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The Most Popular EWA Radio Episodes of 2023

Public Editor Emily Richmond shares this year’s most popular EWA Radio episodes. Re-listen, or catch up on what you missed during the holidays!

Graphic credit: Kristan Obeng

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From efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on student learning to an inside look at historically Black colleges and universities, s this year’s EWA Radio guests covered a wide spectrum. As you set off on your holiday travels, here’s a quick-hit baker’s dozen playlist of the most listened-to episodes of the year. I’m grateful to all the reporters and editors who took the time to speak with me in 2023, and I look forward to another stellar lineup in 2024. Remember: If there’s a story or a reporter you want to know more about, drop us a line at We’re listening –and thank you for listening, too!

13. The Heavy Price of Policing Students

An investigation by ProPublica’s Jodi Cohen and Chicago Tribune reporter Jennifer Smith Richards into police ticketing students at school brings calls for end to the practice, new legislation on school discipline policies.

12. The K-12 Stories You Need in Your Notebook

Kalyn Belsha, senior national reporter for Chalkbeat, shares what to watch for on the K-12 beat in the new academic year.

11. Protecting Mental Health

Kavitha Cardoza speaks to CD Davidson-Hiers, an education journalist and colleague who has written about her mental health journey. 

10. Tracking Student-Athletes’ Menstrual History

Katherine Kati Kokal’s local coverage of a troubling new Florida policy bloomed into a national conversation about student-athletes, medical history and digital privacy.

9. Nine Things I Learned Covering HBCUs

Mirtha Donastorg shared nine things she learned covering HBCUs with EWA Radio. Here’s a fact we didn’t know: Some HBCUs are now majority white. She also explains why people who went to HBCUs love HBCUs so much, discusses research on the protective health effects of attending an HBCU and more.

8. Getting to School Can Mean Life or Death When Trains Block Crossings

ProPublica’s Topher Sanders discusses how he collaborated with other journalists to investigate the ongoing problem of blocked crossings in Hammond, Indiana. 

7. The Best Colleges You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

Paul Glastris, editor-in-chief of the Washington Monthly, shares insights from the magazine’s innovative college rankings.

6. America’s After-School Afterthought

While reporting for Vox and an EWA Reporting Fellowship, Rachel Cohen went deep into the challenges families and child care providers face.

5. Student Data Privacy as a Civil Rights Issue

Kavitha Cardoza and speakers discussed algorithmic bias, surveillance technologies and other technologies that harm vulnerable student groups during EWA’s public session at the 2023 SXSW EDU Conference in Austin, Texas.

4. Literacy Efforts in Prison

EWA Reporting Fellow Natalie Pate shares how poor literacy, dropout rates and crime intersect after investigating prison education programs in the state.

3. Critical Race Theory in Higher Ed

ProPublica’s Daniel Golden discusses his coverage of these issues, including his trip to Florida to see how the “Stop Woke Act” is playing out on college campuses. 

2. Student Press Freedom

Journalist Jessica Votipka discusses the fallout of a Nebraska school district’s decision to eliminate a decades-old student newspaper after students reported on LGBTQ+ topics – and why experts are sounding the alarm over what’s considered a risky act of censorship.

1. Tutoring as a Catch-Up Strategy 

Jill Barshay of The Hechinger Report discusses the who, what, where, why, and how of tutoring strategies to help students hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and shares how she uses education research to find stories.