Wed, 25 November 2015
Thousands of the nation’s smaller school districts struggle to get even the most basic Internet services, making it difficult to take advantage of the wealth of classroom technology that’s giving students more options for how, what, and when they learn.
A new three-part series by Education Week looks at the hurdles to classroom connectivity, and what progress is being made on the federal E-rate program to bring better Internet services to schools, students, and families in rural communities.
Reporter Benjamin Herold talks with EWA Radio about why the feds’ haven’t done more to crack down on Internet providers that charge schools outrageously high fees, examples of classroom technology that have measurably improved learning, and tips for reporters who want to make the most of their campus visits.
Wed, 18 November 2015
Education reporter Caitlin Emma (Politico Pro) spoke with EWA Radio about her deep dive into the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, which invested more than $4 billion into efforts to turn around some of the nation's lowest achieving schools.
What did the more successful schools (like a Miami campus visited by Emma) have in common when it came to implementing the reforms? Why did so many states and districts — including Chicago Public Schools — struggle to make even marginal gains in student achievement?
And what lessons have policymakers learned from the SIG program as the U.S. Department of Education gets ready to launch another major grant program, this time aimed at remaking U.S. high schools?
Wed, 11 November 2015
Reporting the "Unsettled Journeys" project for the Baltimore Sun, veteran education reporter Liz Bowie spent eight months talking to students and staff at Patterson High School.
With limited resources but an ever-growing influx of newly immigrant students, the school is struggling to meet their academic needs, as well as ensure their emotional and physical well-being. Many of the students arrive unable to converse in English and with minimal educational experience. But the high school is still expected to teach — and then test — these students.
Bowie talks with EWA Radio about the three-part series, each anchored by a student from a different country facing unique challenges. She also offers tips for reporters on connecting with students when language barriers block more-traditional reporting techniques.
Wed, 4 November 2015
What does it really take to help students succeed at school and life, and how much of those gains can really be measured by test scores?
Those are some of the questions journalist Kristina Rizga set out to answer in her reporting on a San Francisco high school, first published by Mother Jones magazine. Her investigation turned into a four-year project and the new book “Mission High: One School, How Experts Tried to Fail It, and the Students and Teachers Who Made It Triumph.”
She spoke with EWA Radio about how a "student-centered learning" approach is working at Mission High, as well as the crucial role teacher professional development plays in reinventing classrooms. She also offered smart tips to education beat reporters on how to effectively incorporate more teacher and student voices into daily reporting.