Mar 31, 2020
With more than 1.1 million K-12 students, New York City’s public schools are dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on a massive scale. While district officials scramble to close the technology gap and get computers to students who need them, teachers are getting a crash course in the “do's and don’ts” of remote instruction. Patricia Willens, the news editor for youth and family reporting at WNYC, the city’s flagship public radio station, discusses her team’s approach to covering the crisis, and what they have discovered in their reporting. How is the crisis exacerbating existing inequities in the city’s public schools? What are the challenges parents and students face with remote learning at home? What do these radio reporters pack in their “go bags” for trips into the community? How can reporters enrich their stories with diverse voices even when “shelter in place” orders make traditional shoe-leather techniques impossible? And what are story ideas for education reporters in the short-term and in the coming months?