EWA Radio

Overview

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

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.

EWA Radio

Biden vs. Trump: Their Education Plans
From school choice to teacher pay and student debt, what are the presidential candidates promising voters?
(EWA Radio: Episode 252)

screenshot of President Trump and Joe Biden during the October, 22, 2020 presidential debate.

What would a second term for President Donald Trump mean for K-12 and postsecondary education? And conversely, what might change if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the election? Lauren Camera of U.S. News & World Report and Michael Stratford of Politico Pro break down the candidates’ education policy priorities and share insights from covering their campaigns.

EWA Radio

Battling for ‘The Souls of Black Girls’
Facing ‘double whammy’ of racism and sexism, Black girls are most at risk of unfairly punitive school discipline, a New York Times investigation finds
(EWA Radio: Episode 251)

photo of sad girl sitting in school hallway

When it comes to school discipline, Black girls are significantly more likely to receive harsh treatment than their white female peers, including referrals to enforcement. That’s the conclusion from a new analysis of federal education data by Erica Green and her colleagues at The New York Times. The project was a deeply personal one for Green, who spent two years digging into how racial and gender biases devastate the emotional well-being and academic trajectories of Black girls.

EWA Radio

On the Road With NPR’s Higher Ed Reporter
A nationwide road trip yields insights, first-person accounts of postsecondary life in the coronavirus 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.

EWA Radio

‘Left Behind’ By Remote Learning
In Baltimore and other cities, COVID-19 school closures are widening opportunity gaps for vulnerable students
(EWA Radio: Episode 249)

Steindorf Steam School Sign indicates school Is closed

Was the decision to close schools and send students home for remote learning influenced more by politics than the science of what would keep kids safe? That’s the central argument made by ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis in a new story co-published with The New Yorker. MacGillis, who tells the story in part through the experiences of a 12-year-old in his hometown of Baltimore, shows how vulnerable Black, brown, and poor children are most likely to face long-term consequences for lost learning time.

EWA Radio

A Different Kind of College Rankings
The Washington Monthly uses unique metrics to measure quality, including return on investment, strong outcomes for students of color, and effective civic engagement.
(EWA Radio: Episode 248)

image of students

When choosing a college, students and families often turn to popular rankings to help inform their decisions. Rather than focus on test scores and how difficult it is to gain entry, The Washington Monthly gives schools points for factors that benefit society as well as individual students, like upward mobility for low-income graduates and encouraging civic engagement on campus and after graduation.

EWA Radio

Can Schools Close ‘The Knowledge Gap?’
Author Natalie Wexler makes case for focusing on enriching classroom curriculum during the coronavirus pandemic to improve students’ literacy and understanding
(EWA Radio: Episode 245)

Two students reading together

Much attention is focused on how schools will deliver instruction this fall, whether remotely or in schools with COVID-19 health and safety precautions in place. But what students are taught — the curriculum — is also an important story

EWA Radio

‘Too Young To Die’ in Montgomery, Alabama
How community violence is shaping a generation of students
(EWA Radio: Episode 243)

In Alabama’s capital city, an epidemic of violence has shadowed the class of 2020 throughout their high school careers. Nearly a dozen of their classmates were killed before making it to graduation day. Reporter Krista Johnson of the Montgomery Advertiser set out to learn more about those who died, and to understand how trauma is shaping a generation of young people and their school communities.

EWA Radio

The Future of School Police
Some school districts rethinking security guards and armed officers in wake of George Floyd death and protests of racial injustice (EWA Radio: Episode 242)

The tension over having armed police on public schools campuses isn’t new, but it’s moved back into the spotlight in recent months. In early June, the school board in Minneapolis — where George Floyd was killed during an arrest by the city’s police — voted unanimously to sever its ties with the city’s police department.

EWA Radio

At These Christian Schools Getting Public Dollars, LGBTQ Students Pushed Into Conversion Therapy
New investigation finds academies receiving millions in taxpayer dollars are using the controversial practice with students with pseudoscientific conversion therapy (EWA Radio: Episode 241)

In a new investigation, The Huffington Post’s Rebecca Klein found disturbing examples of Christian schools that receive taxpayer dollars — through tax credit scholarship and voucher programs — that were requiring LGBTQ students to undergo “conversion therapy” in an attempt to change their sexual orientation. The controversial practice…

EWA Radio

Protest Stories Are Education Stories
Longtime radio journalist Adolfo Guzman-Lopez shares insights from the Southern California schools beat, and how to effectively cover the public response to George Floyd’s death
(EWA Radio: Episode 240)

For education reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez of KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, life has been “an emotional roller coaster” since he was shot in the throat by police with a rubber bullet. The incident happened May 31 in Long Beach, where Guzman-Lopez was covering a protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

EWA Radio

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.

EWA Radio

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.

EWA Radio

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.

EWA Radio

‘There Are No Invisible Children’: Erica Green of The New York Times
Veteran reporter shares insights from the national education beat, and how COVID-19 pandemic is influencing her work
(EWA Radio: Episode 236)

Few, if any, education reporters are tackling tougher issues right now than Erica Green of The New York Times, whose stories often share a common theme of focusing on the unmet needs of marginalized students. She discusses recent coverage, including how school cafeteria workers in Baltimore are feeding an entire neighborhood, concerns about a potential federal waiver that would let districts pause services for students with disabilities, and a rare look inside a juvenile detention center where young adults are being left largely unprotected from COVID-19.

EWA Radio

Higher Ed Goes Remote
How colleges and universities are adapting to the new realities of the coronavirus crisis
(EWA Radio: Episode 235)

With most colleges and universities forced to close campuses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, postsecondary learning has moved online for millions of students. Doug Lederman, the co-founder and editor of Inside Higher Ed, discusses the fallout of the shift and its potential long-term implications, especially for postsecondary institutions that were already in precarious financial straits.

EWA Radio

Self-Care for Journalists 101
How to protect your mental health and physical well-being while covering crises like the COVID-19 pandemic
(EWA Radio: Episode 234)

Education reporters, like everyone else, are struggling to cope with the stress and many day-to-day challenges of life during a pandemic. At the same time, they’re working hard under difficult conditions to chronicle the impact on students, schools and families. and pitching in on broader coverage for their newsrooms.

EWA Radio

COVID-19 and New York City Schools
Covering the coronavirus pandemic, remote learning from the nation’s largest district
(EWA Radio: Episode 233)

With more than 1.1 million K-12 students, New York City’s public schools are dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on a massive scale. While district officials scramble to close the technology gap and get computers to students who need them, teachers are getting a crash course in the “do’s and don’ts” of remote instruction.

EWA Radio

Two States, Two Takes on Teaching U.S. History
New York Times compares history textbooks for California and Texas, and finds partisan politics help shape the content
(EWA Radio: Episode 227)

They say history is a tale told by winners — so who’s writing the textbooks for the two most populous states? And how are the differing political climates in California and Texas reflected in those materials? what do the differences in those books reveal about the political climate do they tell Dana Goldstein, a national education correspondent for The New York Times, read over 4,800 pages of U.S. history textbooks to determine how the political leanings of policymakers and the appointed textbook review committees influence what students — and future voters — are being taught about the nation’s history.

EWA Radio

EWA Radio: The Impact of the Coronavirus on Education
How the health crisis is impacting students, schools
(EWA Radio: Episode 232)

As the coronavirus pandemic expands in the U.S., education reporters are on the front lines of the news coverage, with nearly three-quarters of public schools either closed or planning to close in coming days, and many colleges and universities moving to online learning or ending the semester outright.

EWA Radio

When College Students Aren’t College-Ready
Thousands of students struggle at Chicago’s two-year colleges. Is an overhaul of developmental ed. programs enough to help?
(EWA Radio: Episode 231)

In Chicago, thousands of students are earning high school diplomas but showing up at the city’s two-year colleges unprepared for the next step in their academic journeys. In a new project, Kate McGee of WBEZ looked at efforts to buck that trend, including an innovative program developed not by outside experts but the system’s own faculty.  Along the way, she explored a number of questions: Do students benefit more from remedial classes that re-teach them material they were supposed to master in high school, or from being placed directly into college classes with additional support like tutoring

EWA Radio

Are Schools Adequately Preparing Students to Vote?
As political controversies trickle into classrooms, civics teachers connect curriculum to current events
(EWA Radio: Episode 207)

With the youth vote expected to be an important factor in the 2020 election cycle, civics teachers are increasingly using current events to help students understand the democratic system — and to be engaged and informed citizens. Reporter Stephen Sawchuk of Education Week shares insights from his news organization’s “Citizen Z” project, focused on the state of civics education in the U.S., including how it shapes individuals’ perspectives and community engagement beyond voting.

EWA Radio

When Public Dollars Pay for Private School
A new investigation sheds light on a lesser-known provision of federal law intended to ensure students with disabilities get the educational services they need
(EWA Radio: Episode 229)

In New York City, separated by just 15 blocks, two boys with similar learning disabilities struggled in public school classrooms. Under the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), both were eligible to enroll in private school on the taxpayers’ dime as a remedy. But as a new investigation by The Teacher Project at Columbia University School of Journalism revealed, the financial status of the boys’ families played a big role in whether the district picked up the tab.

EWA Radio

Paradise Lost? Hawaii’s Teacher Shortage
Educators struggle with high cost of living as Aloha State looks to boost pay, training, and workforce diversity
(EWA Radio: Episode 228)

In the mainland United States, typical conversations about Hawaii are more likely to center on dream vacations than teacher shortages. But there’s plenty to be learned from the state’s educational challenges, and how Hawaii is approaching teacher training, recruitment, and retention. Suevon Lee — who covers Hawaii’s public schools for Honolulu Civil Beat, an investigative news outlet — examined these issues with support from an EWA Reporting Fellowship.

EWA Radio

How Partisan Politics Shape States’ History Textbooks
New York Times evaluates differences among textbooks in California and Texas, finding big differences in what students are taught about civil rights, immigration, and more
(EWA Radio: Episode 227)

They say history is a tale told by winners — so who’s writing the textbooks and deciding what students are taught in two of the nation’s biggest states? Dana Goldstein, a national education correspondent for The New York Times, read 4,800 pages of textbooks to determine how the political leanings of policymakers and the appointed textbook review committees influence what students — and future voters — are being taught about the nation’s history. Among the key findings for California and Texas: textbook publishers adjust the content on seminal topics like civil rights, immigration, and LGBTQ issues to align with state-specific standards.

EWA Radio

Higher Education in 2020
Looming Supreme Court decision on DACA, new rules for college admissions, lead Associated Press’ reporter’s list
(EWA Radio: Episode 226)

While it’s a new calendar year, plenty of familiar issues are carrying over from 2019 on the higher education beat, says reporter Collin Binkley of The Associated Press. Many of the biggest headline-grabbers this year are likely to center on admissions – the process of deciding who gets into what college. To settle a federal anti-trust case, colleges recently scrapped old rules that limited what they could do to compete for applicants. Now, a potential admissions marketing free-for-all will create new winners and losers. The Trump Administration’s policies against immigration, and tensions with countries such as Iran can’t help but impact foreign students interested in studying in the U.S. And the growing trend by colleges to drop application requirements for ACT and SAT test scores could also mean big changes to college access.

EWA Radio

A New Year on the K-12 Beat
What’s ahead in 2020: Equity, Civics, Safety Top Washington Post Reporter’s List
(EWA Radio: Episode 225)

Moriah Balingit, who covers education for The Washington Post, discusses what she sees as key story lines for the K-12 beat in 2020, from educational equity to civics and campus safety. Are public schools adequately preparing young people to become  engaged and informed citizens? What’s the potential impact on students and families of the Trump administration’s plans to cut access to food stamps? How are school safety measures affecting the climate on campus?

EWA Radio

Will Betsy DeVos Outlast All of Trump’s Cabinet Members?
Plus, what to watch for when presidential candidates talk education
(EWA Radio: Episode 223)

February 7 will mark the three-year anniversary of Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as the U.S. secretary of education. Few observers had bet she would stick around this long. But today, DeVos is one of the longest-serving members of President Trump’s cabinet. Rebecca Klein of The Huffington Post recently talked with dozens of people about the education secretary’s tenure, crafting an in-depth analysis of what motivates her decisions and keeps her on the job.