Blog: The Educated Reporter
Lessons From the Oklahoma Teachers’ Strike
Educators’ walkouts fuel push for better pay, statewide education funding (EWA Radio: Episode 165)
After nine days on the picket lines, Oklahoma teachers are back to work this week. Like their counterparts in West Virginia and Kentucky who also went on strike this spring, teachers in the Sooner State were seeking more than bigger paychecks; they also aimed to draw attention to funding shortfalls for public schools statewide. Ben Felder of The Oklahoman shares his experiences as a local reporter covering what quickly swelled into a national story.
The Ins and Outs of ‘Restorative Justice’ in Schools
What is it? Does it work as an alternative to traditional student discipline?
When students misbehave at school, traditional approaches to discipline say you should punish them to deter future offenses.
But a growing movement toward “restorative” approaches to discipline focuses more on repairing the damage rather than suspending or expelling students.
Though details vary from school to school, so-called “restorative justice” programs instead encourage students to reflect on their transgressions and their root causes, talk about them – usually with the victims of the behavior – and try to make amends.
What it means: The National Assessment for Educational Progress, sometimes referred to as “the nation’s report card,” is given every two years to a representative sample of the nation’s students in grades 4 and 8 to gauge achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics. Twelfth graders also are tested on roughly the same schedule.
Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky are on the picket lines this week, pushing for better compensation for themselves and more money for schools in their respective states.
These strikes come just weeks after West Virginia’s schools were shuttered statewide for almost two weeks in March, eventually sparking the legislature there to award teachers pay raises.
Such work stoppages are historically rare, but the teachers involved say they were necessary to force resolutions to months - or even years - of stalled negotiations.
There’s a New Federal Budget. What’s In It For Schools?
Education Department sees boost, despite Trump, DeVos' push to downsize (EWA Radio: Episode 164)
After months of wrangling, Congress passed — and President Trump signed — a massive spending bill that ups funding for the U.S. Department of Education. The bipartisan measure is arguably a “wholesale rejection” of Trump’s education agenda, according to Caitlin Emma of Politico’s education team. For starters, rather than meet the call from Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to slash federal aid, lawmakers instead allocated an additional $2.6 billion, bringing the Education Department’s budget to nearly $71 billion. How did this happen?
Getting heartfelt, personally revealing comments from teenage boys is difficult enough for parents. So reporters Kavitha Cardoza and Cory Turner had to take a few creative risks to get good audio for their National Public Radio series on an all-boys public high school in Washington D.C. last year.
The New Freshmen: Adult College Students
Higher ed focusing on services, programs to boost enrollment and graduation rates (EWA Radio: Episode 163)
You wouldn’t know it from most media outlets’ coverage of college, but students over the age of 24 account for more than a quarter of the nation’s undergraduates.
Students at Center Stage of ‘March for Our Lives’
D.C. rally draws hundreds of thousands; Youth nationwide call for stricter gun control laws
Common, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda were upstaged at Saturday’s March for Our Lives by teens and tweens who had survived school shootings and those who face the threat of gun violence in their daily lives.
What it means: The definition and assigned duties of a school resource officer (SRO) can vary widely, although many schools — particularly at the secondary level — have some version of the staff position. In certain districts, schools call anyone on campus with security responsibilities the SRO, and many are unarmed. At the other end of the spectrum, some states require SROs to undergo the same police academy training as sworn peace officers.
Three Countries in 14 Minutes: School Choice Lessons From Abroad
Vouchers, private schools, and open enrollment in France, Sweden, and New Zealand (EWA Radio: Episode 162)
School choice is one of the most contentious issues in K-12 education today. But it’s hardly an American invention. Sarah Butrymowicz of The Hechinger Report recently traveled to New Zealand, Sweden, and France to look at how school choice plays out, and whether there are lessons for the U.S. system. Why is New Zealand considered a “school choice utopia,” and how is its open enrollment policy driving programming and competition among local campuses?
Building character is an everyday event, woven into the fabric of how school is done on every level, educators and students told journalists during a conference in New Orleans on educating for character and citizenship.
A key goal is creating a community of trust among students and faculty, said educators at several schools that put character development at the center. During the panel discussion, they used words like “love” and “team” to describe their schools, emphasizing the mutual respect that they work to cultivate between students and teachers.