EWA Radio


EWA Radio
Your guide to what's hot on the education reporting beat.

Each week, EWA's public editor, Emily Richmond, hosts engaging interviews with journalists about education and its coverage in the media.

Don't Miss an Episode! Subscribe to the EWA Radio Podcast

Find us on  iHeartRadio,  iTunes, Google Podcasts,  Google Play Music,  Pocket Casts  Radio.com (app only),  Spotify,  Stitcher,  or through the RSS feed.

If you have an idea for an episode, let Emily know. Remember to rate us on iTunes—your feedback and support will help us grow.

©2018 Education Writers Association

"Mother Will Call" by PK Jazz Collective used under terms of the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

Each week, EWA’s public editor, Emily Richmond, hosts engaging interviews with journalists about education and its coverage in the media.

Don’t Miss an Episode! Subscribe to the EWA Radio Podcast

Find us on  iHeartRadio,  iTunes, Google Podcasts,  Google Play Music,  Pocket Casts  Radio.com (app only),  Spotify,  Stitcher,  or through the RSS feed.

If you have an idea for an episode, let Emily know. Remember to rate us on iTunes—your feedback and support will help us grow.

©2018 Education Writers Association

“Mother Will Call” by PK Jazz Collective used under terms of the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

EWA Radio

Emily Richmond Takes a Temporary Break As Public Editor. But EWA Radio Continues!
Emily is taking a leave of absence as EWA's public editor. She joins the Spencer Education Fellowship, a program run by Columbia University. Emily hands over the mic to Kavitha Cardoza, who's filling in for her this year. (EWA Radio Episode 297)

As Emily Richmond says goodbye (temporarily!), she looks into the early history of integration and present-day landscape of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), which serves nearly 67,000 students from military connected families at its campuses both in the U.S. and abroad.

EWA Radio

Revisiting America’s Reading Wars
As momentum builds to change reading instruction, Lucy Calkins, chief architect of popular method, retreats from prior stance
(EWA Radio Episode 295)

photo by Alliance for Excellent Education

For decades, millions of children have been taught to read using a popular method that’s out of step with the scientific research on how our brains really learn. Amid pushback and criticism – including from researchers, parents, and education journalists – that’s starting to change.

EWA Radio

Can the Latino College Gap Be Solved?
Texas Public Radio series sheds new light on sources of struggle for higher education students in majority Latino San Antonio, as well as innovative support systems that are making gains
(EWA Radio Episode 294)

photo of Deniff Lara

For Texas student Andres Mendoza, the difference between fulfilling his dream of attending a four-year university away from home and opting for a lower-cost local community college was an unexpected bill for a family funeral.

EWA Radio

‘Unlevel Playing Fields’ for Girls’ Sports
As Title IX turns 50, a new investigation finds the federal law is failing to protect girls’ access to sports, and many parents and students don’t know the rights afforded by the landmark equity law
(EWA Radio Episode 293)

Photo of bleachers beside womens' baseball field.

Title IX prohibits gender-based discrimination in school programs that receive federal funding – but how fairly is the law being applied, especially when it comes to girls’ high school sports? A reporting team of nearly two dozen student journalists at the University of Maryland, College Park, set out to answer that question in a wide-ranging project.

EWA Radio

The Hopes and Fears of Teenagers
How listening to young people might improve college and job training programs intended to help them reach better futures (EWA Radio Episode 291)

photo of Dino Sabic by Kathleen Greeson for EdSurge

“People can’t tell me what they’re going to college for. But they put themselves in thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars of debt—that doesn’t sound like it makes any sense. That’s like buying a car and not knowing how to drive.”

EWA Radio

What’s Next for School Police?
As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, school safety is once again a front-burner issue (EWA Radio Episode 290)

illustration of police in from of school by Mary Ann Lawrence/USA TODAY

In the early months of the pandemic, many districts were rethinking their policies and practices around campus safety. Now, with buildings reopened and some educators reporting a rise in bad behavior, the conversation is once again shifting to how to best keep children safe, and what role – if any – school police should have on campus. 

EWA Radio

When Public Schools Require Ethnic Studies
While CRT debates continue to rage, some school systems are quietly – and by many measures successfully – teaching students about race and racism.
(EWA Radio Episode 289)

picture from the Boston Globe magazine

In a handful of states, students are learning about race and racism, and how it impacts their lives, their learning, and their future opportunities through ethnic studies courses. The class, most often found in high schools, is now required for every public school student in California.

EWA Radio

Inside a Critical Race Theory Class
What are University of Mississippi law school students really learning in the state's only dedicated class on CRT? (EWA Radio Episode 288)

photo of two Critical Race Theory students

Conservatives around the country are protesting what they claim is the teaching of a formerly obscure legal theory – Critical Race Theory – to America’s schoolchildren and undergraduates.  While of course CRT isn’t in the formal second or even eleventh grade curriculum, reporter Molly Minta of Mississippi Today and Open Campus asked herself: what are they afraid of?

EWA Radio

Schools Are Open. But Where Are the Students?
From Maine to Washington State, chronic absenteeism rates amid COVID-19 have reached record highs Why? And how are schools responding? (EWA Radio Episode 287)

photo of empty classroom

Most school districts have returned to in-person learning, but enrollment numbers have taken a hit – and so have daily attendance rates. Chronic absenteeism – typically defined as missing at least 15 days of school – takes a heavy toll on students’ academic progress, and can also decrease a district’s state funding.

EWA Radio

New Year, New Higher Ed Stories
From continued COVID-19 fallout to federal higher ed policy shifts, it’s a big year ahead for colleges and universities (EWA Radio Episode 284)

2022 on wood blocks image

This will be a momentous year for higher education – as colleges attempt to recover from COVID shutdowns, student loan bills come due again, and big changes come to admissions offices. What will college look like this year? How are institutions planning to spend billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds? And how bad a hit are overall enrollment numbers going to take in the third year of the pandemic?

EWA Radio

The Nation’s Reading Problem
Teachers trying new approaches to reach students hit hardest by pandemic-era learning disruptions (EWA Radio Episode 283)

When it comes to reading, America’s students are struggling. And the pandemic has only made a tough situation harder for those kids who were already most at risk of falling behind. Jill Barshay of The Hechinger Report – who coordinated a reporting project with five other newsrooms – explains how the pandemic shutdown…

EWA Radio

$100K in Debt for a $50K Job
Wall Street Journal investigates USC’s high-priced online social work master’s program that recruited low-income students (EWA Radio Episode 282)

The Wall Street Journal’s investigations team is tackling the student loan debt crisis from multiple angles, including digging into questionable recruiting and loan practices by top schools. Case in point: the University of Southern California’s online graduate program in social work.

EWA Radio

What Happened to $190 Billion in School COVID-19 Funds? 
New investigation raises questions on spending priorities of local districts  and whether states are prepared to effectively track the federal aid (EWA Radio Episode 280)

Reporter Annie Waldman and Reporting Fellow Bianca Fortis dug into the data from 16,000 provisional reports from state agencies and determined half the money was spent on programs, services or goods categorized as “other,” meaning no specifics are readily available.

EWA Radio

When School Board Meetings Become Battlegrounds
COVID-19 safety protocols, critical race theory fuel disputes over local control and education policy (EWA Radio Episode 279)

Screenshot of School Board Meeting

Across the nation, school boards find themselves on  the front lines for debates over COVID-19 mask mandates and teaching about racism. Heated exchanges during public comment periods have expanded to public protests, threats of violence, and a surge in conservative slates of candidates running for school board seats…

EWA Radio

The Real Story Behind Teacher Shortages
How the pandemic is impacting districts already short on highly qualified teachers, and could slow efforts to spend federal pandemic relief dollars earmarked for student programs and services (EWA Radio Episode 278)

photo of office worker

Across the country, school districts are grappling with staffing shortages that are making it tough to recover from the disruptions of the COVD-19 pandemic. Matt Barnum, a national reporter at Chalkbeat…

EWA Radio

How Rural Schools Get Left Behind
Journalist Casey Parks shares insights on culturally competent reporting, building trust with sources, and why more reporters should pay attention to rural education. (EWA Radio Episode 277)

Writing for The New York Times Magazine, veteran education journalist Casey Parks takes readers deep inside the struggles of a rural school district in the Mississippi delta that is poised for a state takeover. She also profiles Harvey Ellington, a 16-year-old Black student with big college dreams but few opportunities for advanced learning in his cash-strapped and understaffed high school. 

EWA Radio

Home Ec’s ‘Secret History’
New book explores how home economics influenced American life and public education beyond 'stitching and stirring' (EWA Radio Episode 276)

Often overlooked and misunderstood, home economics is about far more than learning to bake cakes or sew lopsided oven mitts, argues education journalist Danielle Dreilinger. She discusses her new book, “The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live.” 

EWA Radio

Student Pays High Price for Reporting Teacher’s Misconduct
Tampa Bay Times investigation finds questionable actions by school officials in handling complaint, and raises concerns about loopholes for holding misbehaving teachers accountable (EWA Radio Episode 275)

photo of Madisyn Slater

For Madisyn Slater, a senior at Blake High School in Tampa, Florida, there was little question that popular biology teacher Tiffany Johnson crossed the line with students. Slater’s decision to report Johnson’s sexual comments and other inappropriate behavior led to the student  – not the teacher — facing a school district investigation.

EWA Radio

Lessons From the Educational Equity Beat
Bianca Vázquez Toness of The Boston Globe shares insights from her coverage of vulnerable students, and holding education systems accountable
(EWA Radio Episode 272)

photo of Malaki Solo  using his laptop at home

From an inside look at a 12-year-old struggling with remote learning to revealing that districts had wrongly forced parents to sign away their children’s rights to special education services, The Boston Globe’s Bianca Vázquez Toness put the spotlight on families whose educational experiences were most disrupted by the pandemic.

EWA Radio

Racism at VMI
The Washington Post’s Ian Shapira shares backstory to his prize-winning investigation of racist policies and practices at Virginia Military Institute
(EWA Radio Episode 270)

photo of VMI Corps of Cadets on parade at 2017 inauguration of President Trump.

The impact of reporter Ian Shapira’s deep dive into the troubled culture at the nation’s oldest state-support military college was seismic: within days, the Virginia Military Institute’s leader had resigned, and Gov. Ralph Northam pledged an independent investigation.

EWA Radio

No School, No Work, No Chance
The federal Job Corps program is falling short in serving millions of young people who are otherwise disconnected from pathways to meaningful employment, a Washington Monthly investigation finds
(EWA Radio Episode 268)

photo of help wanted sign in window

The only federal program intended to help disconnected young adults find meaningful job training has turned into a $1.7 billion boondoggle. That’s the big takeaway from a new investigation by Anne S. Kim of Washington Monthly.

EWA Radio

The Billions of Dollars in Hidden Student Loan Debt
Students who fall behind on their loans to their for-profit colleges find themselves unable to move forward with their careers until the debt is paid off
(EWA Radio Episode 266)

illustration of scale with money on one side and books with mortar cap on the other.

The impact of America’s $1.5 trillion in student loan debt makes a lot of headlines. But one team of reporters dug into a little-known corner of the student debt market and discovered a pattern of rule-evading and abuses that is destroying the educational opportunities and careers of tens of thousands of Americans.

EWA Radio

Let’s Talk About Teachers’ Unions
In Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest school district, the high-powered UTLA labor organization was a key player in determining how, and when students continued learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
(EWA Radio Episode 265)

photo of LA teachers strike

The growing clout of teachers’ unions is becoming one of the nation’s most attention-getting education stories. Before the pandemic, successful “Red for Ed” unionized teacher strikes and demonstrations won long overdue funding increases for schools and pay raises for instructional staff.

EWA Radio

When the Child Care Gap Is a Chasm
How the COVID-19 pandemic worsened existing shortages of early learning and child care programs, slowing down the economic recovery and putting some kids at risk (EWA Radio Episode 264)

Illustration of Mother and Children by Janelle Retka

In many communities, the demand for reliable, affordable child care has long outstripped the number of available spots. The coronavirus pandemic has only worsened the shortage, and many mothers have left the workforce to stay with their young children. In central Washington, the situation is taking a bite out of…

EWA Radio

A Busing Program’s Troubled Legacy
Louisville Courier-Journal investigation: Controversial plan to combat segregation favored white students, hurt Black students and communities
(EWA Radio Episode 263)

Can busing Black students to schools outside of their immediate neighborhoods make public education more equitable? How can reporters better cover the history of such desegregation efforts, and the impact on young people, families, and communities? 

EWA Radio

Oregon’s ‘Class of 2025:’ Meet the Middle Schoolers
Oregon Public Broadcasting’s multi-year series follows students, families from first grade through high school. (EWA Radio Episode 262)

photo collage of Class of 2025 students

Imagine keeping tabs on the same group of students and families for nearly a decade — Oregon Public Broadcasting has done it, and plans to keep going through the next four years. OPB editor Rob Manning and education reporter Elizabeth Miller share stories from the cast in this project, which is supported in part by an EWA Reporting Fellowship.

EWA Radio

Why More Men Are Missing Out on College
The decline in student enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic is seven times as steep for men as women, raising questions about the long-term impact on individuals and communities (EWA Radio Episode 261)

image of male student by Kate Flock for Hechinger Report

COVID-19 is remaking the college landscape, especially when it comes to who’s pursuing –  and who’s pausing – on higher education. New data shows the decline in enrollment is seven times as large for men as for women. 

EWA Radio

Who’s Tracking Student Learning Loss?
In Washington, a lack of data could hurt schools looking to help student catch up (EWA Radio Episode 260)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, states are largely leaving it up to individual districts to decide how to track how much — or little — of the standard school curriculum are K-12 students learning during the pandemic. One reporter surveyed her state and discovered that many communities aren’t even trying to find out. Joy Resmovits of The Seattle Times offers insights, tips, and questions to ask of state and local education officials when looking at student learning loss amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

EWA Radio

‘Targeted:’ Sheriff Secretly Used School Records to Profile Students
Shool officials, parents had no knowledge of controversial program using grades, family histories to ID kids as potential criminals.
(EWA Radio: Episode 257)

photos from Tampa Bay Times of students and parents

In Pasco County, Florida, the sheriff’s department used students’ school records, including their grades and information about their family lives, to identify them as potential troublemakers.

EWA Radio

When Schools Get Hacked
In the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable K-12 and college systems are increasingly paying millions to unlock hijacked computer networks from hackers.
(EWA Radio: Episode 255)

screenshot of cryptolocker ransomware on computer screen

Across the country, increasingly aggressive hackers are breaking into school computer systems and holding sensitive student information for ransom.  Education leaders often quietly pay big bucks to regain control of their networks.

EWA Radio

No Sports. No Band. No Fun. (And Less Learning?)
With COVID-19 curtailing extracurriculars like sports, fine arts, and special-interest clubs, student engagement suffers at all grade levels, experts say
(EWA Radio: Episode 254)

photo of band instuments

From basketball to band, debate club to dance teams, the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed extracurricular activities for many of the nation’s K-12 students. That could have a long-term impact on student enthusiasm for school overall, experts warn. Longtime education journalist Greg Toppo, writing for The 74, looks at how educators are working to keep kids connected to school, and the research showing a strong link between extracurricular participation and academic achievement.

EWA Radio

Science! (in Education Reporting)
From vetting studies to connecting with experts, tips on smart coverage of COVID-19 and public schools
(EWA Radio: Episode 253)

image of lab testing equipment

How can education reporters do a better job of incorporating science into their coverage of students and schools, especially as the evolving research around COVID-19 dominates discussions about how and when to reopen campuses? What’s known about the relative health risks to students and staff, and what are some examples of responsible coverage of this ongoing debate?

EWA Radio

COVID-19 College
NPR's Elissa Nadworny hits the road to document how colleges and universities are adapting in coronavirus pandemic era
(EWA Radio: Episode 250)

photo of Elissa Nadworny on location

Who takes a cross-country reporting road trip in the midst of a pandemic? NPR’s Elissa Nadworny decided it was the only way to find out for herself what life is really like on college campuses these days, and how students, faculty and administrators are dealing with a new world of logistical challenges.