First Prize

News (Small Newsroom)

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A ‘Drastic Experiment’: Coronavirus and the Future of American Schooling​

Barbara Kantrowitz, Jackie Mader, Lillian Mongeau and Caroline Preston
The Hechinger Report


About the Entry

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Hechinger Report team explored major failings and gaps leading up to a school year that has been a disaster for the vast majority of American children — especially for students in the school districts with the least resources.

Comments from the Judges

“I have seen other stories about parents muddling through the pandemic with few good options and about the challenges of translating the kindergarten/early learning experience to the virtual space. However, these articles were probably the most comprehensive and definitive I have read, with a diversity of voices and vivid detail throughout.”

“These are such important insights into some of the most important issues in the pandemic.”


Ed-Tech Companies Promise Results, But Their Claims Are Often Based on Shoddy Research
Sarah Butrymowicz, Tara Garcia Mathewson
The Hechinger Report

Comment from the judges: ”This in-depth look at how for-profit colleges have flourished despite some dubious practices took a deep dive on a subject and came up with a unique expose involving the pandemic while most news outlets were following the pack.”

Higher Ed’s Coronavirus Woes: A Deeper Dive
Jon Marcus, Meredith Kolodner and Sarah Butrymowicz
The Hechinger Report

Comment from the judges: “Loved the sheer variety of higher ed stories that all examine the issues that arose amid the pandemic.