Mar 17, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic expands in the U.S., education reporters are on the front lines of the news coverage, with nearly three-quarters of public schools either closed or planning to close in coming days, and many colleges and universities moving to online learning or ending the semester outright. Lesli Maxwell of Education Week and Karin Fischer of The Chronicle of Higher Education, are helping to steer coverage of the crisis for their news outlets. They offer insights on the short-term and long-term impacts for the K-12 and higher education systems, as well as for students, educators, and families. Maxwell discusses efforts to ensure vulnerable students continue to have access to wraparound services like meals, concerns about whether districts are prepared to provide distance education for an extended period of time, and how the lost learning time could impact things like high-stakes tests. Fischer discusses higher education’s challenges in moving unexpectedly to online learning, and efforts to help low-income students who might not have the funds to get back home or have the wifi needed to stay connected to their coursework once they get there. Along the way, they share ideas for news coverage now and looking further down the road.