2000 Winners of the National Awards for Education Reporting

The 2000 education journalism awards winners are announced!

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Education Writers Association (EWA), the national professional association of education reporters and writers, today announced the winners of the 2000 National Awards for Education Reporting, the most prestigious national competition for education writing. The annual contest honors the best education reporting in the print and broadcast media and is the only independent contest of its kind in the United States. Contest entries were limited to stories published or broadcast for the first time during the 2000 calendar year.

A total of 435 entries were judged in this year’s contest. First place winners will receive a cash prize of $250 and a plaque. Winners of second prizes and special citations each receive a certificate. The winner of the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, which includes an award of $1,000 and a plaque, will be announced at EWA’s 2001 National Seminar in Phoenix on April 28.

Contest judging was conducted independently, under the direction of Chief Judge Steve Barkin of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. This year’s panel of distinguished judges included: John Doolittle, American University School of Communication; Beth Frerking, Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families; Penny Fuchs, director of the Society of Sunday and Feature Editors;Carol Horner, Knight Center for Specialized Journalism; Rob Hotakainen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune; David Merkowitz, consultant; Frank Quine, University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism; Gene Roberts, University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism; Jerome Thomas, Northwestern High School (Hyattsville, Md); and Carl Weiser, Gannett News Service.

Recent winners of the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting include Tim Simmons, Raleigh News & Observer ; Deb Kollars, Sacramento Bee; Jacques Steinberg, The New York Times; and Robert Frahm and Rick Green, The Hartford Courant.

Prizes are awarded in the following categories:



A. Breaking or Hard News

  • 1st Prize: Staff – The Flint Journal – “Killing in the First Grade”
  • 2nd Prize: John Newsom – News & Record, Greensboro, N.C. – “Guilford School Administrator Resigns”
  • Special Citation: Lisa Elliott Deffendall – The Tuscaloosa (Al.) News – “Mega vs. Multiple”

B. Feature

  • 1st Prize: Kathryn C. Eastburn – Colorado Springs Independent – “Ms. Holland’s Opus”
  • 2nd Prize: Nigel Jaquiss – Willamette Week, Portland, Oreg. – “Homework Rebellion”

C. News Feature or Issue Package

  • 1st Prize: Gary Jahrig – The Missoulian, Missoula, Mont. – “Questioning Quality”
  • Special Citation: Challen Stephens – The Huntsville Times, Huntsville, Ala. – “Special Education? A Matter of Degree”

D. Series or Group of Articles

  • 1st Prize: Kathleen Wilson and Jean Cowden Moore – Ventura County Star, Ventura, Calif. – “Children in Disorder”
  • 2nd Prize: Amelia Newcomb, Marjorie Coeyman and Mark Clayton , Christian Science Monitor – “The Math Meltdown”
  • Special Citation: Jondi Gumz – Santa Cruz Sentinel – “The Learning Curve: A study of bilingual education since Proposition 227″

E. Investigative Reporting

  • 1st Prize: Cara DeGette – Colorado Springs Independent “Rotten to the Core”
  • 2nd Prize: Eric Eyre – Charleston Gazette, Charleston, W.Va. – “Superintendent for Sale”
  • Special Citation: Terje Langeland – Colorado Daily , Boulder, Colo. – “University of Colorado Dog Labs”

F. Opinion

  • 1st Prize: Dan Radmacher – Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette – “The Marockie Mess”

G. Special Section or Page

No Award Given in this category


A. Breaking or Hard News

  • 1st Prize: Robert A. Frahm, Lisa Chedekel, Cynde Rodriguez, Andrew Julien, William Hathaway, Tom Puleo, and Tom Condon – The Hartford Courant – “Overdose at Trinity College”
  • 2nd Prize: Brigid Schulte, Jay Mathews and Amy Argetsinger – The Washington Post – “School Allegedly Cheated”
  • Special Citation: Duchesne Paul Drew, Mary Jane Smetanka, Allie Shah, and Norman Draper – Star Tribune – “Tests that Failed”

B. Feature

  • 1st Prize: Kenneth Weiss – The Los Angeles Times . – “One Last Shot to Be a Doctor”
  • 2nd Prize: Katherine Corcoran – San Jose Mercury News . -”Teachers Aid”

C. News Feature or Issue Package

  • 1st Prize: Duke Helfand – Los Angeles Times – “Inglewood Writes the Book on Success”
  • 2nd Prize: Kevin Simpson – The Denver Post – “Religion in Schools”
  • Special Citation: Monica Mendoza and Jennifer Autrey – Fort Worth Star Telegram – “Uncharted Territory”

D. Series or Group of Articles

  • 1st Prize: Jacques Steinberg – New York Times – “The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Office of One of America’s Elite Colleges”
  • 2nd Prize: Beth Daley – The Boston Globet. – “Lessons in Waste — School Construction”
  • Special Citation: Deb Kollars– Sacramento Bee– “The X Factor”

E. Investigative Reporting

  • 1st Prize: Kenneth Weiss – Los Angeles Times – “New Test-Taking Skill: Working the System”
  • 2nd Prize: Terri Hardy and Matthew Barrows– Sacramento Bee – “Rape: An Invisible Epidemic”
  • Special Citation: Daniel Golden– The Wall Street Journal – “Fudge Factor”

F. Opinion

  • 1st Prize: Derrick Z. Jackson – Boston Globe. – “MCAS or Mutual Charlemagne Admiration Society?”
  • 2nd Prize: Tim A. Chavez – The Tennessean – “Lost, Voiceless and Forgotten: The Plight of Immigrant Children in Metro Nashville and Tennessee Public Schools”
  • Special Citation: Rob Borsellino – The Des Moines Register – “An Iowa Field Trip”

G. Special Section or Page

  • 1st Prize: Education Team – The Virginian-Pilot , Norfolk, Va..
  • 2nd Prize (Tie): Connie Langland, Neill A. Borowski, Susan Snyder, Susan FitzGerald, Dale Mezzacappa and Tom Avril – The Philadelphia Inquirer – “2000 Report Card on Schools”
  • Mark Houser– Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – “Grading Our High Schools”



(including magazines produced as separate sections of newspapers)

A. National Magazine

  • 1st Prize: Alexander Nguyen – The Washington Monthly – “Class Act”
  • Special Citation: Siobhan Gorman – National Journal – “Great Expectations”

B. Regional or Local Magazine

  • 1st Prize: Dick Lehr –Boston Globe Magazine . – “Birth of a School”
  • 2nd Prize: James M. O’Neill(Philadelphia) Inquirer Magazine – “Academic Temps”
  • Special Citation: Olivia F. Gentile –(Hartford Courant) Northeast Magazine, Hartford, Ct. “The Teacher”



  • 1st Prize: Jessica Portner – Education Week – “Teen Suicide: The Silent Epidemic” (Registration required.)
  • 2nd Prize: Jeff Archer– Education Week – “Unions Pull Out Stops for Elections” (Registration required.)
  • Special Citation: John L. Pulley – Chronicle of Higher Education – “The Money Pit: Raising Cash, Managing Endowments”
  • Special Citation: Ann Bradley and Kathleen Kennedy Manzo – Education Week– “The Middle Grades: Feeling the Squeeze”
  • Special Citation: Scott Heller – Chronicle of Higher Education – “The Lessons of a Lost Career”



A. Hard News and Investigative

  • 1st Prize: Stephen Talbot, Rachel Raney, Amy Young, Eve Pell, and Louis Freedberg -Center for Investigative Reporting and FRONTLINE/WGBH, Berkeley, Calif.- “The Battle Over School Choice”
  • 2nd Prize: Yvonne Simons and John Cox – WRAL TV5, Raleigh, N.C. – “Durham Grade Changes”
  • Special Citation: Carol Anne Riddell, Stephanie Christopulos, Carmine Aloisio – WNBC – “Lost Bounty”

B. Documentary and Feature

  • 1st Prize: John Merrow and John D. Tulenko– Learning Matters, Inc. and the Merrow Report – “School Sleuth: The Case of an Excellent School”
  • 2nd Prize: John Sharify and Tim Griffis – KOMO-TV, Seattle, Wash.. – “Class of 2000″
  • Special Citation: Tom Brokaw, Craig Leake and Elise Pearlstein – Dateline NBC. – “Your Kids, Our Schools, Tough Choices”



(a single program or series of reports on the same subject or theme)

  • 1st Prize: Kathryn Baron – KQED FM, San Francisco, Ca. – “School Accountability”
  • Special Citation: Joshua Levs – NPR/WABE Radio, Atlanta, Ga. – “Mississippi Literacy”