Blog: The Educated Reporter
At Rocky Hill School, a private day school in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, it’s not unusual for education technology entrepreneurs to pop into the classroom or Skype in for a chat.
As it turns out, a captive audience of eight- and nine-year-olds can be useful in designing new products. Third-graders at the school had a hand in developing an award-winning plush duck that gives comfort to children undergoing chemotherapy, head of school James Tracy said.
It’s hard to avoid writing about tests and test scores as an education reporter. Too often, though, the story gets done in a rush — with scores about to be released or already out in the world.
Marianne Perie, the director of the Center for Assessment and Accountability at the University of Kansas, urged reporters to take a step back at the Education Writers Association conference in May.
Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark
Florida’s Public Dollars Pay for Private Schools’ Christian Curriculum
(EWA Radio: Episode 172)
In Florida, school vouchers are a billion-dollar bonanza for private and parochial campuses. And some of these schools are using public dollars to teach content that conflicts with scientific evidence, such as claiming humans and dinosaurs coexisted and traveled together on Noah’s Ark.
Beyond Protests: Better Ways to Cover Race Issues on Campus
Racial conflicts at colleges need deeper and more patient coverage.
Protests over statues honoring Confederate soldiers; shouting matches at presentations by white nationalist speakers; student drives to strip buildings of names honoring racist officials.
Such dramatic campus racial conflicts and controversies justifiably attract attention from reporters and the public, according to a pair of veteran education journalists, a researcher, and a college administrator who spoke on a panel at the Education Writers Association’s 2018 National Seminar.
How President Trump and the Republicans Are Changing Colleges
Impacts already being seen in admissions, student loans and for-profit colleges.
Even though a long-delayed update to a major higher education law appears to be stalled in the U.S. Senate, Republican policies are starting to influence colleges around the country because of orders and actions taken by the administration of President Donald Trump, according to a recent panel of Washington insiders and higher education leaders.
Speaking at the Education Writers Association’s 2018 National Seminar in May, the panelists highlighted three ways federal actions are affecting colleges around the country.
Adult College Students: The Undercovered 6.6 Million
35% of the college population are veterans, working parents and perpetual students like James Franco.
Adult learners, or college students aged 25 and older, are typically referred to as “nontraditional students,” in contrast to their younger, “traditional” student peers.
But that’s an oversimplification of “tradition.” Adult students have long been an important part of the college student body – whether it was the World War II veterans who flooded campuses thanks to the GI Bill, or seemingly perennial students like James Franco.
Hispanic students, who make up the second largest racial demographic in schools today, are entering college in record numbers. But they are also dropping out of college at a far higher rate than white students. That reality has important implications for our educational and economic systems and the reporters who cover them, according to a group of researchers and experts gathered at the 2018 Education Writers Association National Seminar.
Public university systems have weathered wave after wave of difficulties in recent years – from shrinking state funding streams to intense public scrutiny and criticism – and it’s not likely to get easier anytime soon.
That’s according to the leaders of the two public university systems in California, a state that has long led the way on higher education for the rest of the nation.
Reporting on Children and Gun Violence
"Our First Job is to be Human, Our Second Job is to be a Journalist"
(EWA Radio: Episode 171)
From first-graders in rural South Carolina to high schoolers in Las Vegas, The Washington Post’s John Woodrow Cox paints searing portraits of the impact of gun violence through the eyes of the survivors themselves.
Matthew Kauffman, an investigative reporter for the Hartford Courant, started a two-part, data literacy workshop for journalists with a question: “How many people got into journalism primarily because they were hoping to do more math?”
When zero hands went flying into the air, he was not surprised.
“There’s just kind of a disconnect between what we do and numbers and math,” Kauffman said. However, he argued it is more important than ever for reporters to get comfortable with math.
“Diversity is essential to the success of the news industry.” Those words, once so eloquently stated by award-winning journalist Gwen Ifill, capture the overarching message conveyed during a recent panel on diversity in the journalism workforce. The spirited talk was part of the Education Writers Association’s 2018 National Seminar in Los Angeles.
College and graduate school have gotten so expensive, and lenders have been so willing to allow borrowers to put off repayment (and let the interest compound), that a few dozen Americans have managed to amass more than $1 million in student loan debt.