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. 

What does a rural school’s teacher shortage look like from a student’s perspective? Where can reporters find reliable data on rural student achievement? And what does research say about the impact on local communities from state takeovers? 

Parks, a rural Louisiana native who recently joined the staff of The Washington Post, shares candid details about why this story was personal for her. She also offers advice on how to build compelling long-form narratives and provides story ideas on rural schools.

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