EWA Radio

EWA Radio

EWA, the professional organization dedicated to strengthening the community of education writers and improving the quality of education coverage to better inform the public, hosts a weekly podcast featuring lively interviews with journalists.

Episodes

April 13, 2021

The impact of America’s $1.5 trillion in student loan debt makes a lot of headlines. But one team of reporters dug into a little-known corner of the student debt market and discovered a pattern of rule-evading and abuses that is destroying the educational opportunities and careers of tens of thousands of Americans. Sarah Butrymowicz and Meredith Kolodner of The Hechinger Report’s investigations team share insights from their new se...

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The growing clout of teachers’ unions is becoming one of the nation’s most attention-getting education stories. Before the pandemic, successful “Red for Ed” unionized teacher strikes and demonstrations won long overdue funding increases for schools and pay raises for instructional staff. And since COVID-19, teachers unions have become key players in decisions such as when and how schools will reopen.

Howard Blume of The Los Angeles...

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In many communities, the demand for reliable, affordable child care has long outstripped the number of available spots. The coronavirus pandemic has only worsened the shortage, and many mothers have left the workforce to stay with their young children. In central Washington, the situation is taking a bite out of the local economy, and putting young learners at risk of falling behind, reports Janelle Retka of the Yakima Herald-Repub...

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Can busing Black students to schools outside of their immediate neighborhoods make public education more equitable? How can reporters better cover the history of such desegregation efforts, and the impact on young people, families, and communities?

Reporters Olivia Krauth and Mandy McLaren share insights from their in-depth series into the longstanding busing program in Jefferson County, Kentucky, which was ordered by a court to de...

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Imagine keeping tabs on the same group of students and families for nearly a decade -- Oregon Public Broadcasting has done it, and plans to keep going through the next four years. OPB editor Rob Manning and education reporter Elizabeth Miller share stories from the cast in this project, which is supported in part by an EWA Reporting Fellowship. Among the surprising plot twists: a big jump in screen time is changing how kids communi...

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COVID-19 is remaking the college landscape, especially when it comes to who’s pursuing - and who’s pausing - on higher education. New data shows the decline in enrollment is seven times as large for men as for women. That’s exacerbating an already existing gender gap, and it could have serious long-term consequences for men’s career paths, says Jon Marcus, higher education editor for The Hechinger Report. He also discusses the impa...

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, states are largely leaving it up to individual districts to decide how to track how much -- or little -- of the standard school curriculum are K-12 students learning during the pandemic. One reporter surveyed her state and discovered that many communities aren’t even trying to find out. Joy Resmovits of The Seattle Times offers insights, tips, and questions to ask of state and local education officials w...

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January 19, 2021

Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona has surged into the national spotlight as President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education. Connecticut Mirror education reporters Jacqueline Rabe Thomas and Adria Watson share insights from covering Cardona’s two-year tenure as the Nutmeg State's top education official, and his years in his hometown of Meriden, where he spent the bulk of his care...

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Student absenteeism, budgetary struggles, and sharp drops in college enrollment are likely to be some of the big stories on the K-12 and higher education beats as the pandemic continues in 2021. Daarel Burnette II, an editor at Education Week, and Sara Hebel, the co-founder of the nonprofit higher education news site Open Campus, share story ideas and tips for innovative coverage. Why should education reporters focus on how K-12 sc...

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In Pasco County, Florida, the sheriff’s department used students’ school records, including their grades and information about their family lives, to identify them as potential troublemakers. School officials say they knew nothing about this longstanding practice -- until the Tampa Bay Times’ investigation broke the story wide open. Kathleen McGrory, the deputy investigations editor, and Neil Bedi, who reports and analyzes data, di...

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December 8, 2020

How do you capture both the experience of a young student learning to read remotely, and the challenges for their teacher on the other side of the screen? Education reporter Perry Stein masterfully weaves it together -- both the compelling story of one family and a teacher, plus the bigger picture of teaching and learning in the pandemic -- in a new article for The Washington Post. Her article focuses on a class of second graders t...

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December 1, 2020

Across the country, increasingly aggressive hackers are breaking into school computer systems and holding sensitive student information for ransom. Education leaders often quietly pay big bucks to regain control of their networks. Tawnell Hobbs of The Wall Street Journal is tracking this growing trend, which takes on even more significance given how reliant schools and colleges have become on remote learning in the COVID-19 pandemi...

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From basketball to band, debate club to dance teams, the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed extracurricular activities for many of the nation’s K-12 students. That could have a long-term impact on student enthusiasm for school overall, experts warn. Longtime education journalist Greg Toppo, writing for The 74, looks at how educators are working to keep kids connected to school, and the research showing a strong link between extracu...

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How can education reporters do a better job of incorporating science into their coverage of students and schools, especially as the evolving research around COVID-19 dominates discussions about how and when to reopen campuses? What’s known about the relative health risks to students and staff, and what are some examples of responsible coverage of this ongoing debate? Hannah Furfaro of The Seattle Times’ Education Lab offers tips fo...

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November 3, 2020

Who takes a cross-country reporting road trip in the midst of a pandemic? NPR’s Elissa Nadworny decided it was the only way to find out for herself what life is really like on college campuses these days, and how students, faculty and administrators are dealing with a new world of logistical challenges. Nadworny, who covers higher education, has visited more than a dozen campuses in eight states so far. What’s at stake for postseco...

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What would a second term for President Donald Trump mean for K-12 and postsecondary education? And conversely, what might change if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the election? Lauren Camera of U.S. News & World Report and Michael Stratford of Politico Pro break down the candidates’ education policy priorities and share insights from covering their campaigns. Did Trump keep his 2016 promise to make school choice a top policy...

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When it comes to school discipline, Black girls often receive harsher treatment than whites, including referrals to enforcement. That’s the conclusion from a new analysis of federal education data by Erica Green and her colleagues at The New York Times. The project was a deeply personal one for Green, who spent two years digging into how racial and gender biases devastate the emotional well-being and academic trajectories of Black ...

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Who takes a cross-country reporting road trip in the midst of a pandemic? NPR’s Elissa Nadworny decided it was the only way to find out for herself what life is really like on college campuses these days, and how students, faculty and administrators are dealing with a new world of logistical challenges. Nadworny, who covers higher education, has visited more than a dozen campuses in eight states so far. What’s at stake for postseco...

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Was the decision to close schools and send students home for remote learning influenced more by politics than the science of what would keep kids safe? That’s the central argument made by ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis in a new story co-published with The New Yorker. MacGillis, who tells the story in part through the experiences of a 12-year-old in his hometown of Baltimore, shows how vulnerable Black, brown, and poor children ...

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When choosing a college, students and families often turn to popular rankings to help inform their decisions. Rather than focus on test scores and how difficult it is to gain entry, The Washington Monthly gives schools points for factors that benefit society as well as individual students, like upward mobility for low-income graduates and encouraging civic engagement on campus and after graduation. Editor-in-Chief Paul Glastris dis...

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