Blog: The Educated Reporter
What’s New With ‘Varsity Blues’
The latest on the college-admissions scandal, and how COVID-19 is reshaping what campuses will look like this fall
(EWA Radio: Episode 239)
With more celebrity defendants pleading guilty to using a high-priced fixer to help their kids cheat their way into top colleges, what’s been the impact on college admissions? The Wall Street Journal’s Melissa Korn, whose book on the “Varsity Blues” scandal has been optioned for a television project, discusses the latest developments, as well as the fallout more broadly for higher education.
Covering Protests? Here’s What You Need to Know.
Education reporters on the job among those arrested, injured at recent demonstrations protesting death of George Floyd
Education reporters across the country are covering the protests that have flared up in response to the death of George Floyd, who died in Minnesota last week after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. (Some officers involved in the incident, which took place during an arrest in a neighborhood south of Minneapolis, now face criminal charges.)
Budget Cuts Loom for Education. How Vulnerable Are Your Local Schools?
COVID-19's economic fallout is sure to take a toll on districts, but impacts may vary widely
(EWA Radio: Episode 238)
With the nation facing a pandemic-driven recession unlike any in generations, public schools are bracing for a big financial hit. Reporter Daarel Burnette II of Education Week shares insights from his school finance coverage during the crisis and a new database that gauges the economic vulnerability of districts from coast to coast.
Keeping Up With Brain Science Is a Tall Order for Many Teachers
Teacher training often fails to reflect current research, experts say
When teacher Eric Kalenze introduced a new book or reading passage to his students, he used to allow them to explore it on their own, following an approach he learned in teacher training.
Now, armed with a better understanding of the science of learning, he believes leading with this type of student inquiry is ineffective. Instead, he front-loads crucial context and factual information he thinks students will need to understand the text.
Elevating Your Reporting With Data: The Dos and Don’ts
How to marry basic reporting with a data set — and tips to read it correctly
You don’t need data to write a great story. But adding data, if done well, can take your reporting from McDonald’s to Michelin-starred.
These tips will help you elevate the coverage you produce every year, such as stories on student performance; ensure you correctly translate what the data is saying; and remind you to stay skeptical.
Testing COVID-19’s Academic Impact on Students
Early assessments seen as key to gauging learning gaps, social-emotional needs
When schools reopen, expect to see a lot of testing.
Sure, COVID-19 testing may be prevalent for students and their teachers. But in addition, a first step for many schools will be diagnostic tests to gauge learning gaps after months away. Some experts also are calling for assessments of students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs as they start the new academic year.
It’s About Context, Not Time: What the Latest Research Says on Teens & Screens
Sexting is (gulp) normal and other findings to consider in news coverage
Yes, today’s teens are surrounded by screens. No, it’s not as bad for them as you might think.
That was the upshot of a discussion on screen time at a recent Education Writers Association seminar.
Stories about adolescents present the opportunity for a variety of compelling characters, from parents and teachers to the teens themselves who feel passionately about the issues. But data can also be a powerful tool in crafting such narratives, as it provides vital context for the audience.
This post was originally published on Journalist’s Resource. It has been republished here with permission of the author.
Colleges across the country face deep financial losses after the coronavirus forced school officials to shutter campuses and cancel events. Administrators worry their money troubles will only get worse if enrollment, government funding and other sources of revenue continue to fall amid a likely recession.
Do Students Have a Right to Literacy?
Landmark court decision finds access to adequate educational services is a “basic right”
(EWA Radio: Episode 237)
A federal appeals court recently ruled that the state of Michigan has failed to make sure children in Detroit are adequately educated. The April decision said the city’s schools have suffered from underfunding, poorly maintained facilities and too few qualified teachers. While the state is contemplating an appeal, the decision is still considered a landmark for civil rights advocates mounting similar challenges in state courts across the country.
Will Coronavirus Be a Tipping Point That Ends Annual Testing in Schools?
Every state received a waiver of federal testing rules for 2019-20. What about next year and beyond?
The cancellation of statewide testing for millions of students this spring was no surprise, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s raising a larger question — whether the era of annual assessments in reading and mathematics, as required under federal law, will soon end.
Grant Writing: The Next Skill for Successful Journalists
A reporter and a foundation official share their best tips for winning fellowships or grants.
It’s now an economic reality for journalists: Many outlets pay for at least some of their reporting through grants and fellowships. That means many reporters need to supplement their news writing with grant writing.
But how can you make your application stand out from the crowd? These tips, from a journalist who has written successful fellowship applications and from a foundation official who has approved grants, will help you write your applications with confidence and a plan.