The U.S. population is becoming more diverse than ever. In the fall of 2014, the country reached a demographic milestone: For the first time, black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American children made up the majority of the approximately 50 million students in the nation’s public schools.
No one ever entered the journalism profession to crunch numbers, but dealing with data is a crucial part of the education beat. Holly Hacker, statistics guru and education reporter for the Dallas Morning News, shows you the basics for understanding how to effectively report on statistics.
Elizabeth Laird, Director of Communications and External Affairs for the Data Quality Campaign, provides an update on states’ progress toward collecting and using education data and reveals the type of data and related reports available from your states. She’ll especially concentrate on linking K-12 and postsecondary data to explore issues like college and career readiness, college remediation, and other topics.
Community College Outcomes: Advance Look at New Digital Resource for Tracking Student Progress
Community colleges are widely considered a critical link in the nation’s continued economic recovery. As a result, the open-access entry point to higher education is facing both renewed scrutiny and higher expectations, with policymakers demanding actual evidence of effectiveness.
After you’ve filed your back-to-school stories, get ready make waves with some hard-hitting, data-based reporting this academic year. If you’ve never parsed test scores, attendance numbers or graduation rates, this webinar is a great place to start.
Jack Gillum, an investigative reporter with the Associated Press, offers tips on how to use data to enhance your reporting; find the information to get you started; and identify newsworthy trends in the numbers. Gillum contributed to an award-winning 2011 USA Today series on suspicious student test score gains in Washington, D.C.
Word on the Beat No. 2: Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
If federal courts are the officiating crew, then one in Washington, D.C., just gave for-profit colleges a big assist in their efforts to overturn the “gainful employment” regulations established by the U.S. Department of Education. The ruling puts on hold enforcement of much of the regulatory framework surrounding higher education accountability measures the government body rolled out last year.
Thomas Jefferson, among others, is credited by historians with equating an educated populace with one that was prepared to participate and vote in a democracy. “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone,” he once wrote. “The people themselves are its only safe depositories. And to render them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.”
So what role does the issue of education itself play in elections, from the White House to the local school board? The materials gathered in this Topics section tackle this question.
Over the past two decades, charter schools have emerged as the fastest growing form of school choice, outpacing other alternatives such as vouchers, magnet schools, and homeschooling. Charters have also become a touchstone for how people feel about a host of related issues: job protections for teachers, the role of elected school boards and teachers unions, and the privatization of schools. The materials compiled in this section of Story Starters examine the ways charter schools and other school choice options play out in the education process.
In his first interview about his criminal fraud, Sam Eshaghoff tells how he was able to take the SAT and ACT college admissions exams for others who paid him up to $2,500 per test. Alison Stewart reports for 60 Minutes.