2009 National Awards for Education Reporting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Education Writers Association (EWA), the national professional association of education reporters and writers, today announced the winners of the 2009 National Awards for Education Reporting, the prestigious national competition for education writing. The annual contest honors the best education reporting in the print and broadcast media and is the only independent contest of its kind in the United States. Contest entries were limited to stories published or broadcast for the first time during the 2009 school calendar year.

A total of 334 entries were judged in this year’s contest. First Prize winners receive a cash prize of $150 and a plaque. Winners of Second Prizes and Special Citations receive certificates. The Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting includes an award of $1,000 and a plaque, and will be presented to the best of the First Prize winners. EWA also honors reporters who have done the best overall Beat Reporting in both small and large media and markets. Prizes, including the announcement of the Grand Prize, will be given at the awards luncheon Saturday, May 15 during the Education Writers Association’s 63rd National Seminar being held in San Francisco, California at the Hotel Kabuki.

Contest judging was conducted independently, under the direction of Chief Judge Adrianne Flynn of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland.  This year’s panel of distinguished judges were Sandy Banisky of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; Patrick Boyle of Youth Today; Tamara Henry of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; Eric Kelderman of the Chronicle of Higher Education; Susan Kopen of WBAL; Howard Libet, of Center Maryland; Ylan Mui of the Washington Post; Deb Nelson of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism; Frank Quine of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; and Molly Rath of Baltimore Public Schools.

See how Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe and grand prize winner reported his story “Failing Our Athletes: The Sad State of Sports in Boston Public Schools.”

IA. Small Media – Breaking or Hard News 

First Prize        Phyllis Coulter, The Pantagraph-Tackling Bus Challenges

Second Prize   Rena Havner Philips, Press- Register-Systems Get Report Cards

IB. Small Media – Feature, News Feature or Issue Package

First Prize        Chelsi Moy and Kurt Wilson, Missoulian-Recruiting on the Rez: UM Appeals Directly to American Indian Students

Second Prize   Kaustuv Basu, Florida Today-Boldly, Scholar Aims to Change Homeland

Special Citations Beth Slovic, Willamette Week- “Cheerless

                          Helen Zelon and Karen Loew, City Limits-”The Education Business: Teachers Missing at the Top“       

IC. Small Media–Series or Group of Articles

First Prize      Beth McMurtrie, Mara Hvistendahl, David McNeill, Jeffrey Brainard and Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education-Asia Rising/America Falling

Second Prize   Amanda Paulson and Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, Christian Science Monitor-What Makes a Teacher Good

Special Citation Mary Wiltenburg, Christian Science Monitor -Little Bill Clinton: A School Year in the Life of a New American” 

ID. Small Media – Investigative Reporting

First Prize        Ryan Gabrielson and Michelle Reese, East Valley Tribune –“Rigged Privilege

IE. Small Media – Opinion

First Prize        Patricia Calhoun, Westword-“School Daze”

Second Prize   Julie Mack, Kalamazoo Gazette-MEA Cooks Health-Care Numbers to Boiling Point

IIA. Large Media -Breaking or Hard News

No winners

IIB. Large Media –Feature, News Feature or Issue Package

First Prize        Daniel de Vise and Michael Alison Chandler, Washington Post-Poor Neighborhoods, Untested Teachers

Second Prize   Jill Tucker and Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle -”Eyes on the Prize

Special Citations Tom Marshall, St. Petersburg Times-”Doctors in Exile

                          Bill Turque, Washington Post-Two Years of Hard Lessons for DC Schools

IIC. Large Media –Series or Group of Articles

First Prize        Bob Hohler, Boston Globe -“Failing Our Athletes: The Sad State of Sports in Boston Public Schools

Second Prize (tie) Kathleen McGrory, Miami Herald-“School on the Brink

                           Sarah Carr, Times-Picayune -“The Challenge of Choice

Special Citation   Eleanor Chute, Bill Schackner and Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-“Do the Math

II. D Large Media –Investigative Reporting

First Prize        Blake Morrison, Peter Eisler, Anthony DeBarros and Elizabeth Weise, USA Today-Trouble on the Tray

Second Prize (tie)   Jodi Cohen, Stacy St. Clair and Tara Malone, Chicago Tribune-Clout Goes to College

                           Jason Song, Jason Felch, Jessica Garrison, Julie Marquis and Beth  Shuster, Los Angeles Times-Failure Gets a Pass

IIE. Large Media–Opinion

First Prize        Susan A. Nielsen, Oregonian-Oregon Schools

Second Prize    Kate N. Grossman, Chicago Sun-Times- “A Powerful Voice for Better Schools

Special  Citations Linda Fandel, Des Moines Register-”World-class Schools for Iowa? (Year Two)“                 

                           Charles McGrath,New York Times-Book Reviews

IIIA. Multimedia

First Prize        Christopher Powers, Mary Ann Zehr, Chienyi Hung, Mark W. Bomster and Charlie BorstEducation Week-Quality Counts 2009 – Portrait of a Population, Student Profiles 

Second Prize   Deborah Becker and Monica Brady Myerov, WBUR -“Project Dropouts                                

Special Citation Robin Wilson, Audrey Williams June, Jeffrey Brainard and Brock ReadThe Chronicle of Higher Education-”Special Report: Adjuncts

IIIB. Blogs

First Prize        Elizabeth Green, Philissa Cramer, Maura Walz, Anna Phillips, Gotham -Gotham Schools

Second Prize    Betsy Hammond, Kimberly Melton, Wendy Owen, Bill Graves and Melissa Navas, Oregonian-“Chalk It Up

Special Citation Ashley Merryman and Po Bronson,

IVA. Small Media- Beat Reporting

First Prize  Scott Jaschik, Doug Lederman, and Stephanie Lee, Inside Higher Ed-“Evaluating the Rankings

Second Prize   Scott Stephens, Catalyst Ohio-“Stephens Education Reporting”

Special Citation Emily Alpert, Year in San Diego Schools

IVB. Large Media- Beat Reporting  

First Prize        Libby Quaid, Associated Press-”First Years in Office”

Second Prize (tie) Katherine Leal Unmuth, Dallas Morning News-”Katherine Unmuth Beat Reporting”

                          Justin Pope, Associated Press-”The National Higher Education Beat: Policy and People”

Special Citations  Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-” Bill Schackner’s Beat Portfolio”s

                          Jennifer Medina, New York Times-“Covering New York City Schools    

V. Magazines

First Prize        Drew Lindsay, The Washingtonian -”Success Factory

Second Prize (tie)   Anya Kamenetz, Fast Company-Who Needs Harvard?

                             Camille Esch, Washington Monthly-Higher Ed’s Bermuda Triangle

VI. Special Interest, Institutional and Trade Publications

First Prize        Sarah Karp, John Myers, Linda Lenz, Veronica Anderson and Lorraine Forte, Catalyst-Chicago-”Reaching Black Boys

Special Citations  Lucy Hood, Harvard Education Letter-Platooning” 

                          David McKay Wilson, Harvard Education Letter - ”The Invisible Hand in Education Policy

                          Karin Chenoweth, American Educator- “Piece by Piece: How Schools Solved the Achievement Puzzle and Soared

VIIA. Television – Hard News and Investigative

First Prize        Keli Rabon and Jim O’Donnell, WREG -Failure to Report

Second Prize   Kathleen Johnston, CNN -“CNN Newsroom: Foreign Exchange Students”

VIIB. Television–Documentary and Feature

First Prize        John Merrow,  David Wald, Jane Renaud, Cat McGrath, Valerie Visconti and Tania McKeown, Learning Matters -“Leadership: A Challenging Course

Second Prize   Mark Fainaru-Wada, Vince Doria, Craig T. Lazarus, Dwayne Bray, Tim Hays and Nicole Noren,ESPN.-“ESPN’s Outside the Lines: Physical Education and Childhood Obesity

Special  Citation   John Larson and Karen Foshay, KCET/SoCal Connected-“Is Anybody Listening?

VII. Radio or Podcasts  

First Prize        Deborah Becker and Monica Brady Myerov, WBUR -”Project Dropouts

Second Prize   Beth Fertig, WNYC Radio -”Adding it UP”

Special Citations Jes Burns, Angela Kellner, Rachael McDonald, Tiffany Eckert, Mike Van Meter, John Frohnmayer and Tripp Sommer, KLCC -”Special Issues: Education

                          Amy Scott, Sharona Coutts, Tom Detzel and Paddy Hirsch, Marketplace and ProPublica- “Allegations of Enrollment Abuses at University of Phoenix