists who attended the Education Writers Association’s fourth annual convening for Spanish-language media. “There were very few Latinos.”
Siqueiros, now the president of The Campaign for College Opportunity, a California nonprofit organization, said she was a straight A student in high school, but in college “I felt for the first time I wasn’t prepared.”
About 45 education reporters gathered in Chicago this week for EWA’s two-day seminar on covering early learning. They got a primer on early education research and the complex web of funding sources for zero-to-five education and care. Reporters visited highly recognized early learning centers in the Windy City and got tips on what to look for during visits.
While news stories about President Trump’s trickle-down influence on voters claimed the national spotlight during this election cycle, education issues still managed to eke out a respectable showing on Tuesday.