This academic year marks a critical juncture for the Common Core, as most states gear up to assess students on the shared standards for the first time. Are states, districts, and schools ready? What about states that are reviewing or have rescinded the standards? How can reporters make sense of it all? There’s no shortage of compelling angles to pursue in this complex and fast-evolving story—rendered all the more so by the political tussles erupting over the new standards and tests.
Charters & Choice: Making Sense of the Fast-Evolving Landscape in K-12 Education
Charter schools. Vouchers. Education tax credits. The “portfolio” model of schooling in cities. It’s nearly impossible to find consensus on these hot-button issues, but one thing is clear: American families are seeing more school options at the K-12 level than ever before, especially in urban areas. And the Republican gains in the 2014 elections at the federal and state levels are widely expected to provide further impetus for expanding school choice.
Since the advent of No Child Left Behind 12 years ago, standardized, fill-in-the-bubble tests have become a major part of the school experience. Some say too much of a part.
But beyond the debate over how much schools test, major changes are under way in how they test. Underlying those changes are questions about just what they’re testing for.
This intensive, journalists-only seminar will focus on a range of hard-fought changes under way that together are rewriting the rules of the U.S. teaching profession. What are the roots of today’s controversies over teacher training, tenure, evaluation and pay? In a pivotal year in the push for new standards and tests, are teachers still on board? What does the nation’s new majority-minority student population mean for classroom teachers? How are teacher colleges responding to new accountability pressures?
This fall, the share of K-12 students in the United States who are Latino is projected to climb to nearly one quarter, a figure expected to rise to nearly 30 percent by 2022. And proportionately more Hispanic students are enrolling in postsecondary education than white, non-Hispanic students.
Data journalism is more than just reporting on numbers. It’s taking the records of a half-million students and uncovering alarming absentee rates. It’s tracking the attrition of students from neighborhood schools.
For many college students — whether fresh out of high school or adults returning to school — their most serious obstacles to a degree won’t be homework or tests, but rather the challenges of navigating student life. Colleges are now being forced to face the longstanding problems that have often led to students’ flailing and failing on their own.
Blog posts, videos, podcasts and more from our 2014 National Seminar.
Join EWA and your fellow journalists Feb. 3-4 at our first seminar in 17 years to focus solely on covering early childhood education.
As policy and political leaders sound the alarm on America’s dwindling competitive edge, it’s up to journalists to vet those claims and examine the measures used to gauge whether U.S. students are prepared to thrive in the 21st century economy. Central to the debate over the country’s international standing is the question of whether the U.S. education system is up to par in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Growing public distrust, cagey lawmakers and big money from all directions—it’s not just the standards and assessments that are common in the roll out of the Common Core State Standards.
Despite the pushback, the standards are fast becoming a reality across the country. What does that mean for education and the journalists who cover it? Are the standards making a dramatic difference in the way teachers work? How well have school districts planned their curricula around Common Core?
More than 50 reporters joined EWA for our seminar “More Than Scores: Assessing the Future of Teacher Evaluations,” held Oct. 10th and 11th at the University of Chicago. As always, we look forward to the coverage inspired by the event. So far, we know about the following stories:
More than 50 journalists joined EWA for our annual Higher Education Seminar, held Sept. 27-28 at Northeastern University in Boston. As always, we look forward to the coverage inspired and informed by the event. So far, we know about the following stories:
EWA’s 66th National Seminar
Note: Only sessions with multimedia or associated reading are listed on this page.
Thursday, May 2
Blended Learning Takes Off. Rocketship was founded in 2006 as the first elementary blended-learning school model in the country, and has become both the highest-growth charter school system in the country and the highest-performing low-income school system in California.
If you couldn’t make it to our Feb. 8 seminar, Under the Microscope: Examining STEM Education, we’ll be collecting resources from it on this page over the next few days.
First, check out this video report featuring participants from our STEM Science Fair:
Degrees vs. Debt: Making College More Affordable
How much should students have to pay to earn a postsecondary degree? At EWA’s 2012 Higher Education Seminar, leading experts took a range of approaches to this question, which has vexed students, administrators and policymakers. This journalists-only event was hosted by the Indiana University School of Education and Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.
Ready to Teach: Rethinking Routes to the Classroom
How well is America teaching its teachers?
As accountability pressures on the nation’s teaching force mount, scrutiny of colleges of education is intensifying as well. During this one-day EWA seminar, journalists and experts delved into the growing efforts to revamp how aspiring educators are prepared for the classroom and how teacher-preparation programs are held accountable for results.
Finding Common Ground: Common Core and ELLs
What Common Core Standards Mean for English Language Learners
Several urban districts and some states are quickly translating Common Core proficiencies into new teaching practices and more complex classroom activities. This represents a sharp departure from the “basic skills” drilling experienced by many English-language learners under high-stakes accountability policies.
EWA held its 65th National Seminar in Philadelphia May 17-19. The conference featured roughly 120 speakers and 40 sessions.
The sessions are featured chronologically. We will continue to update as we obtain more materials.
*Names that contain a hyperlink open up to a video, PowerPoint, or PDF
Photos from the National Seminar
Thursday, May 17
Site Visit – Tackling Turnarounds: Mastery Charter Schools
Turnaround Schools: Are SIG Dollars Making a Difference?
Since 2009, the federal government has poured more than $4.6 billion into the School Improvement Grants program, one of the most ambitious attempts at education reform in recent history.
Our March 24, 2012 seminar at the University of Chicago took a close look at the federal School Improvement Grant program, the research base behind school turnarounds, and how charter schools factor into attempts to reimagine and reform chronically low-performing schools.