Blog: The Educated Reporter
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.
Strength in Numbers: Schools Team Up to Focus on Student Improvement
Solving complex problems requires buy-in by campus leaders, experts say
For decades, most efforts to improve opportunities for high-needs students have resembled snowflakes; they come down from above, are completely different from each other, complicate routines, and rarely stick.
However, experts gathered at EWA’s annual conference in Los Angeles this year said at least one kind of reform has a good chance of making long-lasting gains: “school improvement networks.”
Pace University is a medium-sized private college in New York with a sticker price of $66,000. California State University, Northridge serves more than three times as many students (41,000) and has a sticker price for Californians less than a third of Pace’s ($21,000).
What Does Hate Look Like in Schools? Education Week and ProPublica Show Us.
Is President Trump's Fiery Rhetoric Fueling Incidents at Public Campuses?
(EWA Radio: Episode 177)
Swastikas scrawled on bathroom walls. A confederate flag hanging behind a teacher’s desk. Chants of “build the wall” aimed at Hispanic students. As part of ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” project, Education Week tallied incidents of harassment, bullying, graffiti and more at public schools across the country. The team, including Education Week’s Francisco Vara-Orta, sifted through thousands of tips, as well as news coverage of incidents from across the nation.
How Much Do Charter Schools Cost Districts?
As charter school enrollment grows, researchers disagree on extent of financial impact and who's to blame.
It’s a refrain heard often in arguments against charter schools—they divert money and resources from already cash-strapped traditional public schools.
But determining to what extent that criticism rings true is anything but simple. Despite several studies, estimates of the costs traditional public schools bear as they lose students to charter schools are imprecise and vary considerably.
‘Our First Job Is to Be Human. Our Second Job Is to Be a Journalist.’
Award-winning reporter John Woodrow Cox shares insights on covering children and gun violence
(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.
After District Error, Reporters Publish Hidden Details on Parkland Shooter’s History
Broward County School Board wants Sun Sentinel reporters held in contempt for publishing redacted details
For reporters, it’s second nature to hold up a redacted paper document to the light to see what might still be visible. Two reporters at the South Florida Sun Sentinel are facing a possible contempt of court charge for using a digital version of this technique on a report — commissioned by Broward County Public Schools — about the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.