Formula for Fairness: Striving for School Equity

Overview Rick Wilson

Formula for Fairness: Striving for Educational Equity
Providence, R.I. • November 29-30, 2018

Persistent inequities in education—along lines of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status—are sparking renewed efforts to upend conventional practices in public education. Fostering more “student-centered” learning. Reducing segregation in schools and classrooms. Revamping school funding formulas. Promoting more equitable access to high-quality teachers and challenging coursework. Rethinking student discipline. The list goes on.

Persistent inequities in education—along lines of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status—are sparking renewed efforts to upend conventional practices in public education. Fostering more “student-centered” learning. Reducing segregation in schools and classrooms. Revamping school funding formulas. Promoting more equitable access to high-quality teachers and challenging coursework. Rethinking student discipline. The list goes on.

At this journalists-only seminar, we’ll hear from educators, experts, and students about continuing disparities in opportunities and outcomes, as well as approaches aimed at advancing educational equity.

We’ll also showcase promising local examples, including the MET School in Providence, which emphasizes “real world” opportunities for students to connect their interests to their academics, and is the flagship campus of the Big Picture Learning network. And, experienced journalists will share their insights and guidance on smart coverage of pressing issues in educational equity.

This event is open to EWA journalist members only. (If you would like to apply for a free journalist membership, fill out this application.) The event agenda will be made available soon.

Blog: The Educated Reporter Erik Robelen

Dollars and Sense: How to Cover School Finance

It’s time for education reporters to take back coverage of school funding.

Too often, news outlets rely on journalists covering state government to also report on money for schools, said Daarel Burnette II, a reporter for Education Week. But journalists on the education beat bring valuable context and perspective on how schools work and the impact of funding.

“This is within our wheelhouse as education reporters, so don’t forget that,” Burnette advised journalists in November during an Education Writers Association seminar on educational equity.

Blog: The Educated Reporter Erik Robelen

Why It’s Time to Focus on Equity in Rural Schools

Rural schools often get short shrift in the national dialogue on improving education and addressing achievement gaps, whether it’s policy debates, research, or news coverage. That’s a big mistake, according to participants in a recent EWA panel discussion, who made the case for reporters to pay more attention to education in rural communities.

Blog: The Educated Reporter Lori Crouch

In New England, Efforts to Rethink Educational Practices Grow
But pushback on 'competency-based' approach serves as cautionary note

Across New England, policymakers and school leaders are experimenting with new models of learning, including those that are student-centered, personalized, and competency-based. One of the goals is to close stubborn achievement gaps between rich and poor students and white students and students of color.

But these educational shifts have not been universally embraced by the states’ students, parents and teachers. Maine, for example, one of the first states to pass a law requiring competency-based education, recently reversed course.

Blog: The Educated Reporter Rick Wilson

‘How I Did the Story’: Reporters Share Tips for Covering Educational Equity

Recent work by journalists Erica Green, Jason Gonzales and Matthew Kauffman shows the importance of digging into the best-laid plans of a school district or state, whether it’s desegregation efforts or sending students to college for free.

Blog: The Educated Reporter Rick Wilson

Connecting Families and Schools Is a ‘Shared Responsibility’
Empowering parents pays dividends for student learning, experts say

There’s plenty of evidence that when their families are engaged in their school experience, students do better.

The trick, experts said during a recent Education Writers Association event, is finding ways for school officials to reach those families, particularly if there are cultural or language barriers, or if low-income working families struggle to find the time or transportation to participate in school events.

Blog: The Educated Reporter Erik Robelen

Advocates, Educators Discuss ‘National Disgrace’ of Educational Inequity

Education reporters and progressive Twitter denizens are probably familiar with the graphic. Three people of different heights are trying to look over a fence. In one frame, labeled “equality,” each is given a box of the same height, leaving the shortest still unable to see over the fence.

In the other, labeled “equity,” each is given a box of different sizes so they’re at equal heights.