If you want to try and understand how education writers and editors decide to write the stories that they produce — and how they come out the way they do — it’s good to know what they’re being told. And if you’re a savvy education editor or reporter it’s also a good thing to know a little about what you’re being told.
For example, later this week in Chicago is the Education Writers Association’s mini-conference on The ABCs of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), in which they association will try and make sure that education reporters know about the new federal law and how it’s going to be implemented.
The preliminary schedule of events to be held in Chicago includes appearances from CCSSO’s Chris Minnich, LPI’s Charmaine Mercer, the Leadership Conference’s Liz King, and former EdWeek editor and reporter Erik Robelen (now at EWA). I’m also supposed to be there (as an attendee).
There are also going to be appearances from the USDE’s Emma Vadehra, some discussion about low-performing school interventions (including someone from San Francisco’s Mission High), and a panel on great ESSA stories led by NPR’s Steve Drummond, Chalkbeat’s Scott Elliott, and the Joyce Foundation’s Stephanie Banchero. AFT head Randi Weingarten was scheduled to be there — probably the highest-profile person on the original speakers list — but she’s being replaced by staffer Rob Weil.
Anything notable about the list of topics and attendees? Anyone left out? Education journalism didn’t do an entirely stellar job describing NCLB to the public. Ditto for Common Core. Crossed fingers that ESSA training and the subsequent coverage are both strong.