Blog: The Educated Reporter
When Baltimore City Public Schools placed current education data on a map of the city’s historic racial redlining, it was apparent that not much had changed, as district CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises tells the story. The segregated neighborhoods created in part by policies that barred predominantly black communities from federally subsidized mortgages were the same neighborhoods that today showed lower academic outcomes.
Santelises said those findings motivated her district to take a closer look at what kind of opportunities it provides students.
Can a State Help More Residents Finish College?
With 75 percent of the state’s jobs requiring postsecondary credentials, Colorado looks to boost college and career training
(EWA Radio: Episode 213)
Like many states, Colorado has set an ambitious goal for boosting the number of citizens with advanced degrees and credentials, all with an eye toward filling high-need jobs in areas like health care and manufacturing. In a five-part series, EWA Reporting Fellow Stephanie Daniel of KUNC (Northern Colorado Community Radio) looks at how the Rocky Mountain state is trying to do that:
Want Safer Schools? It Takes Human Capital.
Counselors, school resource officers, educators play key roles, experts say
During an assembly at the high school where she was principal, Liz Dozier once asked 1,000-plus students if they knew someone who had been shot.
Every single student raised a hand.
“When I first got to the school, I didn’t understand all the effects of trauma — I just knew that our school was in crisis,” Dozier said. “The whole ecosystem that we had set up around kids was dysfunctional.”
Want to Know What Students Think of Your Reporting? Ask Them.
Los Angeles Times asks teens for feedback on coverage of homicides near campuses
(EWA Radio: Episode 205)
Do students in the nation’s second-largest district feel their communities are portrayed fairly in media coverage of homicides near schools? As part of her project on teens’ challenges navigating a safe path to schools, education reporter Sonali Kohli asked students critique news stories. She also crunched the data, finding surprising examples where the reality contradicted perceptions of the “most dangerous” schools.
For years, kicking students out of school was a common discipline move for administrators. Now, suspending students, a practice that disproportionately affects black and Hispanic youngsters, is out of favor, as educators work to respond to bad behavior without cutting off educational opportunities.
But the change hasn’t been easy, and many educators are still grappling with how to handle discipline problems in ways that don’t hurt students’ education, according to a panel at the Education Writers Association’s annual conference this spring in Baltimore.
EWA Tip Sheet: Covering College Certificates and Microcredentials
Here are resources for understanding non-degree higher education alternatives.
Students and workers looking to quickly advance their careers are beginning to seek shorter and cheaper alternatives to traditional college degrees. And colleges, worried about a decline in the number of “traditional” freshmen, are creating alternative programs to attract new tuition-payers.
Word on the Beat: Adversity Score
What reporters need to know about the College Board's experimental "Environmental Context Dashboard"
The question of which students should win admission to selective colleges is so heated that it has sparked state legislation, discrimination lawsuits and a celebrity-studded bribery scandal. So news that the College Board had been providing admissions officers data on the kind of “adversity” to which applicants had been exposed couldn’t help but stir controversy.
College Board Explains ‘Environmental Context Dashboard’
In this on-the-record interview, David Coleman objects to the term "adversity score."
In the midst of legal and political battles over preferences given to different kinds of college applicants, news broke that the College Board has been experimenting with providing college admissions officers with what some have called an “adversity score” for each applicant to, potentially, give admissions boosts to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
When Schools Spy on Students
K-12 districts ramping up digital surveillance in the name of campus safety
(EWA Radio: Episode 212)
Ever feel like somebody’s watching you? If you’re in a in a K-12 school these days, you’re probably right. Education Week’s Benjamin Herold took a close look at the surge in digital surveillance by districts, such as tapping facial recognition software and scanning social media posts for worrisome language.
The State of Early Learning in Your State
A pair of new reports shed light on the well-being of children across the U.S.
The best way to predict the future is to look at how children are faring. But the task is complicated given that the well-being of children varies widely from state to state.
That’s what data presented by researchers Sarah Daily of Child Trends and W. Steven Barnett of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University show. The duo offered their takes on the state of early care and learning across the United States at the Education Writers Association’s 2019 annual conference in Baltimore.
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act is about to unleash a flood of new data, on everything from school-by-school spending to chronic absenteeism and achievement results for vulnerable groups of students.
But all those facts and figures don’t mean much if reporters can’t explain what they really mean to parents and the public.
That was the message from a trio of experts – and a veteran journalist – who spoke at a panel at the Education Writers Association’s recent national conference in Baltimore.
The Strange Tale of the Fake AP Test
Principal, school under investigation for having unknowing students take ‘placebo exam’ instead of accredited test
(EWA Radio: Episode 211)
In South Florida, a high school principal is under fire for tricking hundreds of students into thinking they were taking a legitimate Advanced Placement exam that might lead to college course credit. As first reported by Cassidy Alexander of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the principal determined that giving all eligible students the AP test would have been too expensive. Instead, the school paid for 78 students to take the real test.